Mahathir votes, confident of opposition win

Mahathir votes, confident of opposition win

Mahathir votes, confident of opposition win

Malaysians went to the polls today in the most closely fought election in years, pitting an opposition alliance headed by the country's former strongman ruler against a government led by his scandal-plagued former protégé.

The controversy surrounding 1MDB has dogged Najib since the story exploded in 2015. Watched by election officials, voters at a polling station set up at a school in central Kuala Lumpur dipped a finger in purple ink before casting their votes.

Earlier in the night, Mahathir accused the Election Commission of holding the official results back.

As he left in a auto, Mahathir said, "I'm quite confident by the way people (have) come". Anwar, who has been serving another jail term since 2015, urged Malaysians to vote for Mahathir.

"Democratic institutions have always been used by the government and by the ruling party as a tool to maintain a democratic illusion", Dr. Lemiere said.

"The International Monetary Fund commends us for being well on the way to high-income status", the Malaysian prime minister wrote in his blog.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission said in a statement that an initial investigation into the spam calls pointed to anonymous bot (automated program) attacks from various sources and on various targets irrespective of political parties.

"For the first time we can actually talk about establishing a true democracy based on the rule of law", said Ambiga Sreenevasan, a prominent lawyer and rights activist. He denies any wrongdoing. He said he had ordered immediate action to be taken.

Unless he improves on that tally, Najib could come under pressure within his United Malays National Organisation party to stand aside ahead of the next election, analysts say.

A survey released by pollster Merdeka Center last week showed the opposition making gains, but not enough to land a majority of parliamentary seats.

A simple majority of 112 seats is required by a party or alliance to rule, a number Mahathir said his party believed it had won.

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At the last election, BN lost the majority vote in its worst performance ever, but pulled in 133 seats.

Mahathir in a televised address Thursday said a representative of Malaysia's constitutional monarchy had contacted the opposition to acknowledge its victory.

However, political analysts believe PAS will fall short of the 21 seats it won in 2013.

He added that the most important thing is that voters fulfil their responsibility to determine the future of the country.

Mahathir, 92, told a news conference that the ruling coalition is "left far behind and the likelihood is that they will not be forming the government".

Mahathir's alliance, which counts on urban votes and support from the minority ethnic-Chinese and Indian communities, hoped that with the Malay veteran leader as its standard bearer it would draw in voters traditionally loyal to BN.

Najib's other formidable opponent is former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim, who is now serving a five-year prison sentence on a sodomy conviction that has been attacked by human rights groups as politically motivated.

He wrote that the 92-year-old former prime minister's speeches "contain little policy substance but maximum slander", while the DAP-led opposition have obscured the truth "with a tsunami of fitnah (lies)".

President Trump, who once golfed with Mr. Najib and declared him "my favorite prime minister", did him a favor in September by inviting him to the White House.

His victory spells big trouble for Najib - Mahathir has vowed to bring him to justice over allegations that billions of dollars were looted from sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, which the scandal-plagued leader set up and oversaw.

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