Friday, May 16, 2008

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim Says He'll Be In Power By September

Posted by Super Admin
Saturday, 17 May 2008

MUMBAI, INDIA: Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said Friday (16 May) he would have enough support to topple Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's government by September.

Anwar told reporters that his People's Justice Party needed just 30 members to gain a simple majority in parliament. His party controls 82 seats in the legislature.

"By our calculation, we should move before 16 Sept," he said during his visit to Mumbai, India's financial and entertainment capital, for a lecture series on "Human Rights Awareness."

The date is significant as his country celebrates 16 Sept as "Malaysia Day" _ commemorating the establishment of the Malaysian federation in 1963 by joining the provinces of Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak.

Although Anwar has made such claims several times in the past, Friday was the first time he has given a specific timeframe to try to pull down the government.

He was ousted from government in 1998 by then-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in a power struggle amid accusations of corruption and sodomy. Anwar denied the charges, which he said were trumped up.

The sodomy charge was later overturned, but he served prison time after being convicted of corruption.

The corruption charge prevented him from holding public office until 14 Apr 2008, which meant he could not contest the 8 Mar general elections.

A record 82 opposition members from a three-party alliance led by Anwar were elected to the 222-member lower house in the elections. This shook the ruling National Front's grip on governance for the first time in 40 years.

Anwar said last month that it won't be long before he is elected a lawmaker in a by-election.

"We have enough numbers now. But we want the transition to be peaceful and democratic," he said Friday.

He has said any government he forms will change Malaysia's system of promoting majority ethnic Malays _ Anwar himself is Malay _ in government contracts, jobs and education over ethnic Chinese and Indian Malaysians.

"Many ruling party members of parliament know that the time for racial politics is over," said Anwar, adding that he was confident that governing party members would defect to his side. (AP)

No comments: