Mahathir tells Abdullah to resign after election debacle

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Singapore, Mar 9 (UNI) Former Malaysian prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has called on his protege, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to take full responsibility for the major defeat suffered by Barisan Nasional (BN) in the just-concluded Malaysian General Election.

He should accept responsibility for this, just as in 2004 the huge victory was reportedly due to him, 100 per cent, and that was said by the then secretary-general of United Malays National Organizations (UMNO), Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying today.

But now also he should accept 100 per cent responsibility.

He has destroyed UMNO, he has destroyed BN, and he should be responsible of this massive defeat," he told a Kuala Lumpur news conference held hours after the polls results were announced.

Dr Mahathir said it was shocking that the BN had been trounced in five states due to the same signal sent by all the three major races -- Malay, Chinese and Indian.

I think the Japanese would have committed harakiri. But I think Malays are not up to this yet. I think he should consider stepping down," the Malayisan National news agency, Bernama, today quoted him as saying.

Dr Mahathir, he selected Mr Abdullah to succeed him, has been criticising the Premier for allowing his family members to involved in the government affairs.

They (the people) have observed that this government is run by one family for the family. As long as you have that kind of arrangement where family takes precedence over Cabinet, over the government itself, I think people would want to go against them," said Dr Mahathir, who stepped down in October 2003 after ruling Malaysia for 22 years.

UNI XC NC RK1425

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