( dpa )- Malaysia's Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Sunday denied rumours that he would resign after his ruling coalition suffered an unexpected setback in the general election.
The National Front coalition managed to secure a simple majority to form the government, but was denied a two-thirds' majority in parliament.
The opposition also wrested control of the northern states of Penang , Kedah and Perak as well as the central Selangor state. The opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia also strengthened its hold on the north-eastern Kelantan state, which it has dominated since 1990.
The prime minister's coalition suffered embarassing losses in many of its state and parliamentary seats, signalling increasing voter disenchantment towards the government.
Following the release of the results, former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad called for Abdullah's resignation.
Mahathir , who had hand-picked Abdullah to take over after he stepped down in October 2003, said the coalition's loss was "shocking" and that Abdullah must take full responsibility.
In a short media conference after the announcement of the polls results, Abdullah said the government would accept the outcome as the choice of the people and a clear sign that democracy was in place.
But a sombre Abdullah denied talk of his resignation following the coalition's worse-ever election performance.
"I don't know who is being pressured (to step down) - I'm not resigning," he said.
More than 70 per cent of 10.92 million registered voters cast their votes in Saturday's polls.
Saturday's election results reflected growing dissatisfaction over price rises, religious disputes and concerns over corruption.
The last time the coalition failed to secure a two-thirds majority in parliament was in 1969, following which deadly racial riots broke out.
Police warned supporters of the government and opposition not to hold victory parades and threatened detention for unlawful gatherings.