COMMENT Exactly nine years ago, Malaysia recorded one of the most notable voter turnouts it its electoral history with 8,161,039 million out of the 10,922,139 registered voters casting their ballots.
Voting centres saw long queues and big crowds at the polling centres from as early as 7am. Nobody thought that the outcome of that democratic exercise would generate a political tsunami and lead to several historic political events.
For the first time in Malaysia's political history, the longest ruling political coalition - Umno-BN - lost their two-third majority in Parliament and lost five states to the opposition. It was also during that time when we saw a political prisoner taking the oath as chief minister of Penang. Subsequently, Pakatan Rakyat was formed.
It was a period when people got to witness long-time political adversaries, DAP and PAS, sitting at the same table and actually talking about creating a new Malaysia. Then-opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim also announced that a new government would be formed on Sept 16, 2008.
There was much excitement in the political environment. However, instead of seeing a new government in Putrajaya, we saw a new government formed in Perak.
The rest is history.
Fast forward to the most anticipated general election, May 5, 2013.
Umno-BN not only failed to recapture their two-thirds majority again but they also lost in the popular vote count. It was the second catastrophe to befall the once unbeatable political coalition.
Pakatan Rakyat is dead now. Anwar is back in his old cell in Sungai Buloh, Lim Guan Eng is counting the days before he lands behind bars again, and Rafizi Ramli also has a prison cell waiting for him.
Today, I dare say that the opposition will remain as opposition for another decade or more...