Vanquished Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on Tuesday said he would not retire from active politics, as he has a “duty” to prove that the ruling coalition won the general elections through “fraud”.
“If we assume that the elections are fair and free and that the people say no to us, then I may (resign). In fact, I am in communication with some universities already. But now I have a duty. They robbed us of our elections and I want to present the case on behalf of Malaysians,” said Anwar, 65.
“In a faulty and fraudulent election, I now will continue the fight to defend all Malaysians,” said the leader of the three-party Pakatan Rakyat (People’s Pact) alliance. He, however, said he was willing to give up the opposition leader’s post.
Anwar had earlier stated that he would step down from politics if his alliance did not win in the general elections.
Prime Minister Najib Razak-led Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition retained its 56-year grip on power in one of the country’s most hotly contested parliamentary votes, marred by allegation of widespread vote-rigging.
The National Front won 133 of Parliament’s 222 seats, down slightly from the previous 135 and Mr. Najib was sworn in as Prime Minister on Monday.
Mr. Anwar said the opposition alliance was looking at alleged irregularities found in 29 to 31 seats, but remained non-committal in filing a formal election petition on it.
Although he said the party lawyers might file the case in court. He added he had little confidence in the legal system and the Election Commission.
Lim Kit Siang of the opposition DAP has supported Anwar to continue as the parliamentary Opposition Leader. His comment came after Anwar said he was willing to give up the Opposition Leader’s post to Lim, as DAP was the biggest block in the pact with 38 parliamentary seats. However, Lim rejected the offer.
Mr. Anwar assumed the position after the Permatang Pauh by-election in 2008.
After Sunday’s general elections, Anwar’s party PKR has 30 seats and PAS 21 seats.
Meanwhile, DAP chairman Karpal Singh said Anwar had every right to question the legitimacy of the 13th general election, but added his party was happy with its performance in the polls.
“DAP has done very well, especially in Gelang Patah, where the win was unexpected,” he said.
However, party adviser Lim Kit said the party would file an election petition to reject the results in areas where it had lost by small margins.