Mahathir told to go

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ANWAR IBRAHIM, the sacked Malaysian minister, called on his former friend and mentor, Mahathir Mohamad, to resign as Prime Minister yesterday, in a heightening of the country's political drama.

Since being fired a fortnight ago, Mr Anwar has addressed audiences across Malaysia with his message of political reform, but this was the first time he demanded Dr Mahathir's resignation. "I toiled for him night and day. I never challenged him. I was afraid to stand up to him," Mr Anwar told a crowd of 3,000 near the town of Kuala Trengganu. "But now I'm fighting him. I would like to ask him to step down."

Mr Anwar has attracted consistently large audiences of Malaysians, but the question is whether the momentum can be sustained after Mr Anwar's arrest, expected after the departure of the Queen at the end of her state visit on Wednesday.