Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should accept full responsibillity for the BN's defeat and losses in the general election, said former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Just as Abdullah had, in the 2004 general election, accepted 100 per cent the BN's huge victory credited to him.
Dr Mahathir said (in such a situation) the Japanese would have committed harakiri.
"But I think Malays are not up to this yet. I think he should consider stepping down," he said.
Asked whether he would step down if he were in Abdullah's shoes, Dr Mahathir said he would because it was the wishes of the people.
Dr Mahathir said Abdullah had destroyed Umno.
"He has destroyed BN, and he should be responsible for this massive defeat," he told a news conference held at his residence at The Mines in Seri Kembangan late this morning.
Present, besides reporters from the mainstream and foreign media, were bloggers from the new media.
Dr Mahathir said it was shocking that the BN lost in five states and the Federal Territory, indicating that all the Malays, Chinese and Indians rejected the coalition.
To a question of whether he thought Abdullah would step down anytime soon, he said he doubted that seeing that Abdullah remained detached from the real situation and from the fact that the people do not support his leadership.
This was because those who should have told him the truth were not doing so.
Dr Mahathir said that it should also be noted that the vote against the BN could not be literally translated as support for the opposition per se.
"There was no other alternative for the people but to vote for the opposition."
To another question, Dr Mahathir said it was up to Umno to decide on Abdullah' successor should he step down.
He also noted the "amazing victory" of Umno deputy president Najib Razak who obtained an increased majority in Pekan.
"His majority increased while Abdullah's decreased quite significantly," he remarked.
On whether the simple majority obtained by the BNwould affect investors' confidence, Dr Mahathir said it would as such a government was a weak government, especially in a multi-racial country and this could cause instability.
Dr Mahathir remarked that he himself had not expected BN's huge losses.