Posted by SM Maulana
Saturday, 14 June 2008
OPPOSITION figure Anwar Ibrahim said yesterday that he would continue a campaign of protests against the government – even if Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi quits to make way for his designated successor Najib Razak.
‘It is not individual. It is not about Abdullah Badawi or Najib Razak. It is about the system.’
His comments came just as Prime Minister Abdullah yesterday revealed that he and Deputy Premier Najib had agreed on the timing for the hand-over.
Datuk Seri Anwar has been capitalising on the general unhappiness following the hike in fuel prices, and saying he will topple the government and cut fuel prices if he takes power.
It was a point he repeated yesterday, as he claimed he had support from senior defectors from the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition as well as from the oil-producing areas of Sabah and Sarawak. ‘We do have the numbers, but the issue is when to move on the no-confidence vote…It can be weeks to months,’ he said.
‘We have adequate numbers to secure a simple majority in the House. What we need, of course, is a comfortable majority.’
BN holds a 29-seat majority in the 222-member Parliament. Sabah and Sarawak parties had helped BN maintain its grip on power at the March polls, but the opposition has been wooing the eastern states’ MPs with oil royalties and more representation at the political centre.
Mr Anwar yesterday again blamed the government for inflation, economic mismanagement and fuel price hikes, saying they had turned the public against the Premier.
He added that BN MPs had defected, but declined to give names and numbers. ‘Very soon they will appear and be known in public.’
The latest hike in fuel prices has raised pressure on Mr Abdullah to quit.
Said Mr Anwar: ‘I cannot accept an oil-producing nation like Malaysia increasing petroleum prices by 46 per cent in one go. It…reflects an utter disregard for the welfare of people.’