Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has won a landslide victory in the country’s general election.
The ruling National Front coalition has recaptured the state of Terengganu from the Islamic Party (Pas), and could win back the other state it controls.
The coalition also won a crucial two-thirds majority in parliament.
It is a major victory for Prime Minister Abdullah, who assumed power in October when Mahathir Mohamad retired after 22 years.
The 64-year-old career politician and former Islamic student had campaigned hard in the northern states – a heartland for ethnic Malay Muslims – and has called for “modern and progressive” Islamic rule.
“This big win means a lot to us all. It represents the acceptance, the support of the people for the coalition,” Mr Abdullah said after declaring victory.
The opposition Islamic leader, Abdul Hadi Awang, has conceded defeat in Terengganu, which has been held by Pas since 1999.
Mr Hadi lost his parliamentary seat as well as his position as Terengganu’s chief minister.
Final results are not expected until Monday.
Pas had been hoping to hang on to both two states, and also take control of a third state, Kedah.
But the ruling party retained control of the state, as well as its tiny neighbour Perlis, which Pas had also targeted.
Mr Abdullah was appointed as prime minister by Mr Mahathir in a long-arranged power transfer.
The BBC’s Jonathan Kent says this election victory may give the new prime minister the boost he needs to push through his package of reforms, including his promise to stamp out corruption.
The ruling coalition has won at least 167 seats in the 219-member parliament, giving it the power to pass laws uncontested.
The only winner among the opposition parties was the non-religious Democratic Action Party.
Its chairman and deputy were returned to parliament, having lost their seats in 1999.
In a surprise result, the National Justice Party of jailed former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim looked likely to be wiped out.