In the General Election result yesterday (May 9), the Opposition led by former Prime Minister Dr Mahatir Mohamad have secured a clear majority, 113 seats out of 222, to take over the government. This is the ruling party National Front’s first defeat after 60 years, but what is more impressive is that Dr Mahatir is a 92-year-old who came out from retirement after he was angered by the former PM Najib Razak’s corruption in the country’s 1MDB state fund.
Dr Mahatir will be the oldest elected leader in the world, beating Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew record (who technically won by walkover in 2011 when he was 88). The former Prime Minister ruled Malaysia with an iron-fist until he completely retired in 2003, unlike Lee Kuan Yew who stayed on as MP after making his son Prime Minister.
A representative of Malaysia’s constitutional monarchy has contacted Dr Mahatir congratulating and thanking him for the win. The veteran politician also announced that Thursday and Friday would be a public holiday, which was supposedly an election carrot promised by Najib Razak. The Malaysian leader said he would not “seek revenge” in his rule, but directed his comment at Najib Razak that he will go after the corrupted who breached the law.
Najib Razak disappeared from his party’s headquarters last night and he was nowhere to be found. The post-election press conference was postponed. There has been widespread speculations that Najib Razak has left the country as he would likely be charged for numerous corruption charges including election fraud and siphoning of government investment funds.