|PM has 'no shame' for refusing to quit|
|Apr 1, 08 5:14pm|
Veteran ex-leader Dr Mahathir Mohamad launched his strongest ever attack against Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today, and again called for his resignation following disastrous election results.
Abdullah, also president Umno, is facing increasing calls to quit from party leaders.
"I ask (Abdullah) to resign," the former prime minister, who ruled Malaysia for 22 years, told a gathering of at least 1,000 Umno members.
The focus of the meeting was to analyse the March 8 election results but it turned out to be a platform to demand Abdullah's resignation.
Umno members criticised Abdullah and the alleged influence son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin, who is a deputy leader of the powerful Umno youth wing, has over him in decision-making.
"Anyone else would have already resigned but (Abdullah) has no shame," Mahathir, who hand-picked Abdullah to succeed him in October 2003, told a cheering crowd.
Dr M: Stand by my side
Mahathir said Abdullah had ignored the will of the people, while the veteran's son, Mukhriz, a lawmaker, echoed the call for Abdullah to go.
"To bring about (reform), the top leadership has to be held responsible. The prime minister must gracefully withdraw," Mukhriz said.
He urged Umno members to speak out and not be intimidated.
"Be brave, if you love your country and speak out," he said. "We have been told to keep quiet but I ask you now to stand by my side."
Abdullah, 68, has claimed a mandate to rule despite unprecedented election losses, but observers say he is on borrowed time.
Senior lawmaker Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had said he would challenge Abdullah's leadership if he received enough support.