Mar 9, 2008

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.

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