The noose is tightening. Embattled Malaysian PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has lost another tussle in the wake of the disastrous national elections on Mar 8.
He's decided to call a party poll at this end of this year, although one of his strongest supporters had tried to push it to next year to avoid another bloodbath. He also lost the fight with the Malaysian king over the appointment of the chief minister of the oil-rich state of Terengganu.
He's losing grip of his own party, the United Malays National Organisation, his cabinet, and the national ruling coalition Barisan Nasional over a spate of issues.
He has not endeared himself to many Malaysians despite having taken over the country in good shape from former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 2003.
As pointed out by the AFP report, Badawi claimed a mandate to rule despite the election losses, but observers say he is on borrowed time as calls for his resignation persist.
The report added that he won a landslide victory in 2004 elections, but was punished in the latest polls over high inflation, rising crime rates and ethnic tensions in the multicultural nation.