DAILY EXPRESS NEWS
Kuala Lumpur: Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim blamed the failure to make good his promise to bring down the Federal Government on Sept. 16, this year, to MPs who were "unsympathetic to my cause". The former Deputy Prime Minister said these MPs were reluctant to show their hand and there were others who were intimidated into staying on the government benches. "When I asked them why, they said they had to because they were suspected of being the ones who would cross over, so sometimes this gives me a headache," he admitted at the annual congress of his Parti Keadilan Rakyat (People's Justice Party).
Anwar who needed the support of 30 government lawmakers to take control of the 222-seat Parliament, claimed although he had strong support, he had been blocked from challenging the administration. "It is not easy to explain why we couldn't form the government as there are some matters that I still cannot talk about," he said.
"We wanted to take over power legally and follow the constitution and we wrote a letter to (Prime Minister Datuk Seri) Abdullah to say so but he refused to meet with us," he added.
"We even sought a no-confidence motion in Parliament but we were denied even this. Despite September 16... I am still very confident that we will form the next government," he told a crowd of more than 10,000 late Saturday. "When (will we take over)? Wait. Until then, shake the foundations," he said. Take it from me, not as Anwar but a representative of the conscience of this party and struggle, we are with you heart and soul, we will fight, we will struggle, we will never surrender."
Anwar's September 16 deadline to topple the Government came and went and the promised mass defections from the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition never materialised. His momentum stalled in October when Abdullah agreed to stand down next March, defusing public anger at the Government's handling of the economy and failure to introduce promised reforms.
Anwar now set sights on Sarawak where many of the reputed defectors hail from, and which is expected to hold state elections some time next year. "I want all Keadilan MPs to line up to go down to Sarawak and I want all of them to go without exception," he said. "There is a big change coming there." "A lot of people tell me they can't wait for us to take power," he said. "They ask me when I want to take control of (Malaysia) and I want to say yesterday."
Anwar is fighting sodomy allegations which he says have been concocted to prevent him from becoming premier. In 1998 he was sacked as Deputy Premier and jailed on sodomy and corruption charges which were seen as politically motivated. The sex conviction was later overturned. - AFP
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