Monday, May 6, 2013
Najib with other Barisan members celebrate the party's victory in the general election.
Barisan Nasional won 133 parliamentary seats at the 13th general election to record a slightly reduced performance compared to 2008, but it managed to wrest Kedah from Pakatan Rakyat.
The ruling coalition failed to regain Selangor and Penang but retained Perak with a slim three-seat majority, due to what Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak described as a “Chinese tsunami”.
As at press time, the results for two parliamentary seats had yet to be announced.
While peninsula Malay and bumiputra voters from Sabah and Sarawak mostly kept their faith in Barisan Nasional, Chinese voters rewarded Pakatan Rakyat - particularly the DAP, which won 38 seats, an increase of nine compared to the 29 seats it won in 2008. The Opposition won 89 seats.
MCA saw its tally of seats reduced to seven from the 15 it held.
“There was a tsunami among the Chinese community which supported the Opposition,” Najib said during a press conference at Barisan headquarters in PWTC.
Najib also noted the racial polarisation in the voting trend, and said that this could lead to conflicts in society if it was not dealt with.
“Therefore, we will undertake a process of national reconciliation so we can set aside any extremism and communalism with policies based on moderation.”
The much anticipated increase in support by Indian voters appeared to have been muted with MIC winning four parliamentary seats, the same number which the party held going into the polls.
The sentiments of Malay voters were mixed but there appeared to have been a shift towards Barisan that helped to off-set some of the erosion in the level of Chinese support.
For Pakatan, PAS saw its tally of parliament seats reduced to 21 from 23 while PKR won 28 seats, up from 23 in 2008.
Barisan's weaker performance compared to the 138 parliament seats it won in the last general election is likely to be the focus of the coalition's election post-mortem.
The outcome is also expected to feature prominently at the internal party elections scheduled later this year for Barisan component parties.
Najib thanked voters for their support of the coalition to continue to lead the country.
“I hope for the sake of the country that all sides, especially the Opposition, will accept this decision with an open heart and allow the democratic process to proceed smoothly.
“The will of the people must be respected. There have been several improvements made to the election process,” he said.
The Barisan chairman reaffirmed that all pledges in the Barisan manifesto would be fulfilled.