Kuala Lumpur, May 11 (AFP) A senior member of defeated Malaysian leader Najib Razak’s party called today for “big changes” after their coalition suffered a shock election defeat to an alliance led by former premier Mahathir Mohamad. Also Read - US Bans Second Malaysian Palm Oil Giant Over Forced Labour

Speculation has been mounting about scandal-ridden Najib’s future after the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition was toppled in Wednesday’s hard-fought elections, ending their 61-year rule of the country. Also Read - India Busts Malaysia-based Outfit’s Terror Attack Plot; Delhi, Ayodhya, West Bengal on Alert

Najib has been accused of overseeing the looting of billions of dollars from sovereign wealth fund 1MDB in an audacious scheme of fraud and money-laundering. Both Najib and the fund deny any wrongdoing. Also Read - 'Muslims Have Right to be Angry & Kill Millions of French People': Ex-Malaysian PM Sparks Uproar

Khairy Jamaluddin, a former sports minister and an influential member of Najib’s United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), said, “the people have rejected Barisan Nasional in the… general election.” UMNO, a party dominated by the country’s Muslim Malay majority, is the main group in BN.

“To return UMNO to its original glory, we must make big changes in the party,” he said.

“The change must be made now. We cannot delay anymore,” he added.

The New Straits Times newspaper, which has traditionally backed BN, also reported the youth chief of the party’s branch in northern Kedah state had appealed directly for Najib to step down.

Shaiful Hazizy Zainol Abidin was quoted as saying that “we need a change in the leadership and approach. UMNO and BN will not succeed with the current leadership and management that we have today”.

“We are urging… Najib to do the honourable thing and step down from the post to make way for a younger and more capable leadership.” BN suffered a historic wipeout at the election, with its numbers of parliament seats falling to 79 from 133 it held previously.

It also lost control of several state legislatures, including the highly symbolic bastion of Johor in southern Malaysia, the birthplace of UMNO. (AFP) KIS KIS

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.