Mar 29, 2008

Ku Li gets Mahathir's support to challenge PM Abdullah

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (Ku Li) had said he would challenge Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) leadership if he received enough support.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad on Saturday backed an ex-finance minister's bid to challenge the prime minister after the ruling coalition's recent surprise poll losses.

Senior lawmaker Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had said he would challenge Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) leadership if he received enough support.

UMNO leads the Barisan Nasional coalition that was humbled in the March 8 polls, and the party's leader traditionally takes the job of prime minister.

"Tengku Razaleigh may be one of them (to contest against Abdullah). A challenge (for the top post) is healthy," Mahathir said, adding: "I don't think UMNO is so poor in talent."

UMNO is scheduled to hold a party leadership election in December. Members of the party and former leaders including Mahathir have called on Abdullah to resign.

But Mahathir said it would be difficult for anyone to challenge Abdullah because of a requirement to secure 58 nominations from the 191 UMNO divisions.

"I think it should be abolished because of the tendency of the people in power to stifle any move to challenge them," he said.

Mahathir said Tengku Razaleigh failed to win sufficient nominations in 2004 for the top post because UMNO divisions were warned against nominating him.

"He (Tengku Razaleigh) only got one nomination because other divisions were told not to nominate him," he said.

Abdullah has claimed a mandate to rule despite the unprecedented election losses, but observers say he is on borrowed time as calls for his resignation persist.

Mar 28, 2008

Tun Mahathir Says People Attempting Frame-up To Silence Him

Tun Mahathir, who has repeatedly accused Abdullah's administration of corruption and nepotism during the past two years, said he knows his detractors believe he "did worse things" when he headed the government between 1981 and 2003.

"I am aware that people are looking into possible misdeeds by me during my 22 years so as to threaten me and ask me to shut up," Mahathir wrote in a letter to The Sun newspaper, without identifying the people.

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: Former Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad claimed Friday (28 Mar) that people were trying to dig up evidence that he committed crimes during his time in power to stop him from criticizing his embattled successor.

Mahathir was the first public figure to urge Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to resign after the ruling coalition suffered unprecedented losses in March 8 general elections. Several other coalition members, including Mahathir's son, have since echoed the demand.

Mahathir, who has repeatedly accused Abdullah's administration of corruption and nepotism during the past two years, said he knows his detractors believe he "did worse things" when he headed the government between 1981 and 2003.

"I am aware that people are looking into possible misdeeds by me during my 22 years so as to threaten me and ask me to shut up," Mahathir wrote in a letter to The Sun newspaper, without identifying the people.

"So far they have not found anything," Mahathir said. "Not only have I not taken anything that was not due to me while I was prime minister, but I have given back to the government and the people everything that I had received as gifts during my tenure of office."

He added that "unless there is a frame-up, I think there should be nothing to pin on me."

An aide to Abdullah declined to immediately comment. The prime minister has repeatedly rejected Mahathir's allegations of impropriety.

In his letter, Mahathir took fresh jabs at his hand-picked successor over a high-profile dispute between Abdullah and the country's constitutional monarch, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin.

Last week, Mizan dismissed Abdullah's advice that Idris Jusoh, the former chief minister of oil-rich Terengganu state, should keep the post after the elections. Abdullah conceded defeat Thursday and accepted the king's candidate.

"It should be noted that this kind of thing had never happened during the premiership of the four previous prime ministers. Concerned Malaysians should wonder why," Mahathir said.

Mahathir claimed the ruling coalition had implemented many "totally unnecessary and wasteful" infrastructure projects in Terengganu since 2004, adding there were suspicions that contracts for the projects went to those who had connections to Abdullah's family.

Mahathir's latest comments add to Abdullah's troubles after his National Front coalition lost its two-thirds majority in the recent elections, though it retained power with a simple majority. The coalition also lost control of five state legislatures.

Abdullah announced late Thursday (27 Mar) his party is delaying internal elections for top officers to December, four months later than anticipated. But he insisted he was not running away from rivals who might challenge him for the party presidency.

Mar 27, 2008

UMNO to hold elections in December, Ahmad backed as CM

Two important decisions were made at the UMNO Supreme Council decision - the decision not to defer party polls and Umno President Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today said the party had asked former Terengganu Chief Minister (Menteri Besar) Idris Jusoh to accept the Terengganu palace's decision to appoint Ahmad Said as the Menteri Besar.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's ruling party on Thursday decided to hold a leadership election in December, with Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi vowing to fight to stay on as party chief.

Abdullah has been battling for his political life since disastrous results in March 8 general elections by the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which leads the Barisan Nasional coalition.

"We will have elections to select the party leadership," Abdullah, who is UMNO president, said after chairing a meeting of the party's top decision-making body.

"The date that has been set is from the 16th to 20th December," he said, adding that "if they (possible candidates vying for his post) have the support and are ready to challenge me... why not? Go ahead, I am not going to run away."

The elections will also cover other posts within the party.

UMNO information chief Muhammad Muhammad Taib said earlier this week that party leaders had urged Abdullah to postpone the meeting until as late as June 2009.

But chief minister in Negri Sembilan state, Mohamad Hassan, said the party must act fast to reform after the polls, which saw the coalition lose its two-thirds parliamentary majority for the first time since 1969.

"I think we should face the problem head-on instead of running away from it," he said, according to the New Straits Times on Thursday.

"There is no use postponing because, even if we postpone it for five or six years, the problem will still be there and it might even escalate further," said Mohamad, who is also a UMNO supreme council member.

UMNO maverick Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, a former finance minister and a member of Malaysia's royalty, has said he would challenge Abdullah if he received enough support.

After the March 8 polls he called on the entire leadership to step down, saying the coalition had been "defeated and shamed on a scale without precedent in our history".

Former premier Mahathir Mohamad has also called on Abdullah to resign.

Meanwhile, Abdullah said that his government would accept Ahmad Said as the new chief minister of the oil-rich Terengganu state after weeks of wrangling.

"The government has agreed with the palace choice (Ahmad Said) for the post of chief minister for Terengganu," he said.

Abdullah has claimed a mandate to rule despite the election losses, but observers say he is on borrowed time as calls for his resignation persist.

He won a landslide victory in 2004 elections, but was punished in the latest polls over high inflation, rising crime rates and ethnic tensions in the multicultural nation.

Mar 25, 2008

PM says 'big mistake' to ignore cyber-campaign

Recently our new information minister has pledged not to impose curbs on bloggers, who have been accused by other government officials of spreading lies and undermining public stability. Now PM Abdullah has acknowledged that one of his biggest mistake for the recent election was to ignore cyber-campaigning. So be prepared for more cyber-campaigns in the near future.

KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysia's premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Tuesday his "biggest mistake" in disastrous elections was to ignore cyber-campaigning on the Internet which was seized by the opposition.

The powerful Barisan Nasional coalition suffered its worst-ever results in March 8 polls that left five states and a third of parliamentary seats in opposition hands.

The opposition, which was largely ignored by government-linked mainstream media, instead waged an enormously successful online campaign using blogs, news websites and SMS text messages.

"We certainly lost the Internet war, the cyber-war," Abdullah said in a speech to an investment conference.

"It was a serious misjudgement. We made the biggest mistake in thinking that it was not important," he said.

"We thought that the newspapers, the print media, the television was supposed to be important, but the young people were looking at SMS and blogs."

The comments are a major about-face for the government, which had vilified bloggers, calling them liars and threatening them with detention without trial under internal security laws.

In line with promises to reform after the humiliating election results, Abdullah said the government would "respond effectively" and move to empower young Malaysians.

"It was painful ... but it came at the right time, not too late," he said.

Malaysia's mainstream media are mostly part-owned by parties in the ruling coalition, and what was seen as biased coverage in the run-up to last month's vote, alienated voters and boosted demand for alternative news sources.

Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders ranks Malaysia 124 out of 169 on its worldwide press freedom index. It says mainstream media are "often compelled to ignore or to play down" opposition events.

Mar 22, 2008

Ku Li gets the backing of Tun Mahathir

Tun Mahathir supported the call by Ku Li for an emergency meeting for UMNO to discuss the recent election setback. However, Tun Mahathir denied that he is endorsing Ku Li for the post of UMNO President.

(Malaysiakini) Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said he supported the call by veteran Umno leader Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah for an emergency general meeting for the party to discuss its electoral setback in the March 8 polls.

However, he denied endorsing Razaleigh in his bid for the Umno presidency.

When pressed if he would back Razaleigh for the post, he said: "If I endorse him for the president's position, others will want it too."

mahathir book event 210308 01As for the EGM, Mahathir said: "I was told that Razaleigh has written letters to all the Umno divisions asking for an EGM to discuss problems affecting Malays. I support that suggestion.

"The issue of selecting the next president should only be discussed after we have thrashed out our problems.

"This is because there might be other people who are interested in the position," he told reporters after attending a book launch in Kuala Lumpur.

"Furthermore, to challenge for the Umno presidency he needs support from delegates from 60 divisions. I don't see 60 divisions brave enough to back him."

tengku razaleigh 02It was reported on Wednesday that Razaleigh wants to contest for presidency.

In 2004, he tried to challenge Prime Minister and Umno president Abdullah Ahmad Badawi but failed to obtain the necessary nominations. He received only one from his Gua Musang division.

Razaleigh had also previously challenged and narrowly lost to Mahathir in the 1987 party elections. This subsequently caused a split within the party with Razaleigh forming a splinter group, Semangat 46.

He was later invited back into the Umno fold by Mahathir in 1996 when he dissolved Semangat 46 and brought back all its members into Umno.

Razaleigh today found support on his call for an EGM from another unlikely source - party vice-president Muhyiddin Yassin - who said that he does not foresee any problems in holding one.

However, he said that the meeting must be held in accordance to the party’s constitution.

"Please keep in mind that any action taken should not weaken the party, which will be an additional burden.

"If it is for the betterment of the party, we cannot stop it. Otherwise, rethink what the end result will be," he added.

101 East - Affirmative action in Malaysia - 20 Mar 08

Penang plans to dismantle the country's controversial New Economic Policy.

Video Link : 101 East - Affirmative action in Malaysia - 20 Mar 08 - Pt 1

Video Link : 101 East - Affirmative action in Malaysia - 20 Mar 08 - Pt 2

Mar 21, 2008

Analysts say tough for Ku Li to shift UMNO support

"If this can help restore UMNO, then I am ready to accept the responsibility. I leave it to UMNO members, I am offering my services," Ku Li

KUALA LUMPUR: Four years ago, the prince from Kelantan tried to mount a challenge against a highly-popular Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) presidency and lost before he could even start.

