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Malaysians take to voting booths for general elections

May 5, 2013 at 8:28 AM

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, May 5 (UPI) -- General election voting began Sunday in Malaysia in what polls indicated to be the closest election in the country's history.

More than 13 million registered voters cast ballots for candidates contesting 22 parliamentary seats and 505 state offices across the country.

Prime Minister Najib Razak's National Front coalition and the three-party opposition People's Alliance led by Anwar Ibrahim were neck-and-neck in independent polls heading into Sunday's election, The New York Times reported.

Voter chose between the National Front party, the unchallenged, semi-authoritarian governing party since 1957 that enforces economic and political policies based on race, and the People's Alliance, an untested opposition promising big changes, the newspaper said.

One government supporter, who identified herself only as Shin, said she worries a large change promised by the People's Alliance could trigger a violent Arab Spring.

"I am concerned and I am also very worried about change," she said from a polling station in Kuala Lumpur. "If the change comes, can we make it? We are not a violent country."

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