PETALING JAYA - Barisan Nasional (BN) won 133 parliamentary seats at the 13th general election to record a slightly reduced performance compared to 2008 but managed to wrest Kedah from Pakatan Rakyat.
The Pakatan Rakyat coalition of PKR, PAS and DAP won 89 seats.
The ruling coalition failed to regain Selangor and Penang while retaining Perak with a slim three-seat majority, due to what Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak described as a "Chinese tsunami".
While Peninsular Malay and Bumiputra voters from Sabah and Sarawak mostly kept their faith in Barisan to deliver the ruling coalition a two-thirds victory, Chinese voters rewarded Pakatan Rakyat and particularly the DAP with 38 seats.
"There was a tsunami among the Chinese community which supported the Opposition," Najib told a press conference at Barisan headquarters at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur.
Najib also noted the racial polarisation in the trend of voting, and said this could lead to conflicts in society if it was not dealt with.
"Therefore, we will undertake a process of national reconciliation so that 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.
While the sentiments of Malay voters were mixed, a swing towards Barisan managed to off-set the slide in the level of Chinese voter support towards the ruling coalition.
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 such as Umno, MCA and Gerakan.
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, and a mechanism created to monitor their implementation.
|A 'do or die' election for Najib and Barisan
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