Malaysia elections: Ruling National Front coalition wins 'closest elections yet'


Malaysia's Prime Minister and Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Najib Razak (2nd L) celebrates his victory with Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on election day at the PWTC on May 5, 2013 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak's coalition won a simple majority in the country's election, defeating Anwar Ibrahim's opposition alliance and extending its 55-year hold on power.


Nicky Loh

Malaysia's prime minister Najib Razak and his ruling National Front coalition will continue their reign, winning at least two-thirds of the 222 seats in parliaments in the country's elections Sunday. 

The cliffhanger elections came to a close Sunday after record numbers of voters turned out to cast their ballots. 

"We have to show to the world that we are a mature democracy," Razak said in a televised broadcast after his victory, BBC News reported

"I hope the opposition accepts the result with an open heart and will allow the democratic process to continue," he added.  

However, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and his supporters alleged widespread electoral fraud, and he tweeted Sunday night: 

Over 10 million Malaysians voted on Sunday, a record-breaking 80 percent of about 13 million registered voters, according to early estimates released by the Election Commission.

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak and his National Front have been ruling the country since 1957, but were challenged by the People's Alliance, a three-party opposition coalition headed by Ibrahim.

A poll on Friday by research firm the Merdeka Center predicted that Anwar could win as many as 89 seats. However, the National Coalition has been found to have won over the 112 seats necessary to secure a majority. The People's Alliance The opposition alliance had 60 seats

As the stakes got higher, so did the chorus of foul play allegations. The electoral committee introduced indelible ink for the first time this year to prevent fraud, but voters were reporting that it wasn't fool-proof. 

There were also rumors of foreigners being flown in and given temporary Malaysian ID cards for voting, Voice of America reported

"I think there is a lot of evidence out there, whether it is on the net or photographs and things like that," said Ng Sek San, a polling observer.

"There are a lot of inconsistencies coming through to us. A lot of people that have been flown in from other states, some of them are not even Malaysian citizens, and they were just given temporary identity cards. And of course there is a lot of money politics and vote buying," he added. 

More from GlobalPost: Malaysia's first-ever 'social media election'