2018 — the year of people’s will for change

It was as Carole King’s 1971 original release of “I Feel the Earth Move”. The sky did not come tumbling down, but Malaysia did feel the earth move after the historic May 9 general election (GE).

In the early hours of May 10, Pakatan Harapan announced it had secured a simple majority of seats to form the federal government in a shocking victory that ended more than 60 years of Barisan Nasional rule.

The coalition’s chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad made the announcement in front of Pakatan Harapan leaders. It brought cheers to millions of Malaysians who went to the polls on the historic GE day.

The stunning Pakatan Harapan victory will go down as one of the most significant events in the country’s history after the declaration of independence on Aug 31, 1957, and the formation of Malaysia on Sept 16, 1963.

The victory saw the return of Dr Mahathir to Putrajaya for the second time, subsequently also becoming the world’s oldest elected leader.

But the tremors started earlier when then Opposition came together to form an unlikely alliance, especially with two former nemesis Dr Mahathir and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim agreeing to put their past feud behind. DAP, PKR, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia and Parti Amanah Negara had come together as one.

The tipping of the scales came when the new alliance agreed on using the same symbol — PKR’s logo — for the polls in Peninsular Malaysia, triggering the winds of change that led to the shocking results on May 9.

Malaysians welcomed a new government, but formidable challenges lay ahead to start the nation on a fresh clean slate. The Malaysian Reserve looks at key events that shook the very foundation of the nation and how 2018 will be remembered as the year of people’s will for change.