This week, Mr Razaleigh Hamzah, a former Finance Minister, is back to offer himself as the white knight who could save an UMNO shaken to the core by its disastrous performance in the March 8 general election.

But while Mr Abdullah's political fortunes have plunged, it remains to be seen whether Mr Razaleigh's challenge this time will be any stronger — given the fact that he does not wield as much political clout within the party as he used to in the 1980s.

Amid rumblings within UMNO's rank-and-file that Prime Minister Abdullah should accept full responsibility for the ruling Barisan Nasional's (BN's) loss of its two-third majority in the polls, Mr Razaleigh said on Wednesday he was ready to contest party polls again.

Mr Razaleigh, 71, said he would contest the presidency of UMNO if he is nominated ahead of party elections in August, reported Malaysian newspapers yesterday. By virtue of UMNO's status as the BN's largest member, the party president will automatically become Malaysia's PM.

"If this can help restore UMNO, then I am ready to accept the responsibility. I leave it to UMNO members, I am offering my services," he was quoted as saying by Bernama news agency.

Mr Razaleigh has called for a special UMNO meeting in May to discuss the party's future, but it is unclear if he could muster enough support.

Mr Adnan Mansor, the newly-appointed UMNO secretary-general, responded by saying it was up to party members to decide whether to nominate Mr Razaleigh. But Mr Adnan expressed confidence that Mr Abdullah, 68, still commanded strong support in the party.

Mr Razaleigh's open challenge puts new pressure on Mr Abdullah to keep his grip on UMNO — but it remains to be seen if the rank-and-file also consider the Kelantan royalty as the right man to lead them out of the worst crisis the party is facing since the Anwar Ibrahim affair in the late 1990s.

According to The Malaysian Insider news website, all the power brokers in the party are still aligned to Mr Abdullah and hold senior positions in the party and Cabinet.

There is also little motivation for the likes of UMNO deputy president Najib Razak, UMNO vice-presidents Muhyiddin Yassin and Ali Rustam, and UMNO Youth leader Hishammuddin Hussein, to join Mr Razaleigh since allowing him to become party president could delay their own succession prospects, the news portal added.

Malaysian political analyst Khoo Kay Peng calls Mr Razaleigh's bid for the UMNO presidency a "long shot".

"Tengku Razaleigh has been out of mainstream UMNO politics for more than 10 years. He was most powerful when he was the Finance Minister, but he has lost the clout. It will be difficult for him to shift UMNO's power base and to hold UMNO's network together," he told TODAY.

Mr Khoo believes "some 25 to 30 per cent" of UMNO delegates are likely to vote for Mr Razaleigh in the event of a contest for the UMNO presidency.

Although the odds may be stacked against him, Mr Razaleigh — who could have been the PM had he succeeded in defeating Dr Mahathir Mohamad in the 1987 UMNO presidential election — should not be dismissed as an "opportunist", said political analyst Yang Razali Kassim.

"I think he has proven to be an UMNO loyalist over the years," Mr Yang Razali, who is from the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. "He challenged Dr Mahathir in the 1980s for the presidency in an open democratic way. He lost by a thin margin, left to form a splinter party but came back to UMNO and disbanded his splinter party for the sake of Malay unity, after a healing period. He has remained in UMNO since then."

And there are those who believe that Mr Razaleigh, whose nickname is Ku Li, may actually stand a chance against Mr Abdullah if the ground sentiments continue to sour.

"Based on past experience, Ku Li should not have much of a chance," said Dr Ooi Kee Beng, a fellow at the Institute of South-east Asian Studies.

"But we are in a new era now, so all old bets are off. He does have a chance because the UMNO ground is overwhelmed by the losses and things can go one way or the other," Dr Ooi told TODAY.

Mar 19, 2008

Rafidah expresses hurt over cabinet departure

Video Link : Rafidah to stay on as Wanita Umno chief

Oh, someone hurt Rafidah's feeling.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's former trade minister Rafidah Aziz expressed hurt Wednesday over being dropped from the new post-election cabinet after two decades in the job.

Rafidah said Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had told her of the decision only hours before it was announced, and that she was given no reason for being ousted.

"I wish Pak Lah had told me earlier on not to contest. He allowed me to contest. But I am also a human being," she said, using the prime minister's nickname.

However, the firebrand political veteran put on a brave face over the decision, saying she would now have more time to spend with her family and as head of the ruling party's influential women's wing.

"Thirty two years in government service and 20 years as minister, I am blessed and content," she said.

"I am so happy I served for so long, it's nothing to feel down about."

Rafidah said she was confident that the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) would recover from its worst election performance in history in March 8 polls.

The Barisan Nasional coalition led by UMNO lost its two-thirds majority for the first time since 1969 and conceded four more states to a resurgent opposition, in a debacle that triggered calls for Abdullah to resign.

UMNO heavyweight Muhyiddin Yassin replaced Rafidah at the ministry of international trade and industry.

PM Abdullah's new cabinet sworn in

While the new cabinet members were sworn in today, there were several resignations too. Datuk Seri Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad has resigned as Barisan Nasional and UMNO secretary-general, both Tengku Azlan and Anifah decline deputy minister's post. It has been reported that former Tourism Minister Tengku Adnan Mansor will replace Radzi Sheikh Ahmad as the new UMNO secretary general.

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) — Malaysia's cabinet was sworn in Wednesday in a ceremony at the royal palace, a day after Prime Minister Abdullah unveiled the new line-up.

Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak led the 32 ministers and 35 deputy ministers as they took the oath of office before King Mizan Zainal Abidin.

Abdullah cut down the size of the cabinet from 90 to 68 positions, and axed several political veterans in an effort to rejuvenate his administration after unprecedented losses in March 8 polls.

The ruling coalition surrendered its two-thirds majority for the first time in four decades, and lost four more states in a drubbing that has triggered calls for Abdullah's resignation.

Trade minister Rafidah Aziz, who had held the post since 1987, was the biggest casualty of the reshuffle, which also saw some government critics given influential roles.

In another sign of reform plans in the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), former home minister Radzi Sheikh Ahmad, who was dropped from the cabinet, resigned as the party's secretary-general Wednesday.

"I have offered my resignation as secretary-general of UMNO and of Barisan Nasional and the prime minister has accepted my resignation," said Radzi, who role had placed him among a handful of top party leaders.

"I feel that I cannot work effectively any more in the present circumstances," he said, but sidestepped queries over whether he had decided to resign rather than face dismissal.

"It is (Abdullah's) prerogative, he wants to have new faces," he told reporters.

"In politics there are always people taking over, no one is indispensable in politics, it may appear to be but life goes on."

Mar 18, 2008

Umno Youth: No action against Mukhriz

No action will be taken against Mukhriz for writing a letter to Abdullah asking him to step down following the March 8 polls.

(Malaysiakini) Umno Youth today decided to pass the buck back to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi regarding action to be taken against its errant leader Mukhriz Mahathir.

Following the Umno Youth executive council meeting, the movement’s chief Hishammuddin Hussein said no action will be taken against Mukhriz for writing a letter to Abdullah asking him to step down following the March 8 polls.

He said that Umno Youth has accepted the controversial letter as a personal missive which was leaked out to the general public.

"There are so many other more important issues faced by Umno Youth apart from Mukhriz," he told a press conference.

Last week, Abdullah, who is also Umno president, said he will leave it to Umno Youth and Hishamuddin to handle the matter.

Accept responsibility

In his March 12 letter, Mukhriz, the son of former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, had urged Abdullah to accept responsibility for Barisan Nasional’s disastrous performance in the elections.

Met after the meeting, Mukhriz, who won the Jerlun parliamentary seat, said he sticks to the points raised in his letter.

"We want to become a party which is more relevant and accepted by the people. I am happy that there is room in Umno Youth to voice issues which are not agreed upon (by the others)," he added.

Mukhriz's letter was also criticised by Hishammuddin who said that it was the latter’s personal stand and does not reflect the view of Umno Youth which expressed support for Abdullah’s leadership.

PM Abdullah cuts size of cabinet

Video Link : Malaysiakini - PM unveils trimmed-down cabinet

No more Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz as Trade Minister while PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi remains as Minister of Finance while Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop will continue to be Second Finance Minister.

The full list:

Prime Minister
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi

Deputy Prime Minister
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak

Ministers in the Prime Minister's Department
Tan Sri Bernard Dompok
Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz
Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
Datuk Mohd Zaid Ibrahim
Datuk Amirsham Abdul Aziz

Deputy Ministers in the Prime Minister's Department
Datuk Johari Baharom
Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim
Datuk K. Devamany
Datuk Hassan Malik

Minister - Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Second Finance Minister - Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop
Deputies - Datuk Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, Datuk Kong Cho Ha

Minister - Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak
Deputy - Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusop

Internal Security and Home Affairs
Minister - Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar
Deputies - Datuk Chor Chee Heong, Senator Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh

Housing and Local Government
Minister -Datuk Ong Ka Chuan
Deputies - Datuk Robert Lau , Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin

Works Minister
Minister - Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamad
Deputy- Datuk Yong Khoon Seng

Energy, Water and Communications
Minister - Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor
Deputy- Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum

Agriculture and Agro-based Industry
Minister - Datuk Mustapa Mohamed
Deputy - Datin Paduka Rohani Abdul Karim

International Trade and Industry
Minister -Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin
Deputies- Loh Wei Keong, Datuk Jacob Dungau Sagan

Foreign Affairs
Minister -Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim
Deputy- Tunku Azlan Abu Bakar

Minister -Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein
Deputies -Datuk Wee Ka Siong, Datuk Razali Ismail

Higher Education
Minister - Datuk Khaled Nordin
Deputies - Khoo Kok Choong, Datuk Idris Harun

Datuk Ong Tee Keat
Deputy - Anifah Aman

Human Resources
Datuk S. Subramaniam
Deputy- Datuk Noraini Ahmad

Women, Family and Community Development
Minister-Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen
Deputy- Noriah Kasnon

National Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage
Minister- Datuk Shafie Apdal
Deputy-Datuk Teng Boon Soon

Science, Technology and Innovation
Minister- Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili
Deputy- Fadilah Yusof

Entrepreneurial and Cooperative Development
Minister - Datuk Noh Omar
Deputy- Datuk Saiffuddin Abdullah

Natural Resources and Environment
Minister - Datuk Douglas Unggah Embas
Deputy - Datuk Abu Ghapur Salleh

Rural and Regional Development
Minister - Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib
Deputy- Tan Sri Joseph Kurup

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs
Minister - Datuk Shahrir Samad
Deputy - Jelaing Mersat

Plantation Industries and Commodities
Minister - Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui
Deputy- Senator A. Kohilan

Youth and Sports
Minister - Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaacob
Deputy - Wee Jack Seng

Minister - Datuk Liow Tiong Lai
Deputy- Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad

Minister - Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek
Deputy- Datuk Tan Lian Hoe

Minister - Datuk Azalina Othman
Deputy - Datuk Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Abu Taib

Minister - Datuk Zulhasnan Rafique
Deputy- M. Saravanan

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Tuesday he had cut the number of cabinet positions from 90 to 68 in his post-election administration and that more than half were "new faces".

