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COMMENT A very young demographic profile, a high urbanisation rate, ever increasing access to the Internet and extreme longevity in power, among other factors, will be working against the BN ruling coalition in the coming election.

There are many reasons for the international community to be deeply cognisant of this fact, and to prepare for a regime change for the first time since Malaysia gained independence in 1957.

Soon after the government suffered severe setbacks in the 2008 general election, the country went into a permanent campaign mode, and has remained that way ever since. Another general election has to be called soon, since the constitution requires that Parliament be dissolved by April 28, 2013 upon the completion of its five-year mandate.

NONE It may be true that the government won 140 of 222 seats in the Lower House while the opposition managed to secure the remaining 82. But a closer look shows that the actual gap between the two coalitions to be much smaller.

The ruling BN actually won only 51.4% of the votes while the greater opposition gained 48.6%. Of the 7.9 million effective votes, BN and the Pakatan Rakyat were separated by a mere 313,509 votes...

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