Monday, March 10, 2008

Pak Lah To Be Sworn In Today For New Term Despite Electoral Humbling

Malaysia's prime minister said he would be sworn in for a new five-year term Monday, rejecting calls to resign after unprecedented electoral losses gave the opposition control of five states and one-third of the Parliament.

National news agency Bernama quoted Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi 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. Abdullah added he would be sworn in on Monday at the national palace for a new five-year term.

Abdullah faced an uncertain future after shepherding the National Front to its worst performance ever in general elections Saturday, when scores of senior coalition officials lost their seats in the federal and state legislatures.

Earlier Sunday, former longtime leader Mahathir Mohamad called for Abdullah's resignation, saying he had "apparently made the wrong choice" when he hand-picked Abdullah to succeed him in 2003.

"My view is that he has destroyed" the National Front coalition, Mahathir told reporters Sunday. "It's shocking. ... We have now a very weak government, and a weak government in a multiracial country will find great difficulty in running the country."

Abdullah kept away from the public eye following a brief news conference at which he confirmed the National Front had secured a simple majority in the 222-member Parliament.

There was no cause for celebration. The National Front won only 140 seats — or 63 percent of the constituencies — losing its two-thirds majority for the first time since 1969 and slumping from its 2004 landslide victory when it won 91 percent of the seats.

Coalition leaders were huddled in meetings Sunday to contemplate their next step, but they sought to show a united stance.

Deputy Information Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said "there is no doubt or question at all in the top ranks" that Abdullah should continue to lead the coalition and country.

"The prime minister has a full mandate. He will appoint a new Cabinet," Ahmad Zahid told The Associated Press. "There is no one person to blame for what happened. We all are taking the collective responsibility."

Dozens of National Front officials gathered at Abdullah's official residence in the administrative capital, Putrajaya, to "express their support for the boss," said Abdullah's spokeswoman, Wan Esuriyanti Wan Ahmad.

Reporters camped outside Abdullah's house amid rumors that he would announce his resignation, but Wan Esuriyanti said he would be sworn in Monday as prime minister at the national palace.

Senior government lawmaker Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said the National Front faced "a period of uncertainty such as we have never experienced before."

"This is a historic crisis," he said. "To begin immediately the process of restoring ourselves, the leadership team must wake from its slumber, face the truth and accept full responsibility for this debacle." (International Herald Tribune)

***** The BN should take heed from the lessons of this loss and ensure the mistakes of the past are not repeated in future.

As for Pak Lah not stepping down, it is not a big deal at the moment. The only one who will go around screaming and demanding his resignation now will be the erstwhile dictator Dr Mahathir. As if he was a great practitioner of democracy when he was in power! And frankly not many pay much heed to his opinion these days unless they think along the same lines on any particular issue.

But ultimately the PM will have to go. A few months down the road his position within Umno will become so untenable he will be forced to relinquish his post gracefully even if reluctantly. The conditions for his exit will be very cleverly arranged by Najib in collusion with other ambitious hotshots from within the party. Najib will never allow himself to be seen as so desirous of office like Anwar was portrayed to be, that he would be willing to back stab his boss. But be assured that the mechanics of Pak Lah's ouster is even now being meticulously planned and slowly implemented.
Image - Source

UPDATE: Malaysian prime minister sworn in after poll debacle

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Blogger kittykat46 said...

We are still very much Asians. There is a need to give Pak Lah some "face", and not ease him out immediately. But out he will be in good time.

There was no subtle message from the electorate on Saturday.
It was a kick in backside to BN.
Serious changes need to be made to leadership, policy and execution of policies. And Pak Lah is simply not the man capable of doing it.

But I'm worried of the alternative.
NAJIB ????

10:42 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now is the time for KJ and his papa mertua to bury Najeeb by exposing his involvement in Altantuya's murder

11:21 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like there is no honour among thieves? Ha ha ha ha.

7:28 PM GMT+8  

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