"More than half of the cabinet ministers are new faces and I hope they can serve the people effectively," he told a press conference.

Abdullah, who will keep the finance ministry portfolio to himself, retained Nor Mohamed Yakcop as the second finance minister. Najib Razak will remain as deputy prime minister.

The prime minister dropped Rafidah Aziz from the trade ministry, replacing her with outgoing agriculture minister Muhyiddin Yassin as the country's new trade minister.

He also named outgoing foreign minister Syed Hamid Albar as home minister, and Rais Yatim as the new foreign minister.

According to the line-up announced on Tuesday, Ong Tee Keat is named transport minister, while Mohd Zin and Shaziman Abu Mansor are named works minister and telecoms minister respectively.

Abdullah said the outgoing CEO of Maybank, Amirsham Aziz, will head the economic planning unit under the finance ministry.

Abdullah has faced calls to rejuvenate his administration after a major setback for the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition in the March 8 polls which saw it lose its two-thirds parliamentary majority for the first time since 1969.

Mar 17, 2008

PM Abdullah expected to unveil new cabinet on Tuesday

Observers have said PM Abdullah will have difficulty finding ethnic minority candidates to fill prominent posts, after the Chinese and Indian parties in the coalition were punished in the elections.

KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysia's Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is expected Tuesday to unveil a new cabinet, which observers said will indicate his appetite for reform after humiliating election results.

Abdullah has defied calls to quit after the March 8 polls and is promising "new faces" in a cabinet tipped to be trimmed in size after the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition lost its two-thirds majority for the first time since 1969.

"The announcement is expected to be made on Tuesday," a spokesman from the prime minister's office told AFP.

Abdullah's previous cabinet had a whopping 32 ministers, 39 deputy ministers and 20 parliamentary secretaries, with jobs handed out to many of the 14 race-based parties that make up the coalition.

The large cabinet had been criticised as unwieldy and wasteful, and there is speculation that some ministries could be merged now that there will be just 140 Barisan Nasional lawmakers, compared to 198 in the outgoing administration.

However, newspaper report have said Abdullah faces a headache in reducing positions while still mollifying coalition members who are being courted by opposition figurehead Anwar Ibrahim.

Abdullah has said that the new line-up will reflect the coalition's racial power-sharing concept and include all the communities - majority Muslim Malays and minority ethnic Chinese and Indians.

But observers have said he will have difficulty finding ethnic minority candidates to fill prominent posts, after the Chinese and Indian parties in the coalition were punished in the elections.

The only Indian cabinet minister in the outgoing administration, Samy Vellu, lost his parliamentary seat, which he had held since 1974.

The minority parties in the coalition bore the brunt of voter anger over rising "Islamisation" of Malaysia and criticisms the government was insensitive towards the needs of minorities.

Political analysts have said that Abdullah's United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which leads the coalition, is in urgent need of reform and that the cabinet line-up will indicate whether that is likely to happen.

"Abdullah needs to make really bold moves, to bring in an economic team that brings confidence to the investment community," said Bridget Welsh, a Southeast Asia expert from Johns Hopkins University who observed the elections.

"That means new faces, and the minute he removes older faces he weakens himself further with more infighting and leadership challenges," she said.

"So my feeling is that they'll put bandaids on the wounds, and this is how they'll continue to govern."

Perak MB sworns in and waives summons

The new Perak MB has pledged to support all federal government projects planned for Perak "that benefit the rakyat".

IPOH: As the new Perak Mentri Besar was being sworn in, several groups continued to call for Barisan Nasional to be recognised as the legitimate state government.

Perak PAS secretary and Pasir Panjang assemblyman Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin was sworn-in as Mentri Besar, taking the oath of office before the Regent of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah at Istana Iskandariah in Kuala Kangsar at 11.45am on Monday.

However, individuals and members of several non-governmental organisations had started gathering at Istana Kinta in Ipoh as early as 8am.

The organisations’ representatives presented letters to the palace at about 10am, pledging support for a Barisan minority government.

Former Perak Barisan elected representatives council (Mubarak) secretary Datuk Dr Dzulkarnain Abdul Rahman said Barisan had the more legitimate claim as it held 28 seats.

“We are only here to give the memorandums to the Sultan of Perak, not to stage a protest,” said Dr Dzulkarnain, who is also Perak Umno Veteran vice chairman.

erak Mentri Besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin has announced a waiver for all compound notices and parking summonses issued by local councils in the state up till Monday.

He also pledged to support all federal government projects planned for Perak "that benefit the rakyat".

The announcement comes on the back of a similar move announced by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng last week.

Mar 16, 2008

PM Abdullah defiant despite fading prospects

It is true that observers say he is on borrowed time as calls for his resignation persist?.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has defiantly claimed a mandate to rule despite unprecedented election losses, but observers say he is on borrowed time as calls for his resignation persist.

"I will run the government. I'm in charge," Abdullah said in a television interview a week after his Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition was humbled by the loss of four states and a third of parliamentary seats.

"I do not believe that with a majority less than two-thirds we become incapable or incapacitated or we become lifeless and cannot do anything else," he said late Saturday.

After securing the support of his party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) which leads the coalition, he has made plans to unveil a new cabinet and implement a series of mega-projects.

Abdullah admitted that Malaysians were disappointed with his administration, which was criticised as weak and unable to deliver on promises made ahead of 2004 polls which he won in a landslide.

"People are unhappy over what has transpired over the last four years since I took over," he said in another nationally broadcast interview Friday.

"I accept in good faith the decision of the people," he said, noting that seething racial tensions, inflation and rising crime rates had led to voters punishing him in the polls.

Just before Friday's address, the son of former premier Mahathir Mohamad wrote to Abdullah calling on him to quit, in the first open sign of revolt from within UMNO.

"I feel that Abdullah has to take responsibility for our losses and that the honourable thing to do is to withdraw," said Mukhriz Mahathir, who is a member of UMNO's powerful youth wing.

Mahathir has also pushed for Abdullah to step down, accusing him of "destroying" the ruling party and the coalition, and saying he regretted selecting him for the top job when he stood down in 2003.

Pressure on the premier is also coming from UMNO's rank-and-file who have signed up to a petition for him to quit posted on a pro-Mahathir website.

Anlaysts said Abdullah's days as prime minister are numbered and that if he refused to step down he would likely be challenged at UMNO's internal elections later this year.

"He's a lame duck prime minister," said Bridget Welsh, a Southeast Asia expert from Johns Hopkins University who observed the elections.

"The reality is the business community is looking at him and thinking, how long will he stay there, and the longer he stays it's going to introduce more uncertainty."

Farish Noor from the Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore said Abdullah's government was punished for failing to deliver on its big reform promises in the last 2004 polls.

"Abdullah dug his own grave by promising more than he could chew on. He could have saved himself by delivering at least half of it," he told AFP.

"I strongly suspect that moves will be made at the upcoming UMNO general assembly to force Abdullah to step down."

The premier is expected to unveil a new cabinet within days, and observers are watching closely to see if his promises of a fresh new line-up will be realised.

Mohammad Agus Yusoff, a political analyst from the National University of Malaysia said the political upheaval should prompt Abdullah to make difficult reforms.

"He is on the right track if he is thinking of revamping the BN and its policies. The country will benefit from this scenario," he said.

Welsh said however that while investor confidence may be bolstered by fresh faces in the government, Abdullah may be exposing himself to further challenges.

"The minute he removes older faces he weakens himself further with more infighting and leadership challenges," she said.

Mar 15, 2008

Abdullah Leaves It To Umno Youth To Act Against Mukhriz

PUTRAJAYA, March 14 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has left it to Umno Youth to take action against Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, who is an executive committee member of the movement, for asking him to step down as the prime minister.

"I am leaving it to Datuk Seri Hishammuddin (Tun Hussein, the Umno Youth chief) to take the appropriate action (against Mukhriz), he told Bernama in an interview at Seri Perdana, the official residence of the Prime Minister here.

He said this when asked to comment on a letter written by Mukhriz and sent to the Prime Minister whereby Mukhriz had urged Abdullah to take responsibility for the Barisan Nasional's poor performance in Saturday's general election and step down as the prime minister.

"A day before he sent the letter to me, he issued a statement voicing support for me and that collective responsibility must be taken for what happened and several other statements that were seen as positive to me.

"Suddenly he has made an about turn... just a day after that he sent the letter, not only to me but also Datuk (Seri) Najib (Tun Razak) and the whole country. "To me this is not good way or approach. This is one reaction from him as a member of Umno Youth, which has already taken a decision to support me and the party leadership.

"He has also stated I and Najib should be supported to lead the party and government...this (letter asking Abduallh to step down) contradicst the stand taken by Umno and the Umno Youth movement," said Abdullah.

In KUALA LUMPUR, Hishammuddin had earlier said that if it was true that Mukhriz had indeed sent such a letter, it was done in his personal capacity.

Umno Youth stood by its earlier statement that it was solidly behind Abdullah as Umno president and Najib as deputy president, he said in a statement sent to Bernama.

Mar 14, 2008

Datuk Mukhriz's letter to PM Abdullah

Translation below:

12th March 2008

Dato' Seri,

Let me take this opportunity to thank you and the party's leadership for the faith in me and the chance to contest in Jerlun as a Barisan Nasional candidate. With the blessing and hard work of the party's leadership and machinery as well as the people of Jerlun, I have won the elections and am now a new Member of Parliament.

However, sadly enough, my victory is rendered meaningless in view of the defeat that Umno and the Kedah BN suffered in the hands of the opposition. Apart form Kedah, four other states as well as the Federal Territories also received similar humiliation in defeat.

In fact your own state of Penang was wrested by the DAP from the BN. Kelantan is again under Pas rules. In other states, the BN also suffered a similar humiliation when the level of BN support by the people has tremendously reduced. This, Datuk Seri, has never happened in the history of BN rule.

The sole intention of my letter to you is meant to save UMNO and BN from being rejected further by the people and from being no longer relevant to our religion, race and nation.

