Malaysians go to the polls on March 8
Malaysians go to the polls on March 8, around 18 months before the current government's term is due to expire.

Some are describing the 12th general election since independence as the most divisive yet, with racial and religious issues hogging the limelight.

Opposition figure Anwar Ibrahim claims the premature election is a deliberate attempt to deny him a return to representative politics.

Other opposition parties cite a total media blackout, the misuse of government machinery by the ruling party and a tainted electoral roll as obstacles to fair elections.

The coalition government Barisan National led by the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), has ruled the country since Independence in 1957 and is confident that it will retain power.

But the opposition parties are on an all-out offensive to deny Barisan National the two-thirds parliamentary majority it needs to continue its legislative dominance.

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This episode of 101 East aired on Thursday, February 28, 2008


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