The Bishop of West Malaysia, Archbishop Moon Hing, has welcomed the unprecedented victory for Malaysia’s opposition in yesterday’s general election. The result ends the 62-year rule by the Barisan Nasional coalition, led by the United Malays National Organisation. The country’s former Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, came out of retirement at the age of 92 and switched allegiance to the Pakatan Harapan, and spoke of his regret at past mistakes and promised to end corruption. In a speech overnight in Malaysia, he said that the new government would not conduct a witch hunt; but said that former Prime Minister Najib Razak would have to face the consequences if he is found to have broken the law. Mr Razak has been accused of corruption.
The Pakatan Harapan-led coalition have won 135 seats in the country’s parliament – well ahead of the 122 needed to form a government. But at the time of writing, Mr Mohamad had not been sworn in as Prime Minister. The Guardian newspaper reports that outgoing prime minister Najib Razak was offering bribes to opposition MPs to persuade them to switch sides.
“We need to have this government today without delay,” Mohamad told journalists at a press conference. “There is a lot of work to be done. You know the mess the country is in and we need to attend to this mess as soon as possible and that means today. So we expect that today, well, I’ll be sworn in as prime minister.”
The country’s news agency Bernama has said that Dr Mohamad would be sworn in at 9.30pm MYT (1.30pm GMT) today.
In a message to Anglicans in his diocese, Archbishop Moon Hing said: “As we rejoice and thank God for this miraculous landslide election in our excited exhaustion, we should celebrate the results of this Mother of all Elections together with this Sunday’s Mothers’ Day celebration in all our churches.”
The archbishop posted a prayer on the diocese’s Facebook page:
Almighty God, the sovereign Lord,
we give thanks and praise for the tenacity, wisdom and justice
you have delivered to us in this Mother of all Elections;
grant the leaders of the new government of Malaysia mercy and grace in their hearts;
forgiveness and humilty in their approach;
justice, integrity and transparency in their execution.
Grant to them the guidance of the Holy Spirit in their vision,
to show and lead in the way to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with you.
Together we ask this in the name of your Son, one God now and forever.
- Update: Dr Mahathir Mohamed was sworn in as Malaysia’s Prime Minister just before 10pm MYT.