Dato' Seri, the people are unhappy and the message from them is very clear, and that is they have rejected you as the nation's chief executive.

Contrary to your claim that you still have the support of Umno and other component parties, the reality is that even our own party members had reneged in their voting pattern by supporting the Opposition and inflicting the BN its defeat.

Dato' Seri, when the people held street demonstrations you openly dared them to resort to the ballot boxes to demonstrate.

They took your challenge by coming out, especially tho people in the Peninsular, and they demonstrated their feelings by voting us out at the BN at State and Parliament levels.

It is therefore clear that your leadership and your handling of the issues faced by the people and the nation are no longer accepted. Let's not deny the truth just for the sake of keeping your seat as Prime Minister.

For the love of this country and the people, I beg that you take responsibility for the defeat. We can save UMNO, the BN and the nation only if you relinquish your positions as Prime Minister and the President of UMNO.

Dato' Seri, I hope you will understand that I make this plea with the intention of salvaging a very dire situation. A move has been made to woo the BN representatives to join the Opposition. The enemy needs just 35 seats more to topple the government of your leadership.

If you do not resign in the near future, I fear that the situation will become untenable and that the Malay support for Umno and BN will be a thing of the past.

This plea I make without malice, and I am aware that your reaction and that of other UMNO members could very well be hostile.

But come what may, I am prepared, for the sake of the Malays and UMNO, to face the consequences of my action. With all humility, I leave my fate to Allah SWT.

Dato' Seri, I am sure that you will do the right thing for the sake of the people and the nation. May Allah SWT bless you for the sacrifice you make by stepping down.


Yours Sincerely

Mukhriz Mahathir
Jerlun Member Parlament

AFP News

Former PM Mahathir's son calls on Malaysian PM to resign
KUALA LUMPUR: Former premier Mahathir Mohamad's son on Friday revived calls for Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to resign after the ruling coalition's unprecedented election setback.

"I feel that Abdullah has to take responsibility for our losses and that the honourable thing to do is to withdraw," said Mukhriz Mahathir, who has written to the premier calling for him to quit.

The call adds to the pressure on Abdullah, who heads the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which leads the Barisan Nasional coalition that was humbled in the March 8 polls.

"By his resignation, then at least the confidence in UMNO and Barisan Nasional will be somewhat restored in the eyes not only of the people but also our members," Mukhriz told AFP.

As a member of UMNO's influential young wing, Mukhriz is the highest-ranking member of the party to openly push for Abdullah to stand down.

The premier won his party's backing in a meeting on Monday and he has vowed not to surrender.

In his letter to Abdullah dated March 12, Mukhriz said the election result was a strong message from voters.

"The unhappy voters gave a clear message, that is they reject you as head of the government," he said.

"Therefore if (Abdullah) does not resign soon, I really fear that the trust by the people in UMNO and Barisan will disintegrate."

Mahathir, who led UMNO and the nation for 22 years before stepping down in 2003, lashed out at his successor after the worst performance in its half-century rule over Malaysia.

"My view is he has destroyed UMNO, destroyed the BN and he has been responsible for this," the veteran politician said on Sunday.

Mahathir has previously said he never intended for Abdullah to serve more than one term, and that he should have opted instead for influential deputy prime minister Najib Razak who is now leader-in-waiting.

Videos : "Do the right thing!"

Video Link : Ex-MCA veep Chua Jui Meng asks MCA President Ong Ka Ting to do the right thing

Video Link : Umno Youth exco Mukhriz Mahathir asks PM Abdullah to do the right thing.

So next we can expect someone from MIC to ask MIC president Datuk Seri Samy Vellu to do the right thing?
KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 (Bernama)-- MCA veteran Datuk Chua Jui Meng has asked party president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting to step down following the MCA's dismal performance in the 12th general election on March 8.

Chua said Ong should take full responsibility for the MCA's loss in the election and step down from the president's post.

"The Chinese community at large has lost confidence in Ong's leadership in the MCA and therefore he has to resign from his post as party president", he told reporters at his office here, today.

In response to Ong's announcement that he had rejected a cabinet post or any government post, Chua, who was a former Health Minister, said that the measure was not enough.

Chua said the MCA's defeat was also due to the new faces, many of whom were strangers to their areas and were inexperienced.

The MCA had won only 15 of the 40 parliamentary seats it contested and 31 of the 90 state seats in the polls this year.

In the 2004 election, the MCA won 31 of the 40 parliamentary and 70 of the 90 state seats.

Asked who would fill the president's post if Ong were to step down, he said it was up to the party's Central Committee to decide who would lead the MCA.

Mar 13, 2008

Al-Jazeera's Riz Khan - Malaysia's election tsunami 12th Mac 2008

Video Link : Riz Khan - Malaysia's election tsunami - 12 Mar 08

Perak MB's swearing-in put off

The drama continues..

(NST) The drama behind the controversial appointment of Pas’ Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin as Perak Mentri besar is still boiling, split between two places – the meeting of Nizar and the other two MB nominees, Ngeh Koo Ham and Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi, with the Regent of Perak Raja Nazrin Shah in Istana Kinta in Ipoh, and the swearing in ceremony at Istana Iskandariah in Kuala Kangsar.

Although Nizar’s appointment provoked a disapproving outburst from DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang, the palace insisted that Nizar was the apt choice, given that the coalition had given their three names for the Sultan of Perak to make the selection.

It would seem that the haggling on who should be in the Exco has compelled more negotiations into the night, prompting a postponement in the swearing in of Nizar as Mentri Besar.

Later, Ngeh issued a statement that Raja Nazri Shah had instructed the coalition to collect the signatures of all 31 DAP-PKR-Pas assemblymen that they:

  • agree to work together under a coalition government; and,

  • also agree that Nizar is their collective choice as Mentri Besar.

Ngeh denied that the postponement was due to PKR's threat to pull out of the coalition because they didn't get their Exco seat allocation.

PM Abdullah to unveil new cabinet next week

It is a smaller cabinet this time than the one formed in 2004 because of the reduced number of Barisan MPs this time around. Both MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting and MIC president Datuk Seri Samy Vellu have declined any Cabinet post. Gerakan is also unlikely to get any Cabinet position as its acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon was defeated together with other party top guns. It now has only two MPs. All the Barisan Nasional leaders have submitted lists of potential ministers to the PM.

KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysia's Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is expected to unveil a new streamlined cabinet as soon as Monday, reducing the number of minister posts after a shocking upset in the recent general elections, the Star reported Thursday.

The daily also cited sources as saying that posts would be trimmed in line with the smaller government presence in parliament, where it now has 140 lawmakers compared to 198 in the outgoing administration.

Mr Abdullah told state news agency Bernama that the new cabinet would reflect the ruling coalition's power-sharing concept and will include all communities.

The ruling Barisan Nasional coalition lost its two-thirds majority for the first time in four decades, and conceded four more states to a resurgent opposition in March 8 polls.

The previous cabinet had a whopping 32 ministers, 39 deputy ministers and 20 parliamentary secretaries, with jobs handed out to many of the 14 race-based parties that make up the Barisan Nasional.

The large cabinet had been criticised as unwieldy and wasteful, but The Star said Abdullah faced a headache in reducing positions while still keeping the coalition members happy.

It said some ministries could be merged.

Political observers have also said that Mr Abdullah will have difficulties finding ethnic minority candidates to fill prominent posts, after the Chinese and Indian parties in the coalition were punished in the elections.

The only Indian cabinet minister in the outgoing administration, Samy Vellu, lost his parliamentary seat which he had held since 1974.

Kit Siang apologises to Perak Regent over MB issue

Kit Siang apologizes, while someone is trying to make a case out of it.

PETALING JAYA: DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang has apologised to the Regent of Perak Dr Raja Nazrin Shah for his statement on Wednesday over the appointment of Perak Pas secretary Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as Mentri Besar.

In Ipoh, Perak DAP chief Ngeh Koo Ham, who will be made Deputy Mentri Besar, said Thursday that all representatives from the DAP-PKR-PAS coalition will attend the swearing-in of the Mentri Besar at 4pm today.

The following is Lim's full statement issued on Thursday:

My three-paragraph statement at 7pm last night (Wednesday) that the DAP Central Executive Committee emergency meeting on 9th March had not give approval for a PAS Mentri Besar to head a Perak coalition state government was not made out of disrespect to the Perak Regent whom I have always held in the highest regard and I apologise for any offence caused.

The statement (was) on the party position at the time.

There have been further discussions and developments on the matter in the hours after the statement.

Announcements of the latest position will be made.

Lim Kit Siang

Related Articles :

Mar 12, 2008

PAS' Nizar is new Perak MB

PAS' Nizar has been selected as the new Perak MB, however the decision to appoint a PAS Assemblyman Mohamad Nizar Jamaludin as Perak Mentri Besar has caused shock and consternation to DAP leaders, members and supporters. DAP Perak Assemblymen will stay away from the swearing-in ceremony for Perak Mentri Besar scheduled tomorrow.

(NST) Pas' Nizar is new Perak MB, historic two deputy MBs post created
Perak DAP chief Ngeh Koo Ham, who is Sitiawan also assemblyman and Beruas MP, will be appointed as deputy Mentri Besar 1. It is believed that a Parti Keadilan Rakyat state assemblyman will be appointed as deputy Menteri Besar 11 and represent the Indian community. PKR has seven state assemblyman with Hutan Melintang assemblyman S. Kesavan being the only Indian who defeated National MIC Women deputy chief S. Thangasvari.

The swearing-in ceremony is scheduled to take place at Istana Iskandariah In Kuala Kangsar at 4pm tomorrow.

Speaking to reporters at Istana Kinta here today, Mohammad Nizar pledged that the coalition government's commitment in serving the people and called upon supporters to accept the appointment wholeheartedly.

"The Regent of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah has expressed his wish for a smooth transition of power and we hope the rakyat will ignore baseless rumours and allegations going around,” he said. "We will do our best in the interests of the people and hope to perform better than the previous government.”

Meanwhile, Ngeh said the name of the second deputy Menteri Besar would be announced after the swearing-in ceremony. "We will hold a meeting on this matter tonight and also decide on the possible Exco line-up," he said.

The three-party coalition, on Tuesday, had submitted the names of three candidates -- one each from DAP, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and Pas -- to Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak for consideration for appointment as Mentri besar.

Apart from Mohammad Nizar and Ngeh, state PKR treasurer and Behrang assemblyman Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi was also included in the list. In the March 8 general election, DAP secured the highest number of state seats with 18, followed by PKR with seven and Pas with six in the 59-seat state assembly.

