Malaysia PM could step down by November

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Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak faces pressure from party dissidents

Despite Malaysia’s government-controlled media, such as The New Straits Times, lauding Prime Minister Najib Razak’s election result as a “good performance,” there are reports that he is set to step down by the end of 2013 because he had not been able to deliver a stronger majority, a fact that conservatives in his ruling party United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) are holding against him.

Despite winning 133 seats in the 222-member parliament, the polls have been the worst electoral showing of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition since it – or its predecessor, the Alliance Party – took over power in 1957.

This fell short of the target of at least 140 seats set by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who is still a powerful figure in UMNO. Anything less had been considered an ‘unstable’ environment for Najib.

“We could see Najib step down by the end of this year,” a senior UMNO official was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Internal UMNO elections are to be held in October and November, and Najib might be challenged by dissidents.

“He may put up a fight, we don’t know, but he has definitely performed badly. He does not have so much bargaining power,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Alarmingly for Najib, support from majority ethnic Malays weakened significantly, a sign that middle-class and younger Malays are agitating for change, apart from the fact that many ethnic Chinese have turned their back to Barisan Nasional.

Meanwhile, the opposition party Pakatan Rakyat has said that it plans to contest as many as 30 seats that it lost by narrow margins, “exploring all legal and political avenues.”

Voting was dominated by widespread complaints that indelible ink meant to prevent multiple voting was easily removed.

The opposition had already alleged numerous irregularities including a charge that tens of thousands of “dubious” and possibly foreign voters were flown to key constituencies to sway results. The government denies the charge.

“Twenty to 30 seats were lost with very close majorities. We are exploring political pressure and all legal avenues,” opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said.

 

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak faces pressure from party dissidents

Despite Malaysia’s government-controlled media, such as The New Straits Times, lauding Prime Minister Najib Razak’s election result as a “good performance,” there are reports that he is set to step down by the end of 2013 because he had not been able to deliver a stronger majority, a fact that conservatives in his ruling party United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) are holding against him.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Najib2
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak faces pressure from party dissidents

Despite Malaysia’s government-controlled media, such as The New Straits Times, lauding Prime Minister Najib Razak’s election result as a “good performance,” there are reports that he is set to step down by the end of 2013 because he had not been able to deliver a stronger majority, a fact that conservatives in his ruling party United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) are holding against him.

Despite winning 133 seats in the 222-member parliament, the polls have been the worst electoral showing of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition since it – or its predecessor, the Alliance Party – took over power in 1957.

This fell short of the target of at least 140 seats set by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who is still a powerful figure in UMNO. Anything less had been considered an ‘unstable’ environment for Najib.

“We could see Najib step down by the end of this year,” a senior UMNO official was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Internal UMNO elections are to be held in October and November, and Najib might be challenged by dissidents.

“He may put up a fight, we don’t know, but he has definitely performed badly. He does not have so much bargaining power,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Alarmingly for Najib, support from majority ethnic Malays weakened significantly, a sign that middle-class and younger Malays are agitating for change, apart from the fact that many ethnic Chinese have turned their back to Barisan Nasional.

Meanwhile, the opposition party Pakatan Rakyat has said that it plans to contest as many as 30 seats that it lost by narrow margins, “exploring all legal and political avenues.”

Voting was dominated by widespread complaints that indelible ink meant to prevent multiple voting was easily removed.

The opposition had already alleged numerous irregularities including a charge that tens of thousands of “dubious” and possibly foreign voters were flown to key constituencies to sway results. The government denies the charge.

“Twenty to 30 seats were lost with very close majorities. We are exploring political pressure and all legal avenues,” opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said.

 

 

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