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Making sense of the political tsunami

analysis As Malaysians go back to work yesterday, the historic results of the 12th general election are beginning to sink in slowly.

Before the results were announced on Saturday, many people were discussing the possibility of this election being similar to the 1986 general elections where the non-Malay vote swung against Barisan Nasional and the DAP had its best performance where it won 24 out of a possible 172 parliamentary seats.

But it is more apt to compare this election to the last time the BN lost the popular vote in Peninsular Malaysia and failed to capture a two-thirds majority in parliament for what was the first and only time in Malaysia’s electoral history, up until now. That was in 1969.