The Irish Times view on Malaysia’s election: a plea for new politics

Voters stand up for civil freedoms and an end to corruption

In a stunning and exhilarating election Malaysians have thrown out the governing coalition led by Najib Razak and given an overall majority to the competing alliance led by the 92-year-old veteran Mahatir Mohamed. Photograph: Ahmad Yusni/EPA
In a stunning and exhilarating election Malaysians have thrown out the governing coalition led by Najib Razak and given an overall majority to the competing alliance led by the 92-year-old veteran Mahatir Mohamed. Photograph: Ahmad Yusni/EPA

In a stunning and exhilarating election Malaysians have thrown out the governing coalition led by Najib Razak and given an overall majority to the competing alliance led by the 92-year-old veteran Mahathir Mohamed. The first victory of the opposition since independence from Britain in 1957, this is a remarkable example of people-power channelled through the voting booths. It expresses a widespread desire for an alternative form of politics freer from corruption and more representative of Malaysia’s vibrant multicultural society.

Mahathir was prime minister from 1983 to 2003, when he put the country on a determined development path guided…

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