KUALA LUMPUR, 10 March 2009: One year on after the nation’s groundbreaking general election, there is yet a firm analysis on what caused Barisan Nasional (BN)’s huge setback on 8 March 2008.
While analysts offer reasons such as new voters, stronger opposition, the inability of the government to fulfil its 2004 pledges, internal party strife, the Internet media etc, a definite answer remains to be found.
Dr Edmund Terence Gomez agrees with all the above reasons but he also offers another explanation, after taking into account voting patterns since 1990.
Presenting his findings during a forum organised by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung recently, the Universiti Malaya associate professor said that BN’s failure stems from its inability to react to transitions in society.
“On the other hand, after Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s release, the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser read public society very well and attuned themselves to NGOs. They moved to respond to these transitions that were being articulated,” Gomez told his audience.
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This article first appeared on 10 March 2009 in The Edge Financial Daily under the title March 8 the outcome of a changing society. Used with permission.