Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Anwar says has enough defectors to topple BN Government


Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said last night he has the support of enough defectors from the ruling coalition to seize power, although he will not act until he has a bigger majority. “Yes, we have enough MPs to topple the Government,” he told a press conference after a rally to celebrate the end of his ban from politics, which was broken up by police. “We are saying here for the first time that we are ready (to rule the country),” he said. “But we will only enter when the majority is comfortable.” Earlier police halted a speech by Anwar and closed down the rally celebrating the end of his ban from politics which had drawn more than 10,000 people. “The police chief has asked us to stop so we are stopping, but remain peaceful because soon we will be running this country,” Anwar told the crowd. Political gatherings are strictly controlled in the country, and police had threatened to break up the event, held at a private club in central Kuala Lumpur, because they said it was illegal. About 300 officers including riot police, backed up with water cannon trucks, formed a heavy security presence, but the event went ahead on schedule and Anwar spoke for an hour before the authorities intervened. Anwar’s Keadilan party had rejected the objections to the rally and questioned why police changed tack after earlier being involved with security and traffic arrangements for the event. The rally marks the expiry of Anwar’s official ban from public office, a decade after he was sacked as Deputy Prime Minister. Once seen as the heir apparent to long-time leader Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, he was subsequently convicted on sex and corruption charges and spent six years in jail, before storming back to prominence in March elections. With Anwar at the helm a reinvigorated Opposition seized a third of parliamentary seats and five states in the worst ever showing for the Barisan Nasional coalition that has ruled for half a century. -AFP