PAS urges PM Abdullah to resign after poll defeat

"You've got to learn to survive a defeat. That's when you develop character."
Richard M. Nixon.

KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysia's Islamic party, which made big strides in weekend elections, on Tuesday called on Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to resign in the interests of the nation.

Abdullah was sworn in for a second term and won the backing of his ruling coalition on Monday despite the worst electoral setback in its half-century rule over Malaysia.

PAS vice president Husam Musa said Abdullah must take responsibility for the Barisan Nasional coalition's loss of its two-thirds majority and another four states to the three-party opposition alliance.

"We are calling for his resignation not in the interest of PAS or any party. It is in the interest of the nation," he told reporters, adding the prime minister should quit before the country is dragged into a "semi-crisis".

"We want to see a more stable Malaysia. Very weak leadership cannot bring progress to Malaysia," he said.

PAS, the Chinese-based Democratic Action Party, and Keadilan - led by former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim - formed a loose alliance to deny Barisan the two-thirds majority it needs to amend the constitution at will.

Musa hailed the unprecedented seizure of four states, which lie along Malaysia's west coast, and include the nation's two wealthiest regions of Selangor and Penang, which is Abdullah's home state.

PAS also extended its majority in northern Kelantan which it has ruled since 1990.

"The whole corridor has collapsed and the prime minister doesn't even have his own political base after losing Penang," Husam said.

"Even the stock market has reacted to this instability," he added, referring to the 9.5 percent slump on the local bourse on Monday.

Abdullah has already resisted calls by his predecessor Mahathir Mohamad to step down, with the veteran politician saying he had made a mistake in selecting him for the top job in 2003.

Mar 11, 2008

Al-Jazeera : Inside Story- Change for Malaysia 10th March 08

Video Link : Inside Story- Change for Malaysia?- 10 Mar 08- Part 1

Video Link : Inside Story- Change for Malaysia?- 10 Mar 08- Part 2

Inside Story's Sami Zeidan examines the drastic shift in Malaysian politics.

Former Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin still denies the power of new media

Video Link : Former Information Minister's Swan Song

Whether you accept whether blogs or SMSes have any influence on the election, all you got to do is to look at the election result. Enough said.

PM Abdullah pities his son-in-law, Khairy

Oh, you poor boy, Khairy.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today reiterated strongly that Khairy Jamaluddin had never been an influence in whatever he has done or decision he has made.

"Khairy is not an influence in whatever I do. He's the Umno Youth vice-head, and he has his idea about anything.

"There may be some coincidence that he speaks about the same policy and not because the policy is what he has promoted, it's a policy of the government," the Prime Minister told newsmen at the Umno Headquarters, here.

He added that as an Umno member, it was a duty for Khairy to know policies of the government and talk about it.

"It doesn't mean that when we talk about the policy, it means that it's the policy he suggested," he said when commenting on a statement made by his predecessor, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday alleging that Khairy was responsible for the major defeat suffered by Barisan Nasional (BN) in the just-concluded general election.

The Umno president said what happened to Khairy was due to the misperception based on the fact that the latter was the son-in-law of the Prime Minister.

"He's not the one who says `Babah (daddy), please accept this and I (Abdullah) accept it, and this one you (Abdullah) must do. He doesn't do that.

"This is a perception, I think it's a wrong perception and I pity Khairy for that kind of perception that happened on his goal, and his relationship with me as son-in-law and father-in-law," he said. The Prime Minister said Khairy was a person who spoke openly and had actively voiced out his opinion as many had heard during the Umno general assembly. "Anybody is free to give opinions, anybody is free to give views, and Khairy, like anybody else, speaks openly and statements do come out in the Press," said Abdullah.

Mar 10, 2008

KLSE stocks fall more than 10%

KL Stock Exchange is going south. State-owned banks like Bumiputra-Commerce Holdings Bhd and government-linked companies such as Malaysian Resources Corp, UEM World Bhd and Sime Darby were among counters that registered falling prices.

(Malaysiakini) Malaysian stocks tumbled the most in a decade today with government-linked companies hardest hit after the weekend’s political upsets.

At 2:58pm, trading was stopped for an hour as the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) fell by 10 percent or 130.01 points to 1,166.32, from the previous day’s closing level.

This was the biggest one-day percentage loss in recent years. The turnover was valued at RM2.47 billion.

State-owned banks like Bumiputra-Commerce Holdings Bhd and government-linked companies such as Malaysian Resources Corp, UEM World Bhd and Sime Darby were among counters that registered falling prices.

According to a statement from Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd, the decision to halt trading is to maintain market stability and allow traders to consider new information before making investment decisions.

When the KLCI registers a 10 percent drop from the previous day’s closing level, the circuit breaker is automatically triggered.

Trading resumed at 3:58pm.

However, as investors unloaded local stocks, credit rating agencies Fitch and Moody’s maintained their sovereign ratings on Malaysia.

Despite acknowledging that the level of political uncertainty in the country had increased, the agencies said the economy is still on solid ground.

PM Abdullah sworn in

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was sworn in for his second term Monday, defying calls to quit after presiding over the ruling coalition's worst ever election results.

Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was sworn in at 11.10am in front of King Mizan Zainal Abidin, the constitutional monarch, and dozens of government dignitaries in the national palace's glittering throne room.

The ceremony was telecast live.

Earlier on Sunday, former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad called for Mr Abdullah's resignation and added that he had 'apparently made the wrong choice' when he hand-picked Mr Abdullah to succeed him in 2003.

However, national news agency Bernama quoted him on Sunday as saying he doesn't need to step down because he still has strong support, especially from ruling party leaders.

'I will not resign because there is no pressure,' he was quoted as saying.

Mr Abdullah will chair the Umno Supreme Council meeting at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), Kuala Lumpur at noon on Monday.

He will also chair the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council meeting at the
same venue at 3.30pm.

US says PM Abdullah remains a viable partner despite poll defeat

Pak Lah is not quitting and he is a viable partner for US.

WASHINGTON : Washington stands ready to keep up close cooperation with the current government of Malaysia, a US State Department spokesman said on Sunday, despite a stunning election defeat for the country's ruling party.

The election setback on Saturday for the Barisan Nasional coalition, which has ruled Malaysia for half a century, put a question mark over the future of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

State Department spokesman Kurtis Cooper said Abdullah remains a viable partner for the United States.

"We have seen the preliminary election results and we look forward to working closely with Prime Minister Abdullah's government on a wide range of issues of mutual interest," Cooper told AFP on Sunday.

The election was a major victory for opposition leader and former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim, who has made a spectacular political comeback since his 1998 sacking and imprisonment.

Abdullah has said his coalition could still form the next government, but conceded that Saturday's election could be a vote of no-confidence in his leadership, which has been criticised as weak and ineffectual.

The defeat was the worst ever for Malaysia's government, which lost its two-thirds majority and four states to buoyant opposition.

Mar 9, 2008

Tun Mahathir says PM Badawi has destroyed BN

"My view is he has destroyed UMNO, destroyed the BN and he has been responsible for this,"

"I think he should accept responsibility for this. He should accept 100 percent responsibility,"

"I am sorry but I apparently made the wrong choice."

"I think the people must have been very angry, all the races, Chinese, Malays and Indians,"

"The problem is we (the government) have become so arrogant. We suppress any opinion that we do not like and they begin to believe in their own reports which are not actually consistent with what is happening in the country."

- Tun Mahathir, 9th March 2008

KUALA LUMPUR, March 9, 2008 (AFP) - Malaysia's former premier Mahathir Mohamad said Sunday his successor Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has "destroyed" the ruling

Mahathir, who led the ruling United National Malays Organisation (UMNO) which helms the Barisan Nasional coalition (BN) for 22 years before stepping down in 2003, lashed out after its worst performance in history.

"My view is he has destroyed UMNO, destroyed the BN and he has been responsible for this," Mahathir told reporters.

He suggested Abdullah should resign, and said he had made a mistake in selecting him as prime minister.

"I think he should accept responsibility for this. He should accept 100 percent responsibility," he said.

"I am sorry but I apparently made the wrong choice."

Mahathir has previously said he never intended for Abdullah to serve more than one term, and that he should have opted instead for influential deputy prime minister Najib Razak who is now leader-in-waiting.

The Barisan Nasional suffered its worst ever result in Saturday's polls, losing its two-thirds majority in parliament for the first time since 1969 and conceding four more states to a resurgent opposition.

Abdullah was punished over rising crime and inflation in an election also tinged by rising racial tensions between majority Muslim Malays and minority ethnic Chinese and Indians.

"I think the people must have been very angry, all the races, Chinese, Malays and Indians," Mahathir said.

"The problem is we (the government) have become so arrogant. We suppress any opinion that we do not like and they begin to believe in their own reports which are not actually consistent with what is happening in the country."

Abdullah was Mahathir's hand-picked successor when he stepped down, but after the new leader dumped several of his pet projects he began launching accusations of economic mismanagement, nepotism and corruption.

Malaysian PM's future bleak after poll shock

It is time to resign?.

KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's future looks bleak after a stunning setback in weekend polls that reversed his landslide victory of four years ago, analysts said Sunday.

A visibly exhausted Abdullah conceded there was a question mark over his performance after general elections that saw his ruling coalition lose its parliamentary majority for the first time in four decades.

Asked if the results were a vote of no confidence in his leadership, which has been criticised as weak and ineffective, Abdullah responded: "Maybe. There are a lot of messages from the people."

"There is no pressure at this time," he said when asked if he faced calls for his resignation.

Abdullah won 91 percent of parliamentary seats in 2004 after taking over from veteran premier Mahathir Mohamad, but analysts said he was being punished this time for high inflation, rising crime rates and mounting ethnic tensions.

He has also faced flak for failing to act on his election promises to eradicate corruption which is a serious problem in Malaysia.

Former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim who has emerged as the opposition figurehead said the results defeated the "myth" that Abdullah's United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party was invincible.

"I can see some leadership turmoil happening in UMNO. They will have to reinvent by focusing on leadership change," he said.

Ibrahim Suffian from the Merdeka Centre research firm said the results put Abdullah's future in jeopardy as the head of UMNO.

"I think he will have a tough time ahead as he goes into UMNO party elections this year. There will be some tough questions asked there," he said.

Under UMNO's leadership structure, deputy premier Najib Razak is heir apparent to Abdullah and widely anticipated to become Malaysia's next prime minister.

ELECTION 2008 Result: Malaysian ruling BN denied two-thirds majority

The power of the people has prevailed.

