Look, my views are personal.
At the end of the day, the vote came down to two things:
1) The anti-Najib vote
2) The Mahathir vote
Without both, Pakatan Harapan (PH) would not have won the elections. Look, there were many BN people who were looked relatively kindly by people on both sides of the electorate. But the public hated Najib to an even greater degree.
Look, Mahathir was never without fault, and he definitely had significant faults. But he ensured that the country relatively prospered regardless by his tight grip and bark and bite. And people yearned back for those days. And he definitely did not have a Maslan (at least as I can remember), who might as well have been a member of the opposition with his ridiculous statements; though he himself along with others like Ku Nan who are generally always blasted by the keyboard warriors won. Blatant corruption + declining quality of life + blatant gerrymandering (along with other measures to "strengthen his grip") + blatantly incompetent ministers with not much to show for it (I actually liked the MRT and UTC projects) = he just had to go.
It seemed that this time around BN finally lost the Malay vote. 3 things came into play among those who contemplated voting against BN:
1) Those who felt indebted to BN/feared the unknown
2) Those who wanted to vote against BN but at the same time weary of various issues surrounding PH
3) Those similar in group 2 but will not vote PAS for various reasons (I was in this group)
Whichever factor became dominant determined which candidate won. And that's probably why some like Ku Nan remained elected.
I'm sure that there are other examples where there are "what if" thoughts had it been a 2 way instead of a 3 way fight. With the previous GE, BN would usually have won from the split opposition votes. This time around, PH in general won regardless.
However, PAS is more entrenched in Terengganu and Kelantan as the party of choice when compared to PH. This is actually a good thing. Being a bit weaker would be the difference between winning and losing:
At the end of the day, democracy is about check and balances. If one doesn't perform, he/she should be replaceable and replaced.
I find it fascinating that it was a really peaceful election. There are reports of cheating here and there. I find it interesting that SPR can't seem to count quickly this time around and announce the winner quickly (see Shafie Apdal's win as an example). The discipline from the opposition side is impressive. Did those "in charge" felt the inevitability of announcing PH as the winner to not be able to repeat the "reported acts of cheating" the last time around.
PH does have its issues in my eyes. The question of who was right in the Mahathir vs Anwar fight will remain unanswered forever. Can the promises be kept? Can the losses under Najib be recouped? How about the issues of bickering and infighting? Will those who are more secular and those more religious be able to compromise and cooperate? Will Mahathir actually survive the term?
PAS can say whatever they want. I have no qualms in general with them ruling ADUN's and states. But to rule the country, they do not seem up to it. They request perfection as regards to their ideals, when politics is a game of compromises. If they only accept having 2 feet in the water or none, their feet just won't get wet. And the game of politics is to win, not preach. If one isn't up for winning, I'll pick the choice that wants to. Without partners from the beginning to win on a national level, they were bound to lose in achieving majority seats in Parliament. And I vote to get a winner I want. Not to lose. Kinda like treating patients; we treat them to get them better and not to just practice our procedure and clerking skills. Let's see what happens in those states where the PAS wins make them a so-called "king-maker".
And whose heads are gonna roll first now that the taskmaster is back in town? Government agencies? Media?
And where are the BN keyboard warriors now? The "new government" supporters are having a field day at the moment.
But it's a new day in Malaysian politics and we have to celebrate it. A day where check and balance finally worked on the national level and not just the state level.
And the 82% voter turnout was just fantastic.
(Addendum: added about the UTC and voter turnouts)