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23 Okt 2008

Anwar Says Options for Taking Power in Malaysia Are Diminishing

Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia's opposition leader, speaks during an interview at his office in Parliament, in Kuala Lumpur, Oct. 22, 2008. Photographer: Goh Seng Chong/Bloomberg News

Anwar Says Options for Taking Power in Malaysia Are Diminishing

By Ranjeetha Pakiam and Haslinda Amin

Oct. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said he's running out of options to unseat the government, seven months after reducing the ruling coalition's majority to the smallest since independence in 1957.

Anwar, 61, missed deadlines he set to have coalition lawmakers defect to the opposition and parliament conduct a vote of confidence in Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. The premier's response was to accelerate a power handover to his deputy, Najib Razak.

``I'm not saying we have no options left, but I'm saying it's getting to be much more difficult,'' Anwar said in an interview yesterday in his parliamentary office in Kuala Lumpur. His three-party People's Alliance remains confident it can woo the 30 coalition lawmakers it needs to form a majority after taking control of 5 of 13 states in the March elections, he said.

Anwar's assessment, the most pessimistic since the election, suggests the transfer of power to Najib will be smooth, removing the uncertainty that has contributed to a 37 percent decline in the benchmark stock index this year.

``It's only right for Anwar to clarify the People's Alliance stand to the public,'' regarding their diminishing options, said Tricia Yeoh, director of the Centre for Public Policy Studies, an independent research institute in Kuala Lumpur. ``They should focus on administering the five states well and strengthening the bonds within the parties. This will demonstrate that they can be a formidable alternative federal government.''

Missed Deadlines

Anwar failed to meet his Sept. 16 deadline to oust Abdullah, timed to coincide with the anniversary of the founding of the Federation of Malaysia. He was also unable to persuade the prime minister to recall parliament for a confidence vote or even meet with Abdullah to discuss a change of government.

The opposition has pledged to end Malaysia's system of preferences in employment and education for ethnic Malays and to reduce corruption. The ruling National Front, headed by the United Malays National Organisation, adopted a race-based system known as the New Economic Policy in 1971.

Anwar said he is exploring other options for a takeover that would be ``peaceful and orderly'' and adhere to the constitution, without elaborating.

Abdullah, 68, agreed this month to hand over power to Najib, the son of Malaysia's second prime minister, in March. Previously the transition had been planned for June 2010, three years before the next general election must be held.

Cause for Regret?

``The opposition wants Abdullah to carry on, because they believe if he leads the party in the next election, their chances would be enhanced,'' former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said in a separate interview yesterday. Mahathir, the nation's longest-serving leader, handpicked Abdullah as his successor, a decision he said he now regrets.

Anwar, a former deputy leader of UMNO, returned to parliament in a by-election on Aug. 26. He was fired as deputy prime minister by Mahathir in 1998 and jailed on charges of having illegal sex with a man and abuse of power. The sodomy conviction was overturned in 2004.

Anwar is currently facing similar sex charges after a 23- year-old former male aide filed a complaint with police.

``They don't have a case. That I know for a fact,'' Anwar said. ``What they want to do is to embarrass me.''

To contact the reporters on this story: Ranjeetha Pakiam in Kuala Lumpur at; Haslinda Amin in Singapore at

Last Updated: October 22, 2008 20:52 EDT


2 ulasan:

adam d'Ant berkata...

Emmm...How nice if this was said then....his tune is soften now to cover-line!!

Embarrassment!! That's what it's all about.I suggest Al-Juburi, before you open your big mouth in the future to think not twice but many times,since what you said is your reflection and sad to say that you have lost credibility and dignity.

So long Al-Juburi! Best of luck.

CKT berkata...

....sorry Anwar,wish you all the best in your life but you ain't good enough to take the title of the première!!