Video Link : PM's post-election press conference

Video Link : Upset for ruling coalition in Malaysia elections

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) has been returned to power but without the crucial two-thirds majority in Saturday's general elections, in its worst performance since independence in 1957.

Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi's multi-racial coalition won 139 out of 220 seats counted for the 222-seat Parliament, state television reported. Even if the BN wins the remaining two seats, it would fall short of the 148 seats needed for a two-thirds majority.

The only other time the 14-party coalition failed to win a two-thirds majority was in 1969 when it secured 66% of the seats. This time, it would have only 63.5% if it wins the remaining two seats.

A two-thirds majority is needed to amend the Constitution. The last time the BN lost that majority was in the 1969 election.

In the 2004 elections, BN had a landslide victory when they clinched 199 of the 219 seats.

Adding to the BN's woes this time, three of its component parties - the MCA, Gerakan and MIC - were almost routed. MIC president S. Samy Vellu, Gerakan acting president Koh Tsu Koon and PPP president M. Kayveas were trounced.

PM Abdullah, who is also the BN chairman, retained his Kepala Batas parliamentary seat in Penang while his deputy Najib Tun Razak won with a huge margin in Pekan in Pahang.

Asked whether the election results showed the people had lost confidence in his leadership, Mr Abdullah said: " No...this is the people's stand to show their
stand not to give us a two-thirds majority."

On the defeat of several of his Cabinet ministers, the prime minister said defeats are normal.

Besides Samy Vellu, who is also Works Minister, Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Zainuddin Maidin and Abdul Aziz Shamsuddin were also defeated in the elections.

Mr Abdullah also denied talk that he would step down as prime minister.

"I don't know who is being pressured (to step down) I'm not resigning," he told a press conference at the BN operations centre at the Putra World Trade Centre.

Mr Abdullah, who has been prime minister since November 2003, said he would have an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, on Monday on the formation of the new government.

Related Articles :

Mar 8, 2008

ELECTION 2008 : Result time

* Results will be updated periodically here.*

PM: ‘We’ve lost, we’ve lost’ - 4.12am
These were the only words which Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi could muster when quizzed on the ruling coalition’s shocking defeat in five states.

Abdullah was posed with the question during a press conference at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur. He was accompanied by his wife Jeanne, deputy Najib Abdul Razak and other BN leaders.

The prime minister added that he will make a media statement after analysing the results in detail.

Anwar ushers in ‘a new dawn for Malaysia’ - 4.08am
A triumphant PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim described the victory of the opposition parties in five states and its breach of Barisan Nasional’s two-third majority in Parliament as “a defining moment” in the history of the nation and the opening of “a new chapter.”

“The people have voted decisively for a new era where the government must be truly inclusive and recognises that all Malaysians, regardless of race, culture or race are a nation of one,” he told a packed press conference at his residence in Segambut, Kuala Lumpur.

“The people have expressed in no uncertain terms that they want accountability, transparency, and the rule of law.”

Khalid to meet Selangor sultan soon - 4.05am
PKR secretary-general Khalid Ibrahim said they will meet with the Selangor sultan "soon" regarding the formation of the new state government.

However, he told Malaysiakini that he did not wish to jump the gun when asked whether he would be the new mentri besar. The deputy mentri besar is likely to be DAP’s Teng Chang Khim, who is former state opposition leader.

DAP-PKR-PAS to form gov’t in Perak - 4.01am
The combined opposition of DAP, PKR and PAS said that they will form the new government in Perak. Collectively the three parties have won 30 seats (DAP - 18, PKR - 6, PAS - 6) out of 59 seats. One seat (Teja) is yet to be decided.

However, the opposition still will have a narrow one-seat majority even if Teja goes to BN. About 50 opposition supporters are attempting to seal off the state government building in Ipoh to stop documents from being removed.

Samy says ‘goodbye’ - 3.37am
After defending the seat for nine terms since 1974, MIC’s 71-year-old president S Samy Vellu made a quick exit upon learning his defeat. According to nstonline, on his way out, Samy Vellu could only muster a "goodbye" to reporters and supporters present at the convention hall.

The MIC stalwart lost to Dr D Jeyakumar who has been contesting against him since 1999. In the previous polls four years ago, Samy Vellu defeated the latter with a majority of 10,349 votes. This time around, Jeyakumar, who stood on PKR ticket, garnered 16,874 votes to Samy Vellu's 14,408. Many of his supporters were seen crying when he left the hall.

Unofficial: BN denied two-thirds majority - 2.42am
According to unofficial tally, the opposition has apparently denied the ruling Barisan Nasional its crucial two-thirds majority by winning up to 79 seats so far. To deny the government two-thirds majority, the opposition must win 75 seats. On the other hand, BN has won about 130 seats. There are still a dozen more seats to be decided.

PKR victorious in Kuantan - 2.22am
Former PKR Wanita chief Fuziah Salleh has won in Kuantan beating MCA incumbent Fu Ah Kiow.

Umno leaders in emergency meeting - 2.25am
The mood is grim at the Umno headquarters as the shock results of the today’s polls become apparent. The Putra World Trade Centre which houses the Umno headquarters is unusually quiet with party leaders trickling in slowly. No statements have been made to reporters gathered at the venue as they remain locked in deep discussions upstairs.

The evening saw the arrival of

8:10pm BN secretary-general Radzi Sheikh Ahmad and Azalina Othman

8:53pm Umno Youth leader Hishammudidn Hussein

9:42pm Umno Information Chief Muhd Muhammad Taib

10:15pm Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and wife

11:40pm Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and wife

12:06am Minister of Women and Family Shahrizat Abdul Jalil

The leaders are still locked up in a meeting.

MIC deputy president loses too - 2.22am
G Palanivel loses to PKR’s Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad by a slim margin of 198 votes at the Hulu Selangor parliamentary seat.

EC declares simple majority win for BN - 2.20am
Election Commission chairperson Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman says BN has won a simple majority to win the 12th general elections and will form the next federal government.

Sothinathan loses Teluk Kemang - 2.15am
MIC deputy president S Sothinathan was defeated in the Teluk Kemang parliamentary seat by PKR’s Kamarul Baharain Abbas in a three-cornered fight which also involved an independent candidate.

MIC appears to be the biggest loser with almost all its top leaders axed, including president S Samy Vellu and deputy president G Palanivel. Also shown the exit was its MIC Youth chief SA Vigneswaran and Women’s wing chief P Komala Devi.

Opposition claims victory in Perak - 1.50am
The state is still too close to call. However, the opposition claimed that it has won a simple majority in the state. According to PKR state chief Dr Lee Boon Chye, the opposition was victorious 30 out of 59 seats (DAP - 18, PKR - 6, PAS - 6).

But the state Election Commission appears to have suffered a computer glitch, which has delayed the announcement of the results.

Tajol Rosli survives in Perak - 1.30am
The caretaker Perak menteri besar defeats PKR’s Lee Sing Long by a majority 4,645 to take the Pengkalan Hulu seat.

Meanwhile, DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang retains his parliamentary seat of Ipoh Timur by a massive 21,942 majority.

MIC Youth leader Vigneswaran suffers heavy defeat - 1.30am
The Kota Raja incumbent Vigneswaran polled in 17,879 votes to PAS’ Siti Mariah’s 38,630, losing by a whopping 20,751-vote majority.

Mahathir’s son wins in Jerlun - 1.26am
Mukhriz Mahathir obtained a 2,205-vote majority to win the Jerlun parliamentary seat. He obtained 19,424 votes.

Khairy: We suffered a lot tonight - 1.25am
Khairy Jamaluddin, who won the Rembau parliamentary with 5,740-vote majority, admitted that the BN suffered a lot in this general election. “This is not the end of this world. We will fight back,” he said.

Opposition may take Perak as well - 1.20am
Unofficial: The opposition is reported to be on the way of winning close to half of the 59 seats in the state. It has so far won 22 seats and it could pick up a few more. However, it is still too close to call.

Confirmed: Guan Eng is the new Penang CM - 1.01am
DAP confirmed today that its secretary general Lim Guan Eng will be the next Penang Chief Minister. He said that DAP would form the state government with PKR. “It will be a government for all Malaysians. We stress that we will not rule alone but together with PKR. We also hope that the PAS can help this new government”.

MCA president shocked by BN losses - 12.58am
MCA president Ong Ka Ting today expressed shock over the election results which saw the ruling Barisan Nasional losing scores of seats to the opposition.

“The results are shocking because there are several states which BN has lost. However, MCA accepts the decision of the voters because it is their right,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama.

Ong also added that MCA will conduct a detailed study on the defeat.

Lion of Jelutong roars in Bukit Gelugor - 12.50am

DAP’s Karpal Singh eats up Koay Kar Huah (BN) with a whopping 21,015 majority.

  • Official: Opposition wins big in Kelantan - 12.47am

    PAS and PKR won 40 of the 45 state seats in Kelantan, with BN taking the rest. In 2004, the margin was much closer with the opposition having just a one-seat margin against the BN.
  • Polling agent: Only technical issue to be solved in Lembah Pantai - 12.43am

    A technical issue has been blamed for the delay in the delivery of official results from 14 ballot boxes. However, the result will remain the same - a win for Nurul Izzah - with no question of a further count.
  • Official: Wan Azizah retains Permatang Pauh - 12.31am

    The incumbent wins the seat with a larger majority of 13, 388 votes. She polled in 30, 338 as opposed to BN’s Firdaus Ismail’s 16, 950. In the three state seats under this constituency, BN took Seberang Jaya while Pas won Permatang Pasir and PKR won Penanti.
  • Official: BN retains Terengganu, Malacca and Negeri Sembilan - 12.28am

    The respective state menteris besar officially announced that the BN had retained the state governments in these states.
  • Unofficial: Opposition wins Selangor - 12.25am

    Selangor has fallen into the hands of the opposition. PKR has earlier announced that its secretary-general Khalid Ibrahim will be named chief minister. In Selangor, DAP has taken 35 seats (DAP - 15, PKR - 11 and PAS - 9) out of the 56 seats in the state.

