Landmark Malaysian election set for May 5

Malaysia's general election will be held on May 5, an electoral official said Wednesday, setting a long-awaited date for highly anticipated polls tipped to be the closest in the country's history.

Election Commission chairman Aziz Yusof said balloting would be preceded by a two-week official campaign period kicking off on April 20.

The United Malays National Organisation, which has controlled Malaysia since independence in 1957, is seeking to hold off a formidable opposition that has gained ground with promises to end corruption, cronyism and authoritarian rule.