KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: Dissidents in Malaysia’s ruling party demanded the prime minister’s resignation Wednesday after opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim returned to Parliament with a sweeping election victory.
Anwar regained his Parliament seat in the north by a landslide in Tuesday’s by-election, delivering a demoralizing defeat for the government. Anwar’s success came on the heels of big gains the opposition made in the March general elections.
Veteran government lawmaker Razaleigh Hamzah, who wants to challenge Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for the leadership of the United Malays National Organization ruling party, said the results meant that “what scraps of credibility (Abdullah) had left” were gone.
Abdullah, however, played down the significance of Anwar’s triumph.
“I believe we can still continue the government,” Abdullah was quoted as saying by the Bernama national news agency. “What happened … was not something so big as to change the situation that exists after the last general election.” [more]