    Meanwhile, the opposition is also doing very well in Perak but it is still not clear how many of the 59 state seats it has won. The opposition has so far won Penang, Kedah, Selangor and Kelantan.
  • Uncounted ballot boxes in Lembah Pantai - 12.12am

    There are another 14 ballot boxes that have not been counted in this parliamentary seat, throwing a spanner in the victory achieved by PKR’s Nurul Izzah against incumbent Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.
  • Guan Eng to be Penang CM - 11.59pm

    It is believed that DAP has named party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng as the next chief minister of Penang. DAP won all 19 state seats it contested in Penang with PKR winning six and Pas two. There are 40 state seats in Penang.
  • Official: PKR’s Khalid Ibrahim takes Bandar Tun Razak - 12.04pm

    PKR’s Abdul Khalid Ibrahim wins the Bandar Tun Razak parliamentary seat beating BN’s Tan Chai Ho by a majority of 2,515 votes. He has also won the state seat of Ijok, which he had lost in a bitterly fought by-election last year.
  • Umno Youth chief Hishammuddin wins - 11.58pm

    The Umno Youth chief beats PKR’s Lee Sang by a majority of 11,570.
  • Confirmed: Both MCA chief and brother win - 11.58pm

    MCA president Ong Ka Ting wins the Kulai parliamentary seat while his brother Ka Chuan also wins at Tanjung Malim.
  • Abdullah says defeat part of democracy - 11.50pm

    Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said that he accepted defeat in three states - Penang, Kedah and Kelantan - a sizable number of parliament seats. He said that was how democracy works and urged everyone to remain calm and not to celebrate in the streets.
  • Opposition wins 27 state seats in Penang - 11.40pm

    The opposition has won 27 out of 40 state seats in Penang - DAP (19 seats), PKR (6) and PAS (2). Of the parliament seats, DAP has seven seats while PKR has three so far.
  • Latest official tally - 11.33pm

    As at 11.20pm, BN has won 52 parliamentary seats, followed by DAP with six, PAS (2) and PKR (2)
  • Joseph Pairin trailing brother, DAP may take KK - 11.08pm

    BN’s Parti Rakyat Sabah (PBS) president and Sabah caretaker deputy chief minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan is trailing behind his brother, state deputy PKR chief Dr Jeffrey Kitingan at the Keningau parliamentary seat.

    Unconfirmed reports also say DAP has won the the Kota Kinabalu parliamentary seat through its Kota Kinabalu chief Dr Hiew King Chiew.
  • Anwar: BN to lose two-thirds majority - 11.02pm

    PKR advisor Anwar Ibrahim said tonight that early results from the general election indicated the BN would lose its critical two-thirds majority in parliament.

    "We have crossed the one-third majority. This is based on information from the candidates from the initial counting," he told AFP. "This is a major victory... and we are moving up very fast towards (winning) 40 percent (of parliament seats)," he said.
  • Confirmed: Opposition takes Kedah - 10.50pm

    Both the PAS and PKR have won 22 out of 36 state seats in Kedah. This means that the combined opposition will form the next state government there. Apart from Kedah, the opposition has won two other states - Kelantan and Penang.
  • Unofficial: Pak Lah wins with reduced majority - 10.45pm

    The Barisan Nasional chairperson retains his Kepala Batas by a reduced majority of about 11,000. His majority in 2004 was 18,000.
  • Unofficial: T Mohan defeated in Batu Caves - 10.44pm

    MIC’s new face T Mohan has been defeated by Amirudin Shari from the PKR.
  • Unofficial: MIC’s Wanita chief Komala loses in Kapar - 10.44pm

    The incumbent parliamentarian is defeated by PKR’s S Manikavasagam by a 3,000-vote majority.
  • Unofficial: MIC deputy president G Palanivel wins slim - 10.44pm

    The Hulu Selangor incumbent has won by a mere 100-vote majority.
  • Wee Choo Keong takes Wangsa Maju - 10.42pm

    Unofficial: Former DAP leader Wee Choo Keong, has won the Wangsa Maju parliament seat in Kuala Lumpur for PKR. He is reported to have won by 500 votes. This will mark the return of the fiery lawyer to Parliament.
  • BN wins big in Sarawak, only Kuching falls - 10.40pm

    BN in Sarawak, with only parliamentary seats being contested, is winning big. Results over RTM as at 10.29pm confirmed that DAP only managed to defend its sole Bandar Kuching seat. BN won Serian, Selangau, Julau, Petra Jaya, Betong, Bandar Sibu, Stampin, Miri and Kota Samarahan comfortably. However, BN only managed to scrap through Sarikei by a 51-vote majority.
  • Unofficial: Najib wins in Pekan - 10.26pm

    Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak retained Pekan with a majority of about 26,000. He defeated PKR rookie Khairul Anwar Ahmad Zainuddin.
  • Tsu Koon promises smooth transition - 10.25pm

    Former Penang chief minister Dr Koh Tsu Koon has promised a smooth transition of power to the combined opposition of DAP-PKR-PAS, which has taken over the state.

    State DAP chief Chow Kom Yeow said this was relayed to him by Koh who is also Gerakan acting president. Speaking at a press conference at Hotel Macalister in Georgetown, Chow said Koh told him that the wishes of the people must be respected. DAP has again appealed to its supporters to remain calm.
  • Unofficial: Zam loses in Sungai Petani - 10.22pm

    The information minister has apparently lost Kedah’s Sungai Petani parliamentary seat to PKR’s Johari Abdul by 10,000 votes.
  • Human rights lawyer Sivarasa wins Subang - 10.16pm

    PKR's R Sivarasa wins the Subang parliamentary seat by a majority of 8,000 votes. The opposition has also picked up the three state seats under Subang - Elizabeth Wong (PKR) in Bukit Lancang, Dr Nasir Mohd Hashim (PKR) in Kota Damansara and Khairudin Othman (PAS) in Paya Jaras.
  • Confirmed: ISA detainee wins with big majority - 10.15pm

    Hindraf leader and ISA-detainee M Manoharan, on a DAP ticket, obtained 12,699 votes to win with a 7,184-vote majority the Kota Alam Shah state seat (Selangor).
  • Confirmed: Tan Seng Giaw retains Kepong with higher majority - 10.10pm

    The six-term DAP incumbent obtained 35, 552 votes to win with a 23,848-vote.
  • Unofficial: Wan Azizah retains Permatang Pauh - 10.05pm

    The PKR president and incumbent has won the seat by a 4,000-vote majority.
  • KL's Titiwangsa falls to PAS - 10.05pm

    Unofficial: PAS' Dr Lo' Lo' Ghazali has won the Titiwangsa parliament seat with a majority of 1,972.
  • DAP takes Klang - 10.01pm

    Unofficial: DAP candidate Charles Santiago has won the Klang parliament seat with 16,975 votes against MCA's Ch'ng Toh Eng.
  • Unofficial: Nurul Izzah beats Shahrizat - 9.53pm

    According to ground reports, PKR's Nurul Izzah Anwar, Anwar Ibrahim's daughter, has knocked out Umno minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil at Kuala Lumpur's Lembah Pantai. Today is also International Women's Day.
  • IGP: Don’t spread rumours of riots - 9.53pm

    Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan tonight warned that ISA will be invoked against those found spreading rumours of riots and urged those receiving such SMSes to report them to the police. Meanwhile, the opposition has urged its supporters to remain calm.
  • Unconfirmed: Samy is out - 9.43pm

    Unofficial: MIC president S Samy Vellu has suffered a shock defeat at the hands of PSM’s Dr D Jeyakumar for the Sungai Siput parliamentary seat which he has held for nine terms. Jeyakumar polled 16,874 votes to Samy's 14,408. Today is Samy Vellu's 72nd birthday.
  • Recount in Rembau - 9.41pm

    A recount is underway in the Rembau parliamentary seat which saw Khairy Jamaluddin taking on PKR’s Badrul Hisham Shaharin.
  • Kayveas loses at Taiping - 9.40pm

    Another BN big gun, PPP's M Kayveas, who is a deputy minister, has lost his Taiping parliament seat. Winner DAP's Nga Hon Ming has told his supporters to have 'zero celebration'.
  • PAS bags 15 seats in Kedah - 9.29pm

    According to PAS organ Harakah, the opposition party has won 15 of the 36 state seats in Kedah, including seats that were considered Umno strongholds. It needs four more seats to win government.
  • Unofficial: Nurul creates upset in Lembah Pantai - 9.29pm

    According to polling agents, Nurul Izzah looks sets to unseat Shahrizat Abdul Jalil in the Lembah Pantai seat.
  • PKR candidates leading in KL - 9.25pm

    Unofficial result: PKR’s Zuraida Kamaruddin defeated BN’s Azman Wahid in the Ampang parliamentary constituency.

    Meanwhile, Khalid Ibrahim has taken both the Bandar Tun Razak parliamentary seat where he contested against MCA’s Tan Chai Ho and the Ijok state seat against Umno’s Mohd Sayuti Said.

    PKR vice-president Azmin Ali is leading Umno’s Said Anuar Syed Ahmad in the Gombak parliamentary seat, while Nurul Izzah Anwar is leading in Lembah Pantai against Umno's Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.
  • Unofficial: PAS concedes defeat in Terengganu - 9.20pm

    According to the state’s director of election Mustafa Ali, the party has conceded defeat in Terengganu, paving the way for BN to retain the state.
  • Opposition supporters told to stay calm - 9.20pm

    DAP MP for Bukit Mertajam Chong Eng has advised all opposition supporters to remain calm and not provoke others. She also said they should refrain from having victory parades.

    “The Barisan Rakyat must learn how to handle victory or loss with maturity,” said her statement which comes as early polls result indicate a major swing towards the opposition.
  • Close fight in Terengganu - 9.10pm

    Latest report from Terengganu is that Umno and PAS are neck in neck as counting continues in many of the state seats. PAS is said to be leading with eight state seats against Umno's five. At least 17 seats are needed to win the government as there are a total of 32 seats.
  • Teresa Kok wins with whopping 36,600 majority - 9.02pm

    Teresa Kok has won her Seputeh parliamentary seat with an unprecedented 36,564 majority. She also won the Kinrara state seat with a massive 4,901 majority.
  • Confirmed: Opposition takes Penang - 8.52pm

    Unofficial result: The opposition will form the next state government in Penang for second time in history. Gerakan, then an opposition party, won Penang almost 40 years ago. The DAP-PKR-PAS combination has collectively won at least 24 seats out of the 40 seats.
  • Unofficial: DAP retains Ipoh Barat and three state seats - 8.46pm

    Incumbent M Kulasegaran obtained a majority of 1,056 while the three state seats in the parliamentary constituency - Buntong (majority 4,437), Bercham (3,395) and Kepayan (1,382) were also won by DAP.
  • Tengku Adnan wins Putrajaya - 8.45pm

    Controversial minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor retained his Putrajaya parliamentary seat, where most of the voters are civil servants. He bagged 4,038 votes against PAS Mohd Noor Mohamad's 1,304.
  • Kit Siang: Political tsunami - 8.39pm

    This is from Lim Kit Siang’s blog: here is a political tsunami in the 12th general election, with the Barisan Nasional suffering probably its biggest setback in history. From available reports, DAP has won victories, in some cases with huge majorities, in the following parliamentary seats:

    1. Bagan
    2. Tanjong
    3. Bukit Glugor
    4. Ipoh Timur
    5. Batu Gajah
    6. Petaling Jaya Utara
    7. Seputeh
    8. Kepong
    9. Bukit Bintang
    10. Cheras
    11. Bandar Kuching
    12. Sandakan
    13. Segambut
    14. Kota Melaka

    DAP is leading in the following parliamentary seats:

    1. Sarikei
    2. Serdang
    3. Klang
    4. Taiping
    5. Beruas
    6. Teluk Intan
    7. Jelutong
    8. Bukit Bendera
    9. Batu Kawan

    For state assembly seats, DAP has won

    1. Subang Jaya
    2. Teratai

    In Penang, the three state seats of Tanjong and Bagan have also been won by DAP. Other Penang state seats won by DAP are Air Puteh, Prai, Batu Lanchang, Pulau Tikus and leading in all the other state seats contested by DAP. DAP has also won new state seats in Perak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Malacca and Johore.

