A senior Malaysian opposition politician demanded on Sunday that Anwar Ibrahim quit as the leader of the opposition alliance after it lost control of one of the five states it rules to the national government.
Anwar's three-party alliance last week lost control of of Perak, a state in northeastern Malaysia, to the national government after four of its legislators in the state assembly quit.
The resignations came after Anwar's Peoples Alliance sought last month to increase its majority in the state parliament by winning over a legislator from the National Front, the coalition that has ruled Malaysia for 51 years.
Anwar has regularly sought to engineer defections from the national government and in September last year said he had won over sufficient MPs so as to form a new government, but failed to deliver on his promises.
"He (Anwar) has created enough trouble and it is time for him to repent," said Karpal Singh, who is chairman of the Democratic Action Party (DAP), one of three parties in Anwar's People's Alliance coalition.
"It's time Pakatan (People's Alliance) got itself another leader," he told reporters on Sunday, according to Malaysian political website Malaysiakini (www.malaysiakini.com).
Perak is one of Malaysia's 13 states and the states have considerable powers in this Southeast Asian country of 27 million people.
The 2008 general election saw the opposition unexpectedly win control of five states as well as depriving the government of its customary two-thirds parliamentary majority.
There is now stalemate in Perak as the incumbent state chief minister from the People's Alliance has refused to step aside in favour of the government appointee despite a ruling by the Sultan of Perak that the National Front should form the government.
Although Karpal is a senior politician in the DAP, he is not party leader and his role is a senior advisory one.
"Karpal is also upset with how the situation in Perak has unfolded," Jeff Ooi, a DAP central committee member, told Reuters.
"So while he may be making his statement in his personal capacity, the fact that he is the chairman of the DAP means that his words do carry a degree of weight in the party," Ooi said.
Karpal has also been the most vocal critic in the DAP of an Islamist party that is a member of the three-party opposition coalition and which wants to implement sharia law if it comes to power.
Anwar is due to hold a news conference at 1200 GMT in Perak and his spokeswoman said on Sunday that Karpal's comments had not been presented to the People's Alliance ruling council for consideration.
Last Mod: 08 Şubat 2009, 14:25