The three-party opposition alliance led by Anwar Ibrahim cries foul.
Najib Razak was on Monday, sworn-in as Malaysia’s prime minister for the second time, a day after his ruling coalition swept to power in the general elections, which was slammed as “fraudulent” by the opposition.
The 59-year-old Najib took oath of office before King Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah at Istana Negara palace, urging all Malaysians to accept his coalition’s victory. “We have to show to the world that we are a mature democracy. Despite the extent of the swing against us, we did not fall,” he said in a nationally televised news conference.
Barisan Nasional (BN) won the general elections on Sunday by a simple majority of 133 parliamentary seats, two less than the seats it held before, to opposition alliances’ 89 in the 222-seat Parliament.
Sunday’s vote saw a record turnout of 80 per cent.
Opposition alleges fraud
The ruling coalition won the elections to continue its uninterrupted 56-year rule, brushing aside the challenge posed by the three-party opposition alliance led by Anwar Ibrahim.
Ibrahim, 65, a former deputy prime minister, said in a statement on Monday that he would not accept the result because it was marred by “unprecedented” electoral fraud.
Anwar said, “The Election Commission must answer to the allegations on electoral fraud. My decision stands. I do not think it is fair to expect me to make a decision primarily based on an election that we consider fraudulent.” He has called for a rally in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.
Calling the Commission a failure, Anwar, who retained his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat, said he suspected something was amiss with the early voting and postal voting process. “The ballots were overwhelmingly in support of BN, which is not the norm with the current voting pattern”, he alleged.
Anwar also cited instances of irregularities in the voting process, like advance and postal votes, the presence of foreigners in the electoral roll and delays by the Election Commission in announcing results in certain key areas.
Anwar said Pakatan would challenge the results of seats in which its candidates lost by thin margins of 1,000 to 2,000 votes.