Here’s something I wrote for Asia Times after the Penanti by-election:
Malaysia’s opposition alliance has chalked up its fifth by-election win out of six since a general election last year.
This time, the ruling Barisan Nasional (National Front – BN) coalition did not put up a candidate, perhaps fearing that another by-election defeat would be demoralizing. That left the coast clear for the Pakatan Rakyat (People’s Alliance) to brush aside three independent candidates on Sunday.
The by-election in Penanti on mainland Penang, one of four states ruled by Pakatan after a fifth was wrested back by the BN, was also crucial for another reason. The victorious candidate, Mansor Othman, of the People’s Justice Party (PKR), one of three parties in Pakatan, will now assume the position of Penang deputy chief minister following the recent resignation of the incumbent. Mansor clinched 87% of the votes for a 5,558 majority, more than doubling the PKR’s majority in the general election. Full article here.