On the 9th May of 2018, when the 14th General Elections in Malaysia was held, many were glued to all media channels at the end of the voting process. The entire nation was chasing the tally for the GE14 results with nail biting nervousness when results at the beginning poured in showing counts between the Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan racing in at neck and neck paces.
Chasing the tallies all night up to 4 a.m. the next following morning, as some jokingly put it, was like chasing a Korean drama series, from beginning to end. Nevertheless, it was the effort of the Rakyat that showed in their tenacity to exercise their rights.
The people turned out in full force to determine the future of the country, regardless of race and ethnicity to pledge their responsibility as its citizens. Based on their previous experience with the Elections Commission of Malaysia, every voter was prepared in their own ways to make their votes count this time around.
Voters arrived at the voting centres in the wee hours of the morning before 8 a.m. to form a long queue outside along the road; dress codes were followed to the dot; small mobile fans were brought along (electric and non-electric) to keep cool; umbrellas to brave the hot blazing sun or rain, mobile foldable chairs to ease fatigue in long queues; and those who were voting from overseas, gladly paid their own way to ensure that their votes reached the country in time for the elections.
A good number of Samaritans volunteered to guard the compounds of counting centres to hold vigil against sudden blackouts and ‘additional’ ballot boxes. Their efforts paid off as no amount of mischiefs could be played out this time, proving that Malaysians wanted a change and they got it after uniting to ensure the voting process was not riddled with nonsensical issues.
Well, the result of the GE14 was a powerful message from the people – when elected officials are questioned and drivelling answers are given – there will be consequences. Gifts of rice, oil, biscuits, vouchers and cash couldn’t save the day. Pakatan Harapan won the majority and dealt Barisan Nasional with a shocked defeat.
People celebrated and deemed it a historic moment, touting it as ‘Waking up to a new Malaysia’ although most were bleary-eyed as they were either too nervous or too excited to sleep after results were confirmed. Nevertheless, it was a victory for the people with hopes for a better Malaysia, led by our longest-serving Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamed. Congratulations to the new government and the rebirth of a new Malaysia!