By-elections are the traditional arena where voters are able to show their dissatisfaction about the government without changing it. Hence it’s not unheard of in any democracy to see large swings against government candidates in favor of independents or the opposition. On November 16, Malaysia’s voters appear to have done just that in the Johorean federal constituency of Tanjung Plai, where the government’s candidate was not just drubbed but humiliated.

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