    One of the most noted state assembly win is the Sri Tanjong seat of Tawau, Sabah.
  • Samy trails by 1,300 votes - 8.32pm

    PKR’s Dr D Jeyakumar is presently leading by 1,300 votes in Sungai Siput. However there are sill more than 20,000 votes to be counted. Samy Vellu has been the Sungai Siput MP since 1974. Samy Vellu claims today is his 72nd birthday.
  • MIC Youth chief behind PAS in Kota Raja - 8.35pm

    MIC Youth chief SA Vigneswaran is trailing behind PAS candidate Dr Siti Maria Mahmud in the state seat of Kota Raja, which is under the Klang parliamentary seat. Vigneswaran is parliamentary secretary to the Youth and Sports Ministry.
  • Ramasamy knocks out Koh in Batu Kawan - 8.27pm

    Unofficial - Prof P Ramasamy has defeated outgoing Penang chief minister Koh Tsu Koon by a majority of 3,000 votes. Koh is the most senior BN leader to have lost so far.
  • Sothinathan looks shaky in Teluk Kemang - 8.17pm

    As it stands, reports from the ground indicates incumbent K Sothinathan is facing a tough fight against PKR’s Kamarul Baharin Abbas.

    Meanwhile Port Dickson’s MIC candidate T Rajagopalu is also facing a tough fight against PKR’s M Ravi and independent Jeeva Kumar Marimuthu.
  • DAP reclaims Kota Melaka - 8.15pm

    DAP has won Kota Melaka, a seat which the party lost in 2004.
  • Opposition closer to taking Penang - 8.20pm

    Having unofficially won 17 of the 40 state seats in Penang, the opposition is currently leading in six other seats with a wide margin. They need to pick up just another four seats to take over government in the island state.
  • Blogger Jeff Ooi has big lead in Jelutong - 8.15pm

    DAP’s Jeff Ooi is leading in the Jelutong parliamentary seat and the party is also leading in all three state seats in Jelutong - Datuk Keramat, Sungai Pinang and Batu Lanchang.
  • Teresa Kok retains Seputeh, wins Kinrara - 8.03pm

    Incumbent MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok has retained her seat with a huge majority of 20,000 votes. She has also won Kinrara, a state seat under Puchong in Selangor.
  • Unofficial: Opposition on the way to take over Penang - 8.01pm

    The combined DAP-PKR_PAS opposition is running hot in the state by winning 17 state seats and needing only another four to form the state government.
  • Voter turnout tops 70 percent - 7.58pm

    At 7.30pm, voter turnout nationwide was reported at 70 percent, but the figure is expected to go up as more information comes in.

    Election Commission head Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman.told a press conference in Putrajaya that turnout was highest in Kelantan and Putrajaya (81% each), followed by Terengganu and Perlis (79 percent), Selangor (74 percent) and Pahang (73 percent).

    The lowest turnout was for the Federal Territory of Labuan at 59 percent. Generally, about 70-75 percent of voters come out to vote for each general election.
  • Unofficial: DAP’s Tan Seng Giaw retains Kepong- 7.54pm

    The incumbent is leading in all 13 polling stations.
  • Kit Siang on the way to win Ipoh Timur - 7.51pm

    DAP leader Lim Kit Siang has retained his Ipoh Timur parliamentary seat and his party is also leading in all three state seats - Canning, Tebing Tinggi and Pasir Pinji
    Pasir Puteh Utara
  • PAS retains Kelantan: PAS president press sec - 7.50pm

    According to Roslan Shahir Mohd Shahir, who is the press secretary of PAS president Hadi Awang, PAS has unofficially won 31 of the 45 state seats.

    He said that PAS' Nasharuddin Mat Isa has beaten Umno's Awang Adek Husin in Bachok. Awang Adek, who is deputy finance minister, also lost in the state seat of Perupok, which is under Bachok.
  • Tian Chua leading in Batu - 7.43pm

    PKR’s information chief Tian Chua in on the way to cause an upset in Batu by leading Gerakan’s Lim Si Pin by 7,089 votes
  • Unofficial - Tony Pua wins PJ Utara - 7.45pm

    Tony Pua has helped DAP has reclaimed Petaling Jaya Utara.

    Meanwhile, Janice Lee has won the state seat of Teratai, which is under the Pandan parliament seat.
  • Tony Pua increases lead - 7.40pm

    In Petaling Jaya Utara, Tony Pua is now leading by 4,000 votes.

    DAP also retained its Tanjung parliamentary seat in Penang as well as taking a large lead in all three state seats under that parliamentary seat.

    Wee Choo Keong, standing under a PKR ticket, is leading in Wangsa Maju.
  • Victory parades banned, says police chief - 7.36pm

    Police chief Musa Hassan has announced that all political parties are not allowed to hold victory parades after the results are announced. He said this is to prevent ‘untoward incidents’.

  • Nurul Izzah ahead in 3 out of 14 polling stations - 7.27pm

    Nurul Izzah Anwar is leading at three out of 14 polling stations at the Lembah Pantai parliament seat.

    Meanwhile, PKR’s Azmin Ali is leading in both the Gombak parliamentary seat and the Bukit Antarabangsa state seat.

  • ISA candidate Manoharan wins seat? - 7.20pm

    Hindraf leader M Manoharan, who is being held under the Internal Security Act, is reported to have taken the Selangor state seat of Kota Alam Shah (unconfirmed).
  • DAP retains Kuching - 7.15pm

    DAP’s Chong Chieng Jen has retained Kuching with an increased majority of 10,000 votes according to unofficial results. Chong won the seat in 2004 with a 2,000 majority.
  • Latest updates - 7.10pm

    - Opposition parties are leading in all key seats in Penang

    - Teresa Kok leading by 10,000 votes in Seputeh

    - DAP leading both Petaling Jaya Utara state seats

    - Edward Lee from DAP leading in Bukit Gasing

    - In Sarawak, PKR leading in Limbong and DAP in Bandar Kuching.

    - PKR’s Dr Xavier Jayakumar leading in all streams in Kota Raya state seat

    - PKR’s Tian Chua leading in Batu by 3,743 votes.
  • PKR in unassailable lead in Bukit Tambun - 7.05pm

    PKR's Law Choo Kiang has taken an unassailable lead of 1,500 votes for the state seat of Bukit Tambun. This may be the first Penang seat to fall to opposition hands.

    Early reports indicate DAP candidates are leading in many Penang state seats.

  • Poor turnout in opposition’s favour? - 6.55pm

    A very poor turnout in Taiping, especially among the Malay voters, is expected to cause some problems for incumbent M Kayveas. Similarly poor voter turnout in Selangor's Kapar and Klang, again among Malay voters, could benefit PKR and DAP in both seats.

  • Opposition takes lead in key hot seats - 6.47pm

    Based on ground reports, DAP candidates are leading in the early stage of the count. Tony Pua is leading by 1,800 votes in Petaling Jaya Utara. Fong Kui Lun is similarly leading by 3,000 votes in Bukit Bintang. Hannah Yeoh is leading the Subang Jaya state seat.

    In Klang, DAP's Charles Santiago is also leading at this very early stage. PKR's S Manikavasagam is also in the lead in neighbouring Kapar.

The first official result of the general election can be expected by 7pm.

(Malaysiakini) After a day of polling, it's now down to the nitty-gritty procedures relating to counting.

At the close of the day, the presiding officer at the 8,000 polling stations across the nation will seal the ballot boxes in the presence of the candidates' polling agents.

All of them are to affix their signatures or seals on the ballot boxes. Then the Election Commission officer will compare the number of ballot papers issued based on his or her records with those not used in front of the polling agents. The numbers must match.

When all the ballot papers are accounted for, the presiding officer will reopen the boxes and proceed to count the ballots in front of the agents.

Each ballot paper will be shown to the agents as it is counted. Ballot papers which do not conform to the rules, such as spoilt votes, will be marked ‘rejected’ while the accepted ones will be added to the respective candidates tally.

After the votes are counted at the various polling stations, a statement of the results of the poll will then be sent to the returning officer at the central counting centre located in each constituency.

The returning officer, on receiving the results from the polling stations, will add all these votes, inclusive of postal votes, to determine the winner.

Once this is done, the returning officer will declare the winning candidate as the elected representative of that constituency.

Recount of votes

Where the number of votes differs from the number of ballot papers found in the ballot box by one percent, or the difference between the winning candidate and the losing one is two percent or less of the total number of votes cast, upon application of either of the agents, a recount shall be made only once.

However, the presiding officer has the discretion to order more recounts until he is satisfied that it is correct.

In this election, counting is done at the polling stations unless the state EC specifies a central counting centre.

Election Commission had earlier said that the first result is expected to be known as early as 7pm while the attaining of a simple majority is expected to be announced around 10.30pm.

Malaysiakini will be providing live reports as the results are known tonight.

Election petition

After the returning officer has announced the results, the losing candidate has the right to challenged it in court. However, it has to meet these conditions:

i) bribery, intimidation or any misconduct that may have affected the result of the election;

ii) non-compliance with election laws and regulations;

iii) corrupt or illegal practice committed by the candidate or any of his agents;

iv) the candidate or his agent found to be disqualified for the election.

The election petition must be made at the High Court within 21 days after the results are gazetted.

An election judge will then be appointed and if the court, after conducting a trial over an election petition, decides the election to be void, EC will give notice of a by-election for the constituency concerned.