DSAI would become PM before this Christmas
Malaysiakini (AFP), “I’ll be PM in three years”, says Anwar
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim today confidently predicted he would be prime minister within three years, sketching out the first rough timetable for his dramatic political comeback.
“I don’t think we have established a definite clear time-frame when I will take over (as prime minister) but it certainly wouldn’t reach three years … much earlier than that,” the former deputy premier told AFP.
“(But) I am not in a rush,” he added.
Anwar, heir-apparent to long-time former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad before being sacked and jailed a decade ago, has emerged as a serious threat to the ruling coalition after the opposition’s strong showing in parliamentary polls.
He became free to run for office again last week, when a five-year ban stemming from his corruption conviction expired, and claims he has the support of enough defectors to topple the government.
The Barisan Nasional coalition has ruled Malaysia for more than half-a-century since the former colony gained independence from Britain but has been rocked by its unprecedented electoral setback in March.
The Pakatan Rakyat opposition alliance claimed more than a third of parliamentary seats and five states in the polls, putting Mahathir’s successor, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, under heavy pressure.
Anwar, 60, pledged more effective governance and to wipe out corruption and promote racial equality, addressing some of the public’s major concerns.
“Our reform programme will certainly be more secure. We will push for a market economy, judicial independence and equality for all Malaysians,” he said.
Ready to cross-over
Anwar also repeated his claim that lawmakers from Sabah and Sarawak states had indicated interest in defecting from the ruling coalition to the opposition. He spoke to AFP at Kuala Lumpur airport on his way to Sabah.
“Lawmakers in the two states in Borneo island have approached me about switching sides, but so far none has declared their intentions publicly,” he said.
Analysts have backed Anwar’s statement he has enough support to rule, saying turmoil in the ruling coalition could hasten an exodus of lawmakers and propel him to power.
Prime Minister Abdullah is facing growing demands to quit, but has defiantly claimed a mandate to rule and refused to discuss a succession plan.
Anwar had previously been expected to re-enter parliament quickly through a by-election in one of the seats held by his PKR party, but says he is in no hurry to act and will instead focus on building up the opposition.
Some 20,000 supporters attended Anwar’s rally last week. The opposition leader was released in 2004 after spending six years in jail.
UPDATE: Dear readers, I had changed the real heading in the various reports esp the AFP’s THREE YEARS to _DSAI would become PM before this Christmas.
This morning I read the news in Star Online_
Thursday April 24, 2008, by By MUGUNTAN VANAR
Anwar: We have the numbers,
however, we’re in no rush to replace Barisan
KOTA KINABALU: The Opposition coalition of Pakatan Rakyat is in a position to form the federal government and it will be done no later than Malaysia Day which falls on Sept 16, claimed Parti Keadilan Rakyat adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Repeating that they have the numbers and were in no rush to replace Barisan Nasional, the former deputy prime minister said yesterday that it would all be in the timing of the announcement.
“God willing, we will be there.
If not next month,
the following month,
then if not June
or July, (it will be) on Merdeka (Aug 31)
or Malaysia Day.
I think we should not go beyond that,”
he told reporters on arrival in Sabah.
As to when exactly the announcement will be made, Anwar said discussions with the Pakatan parties were needed because Umno and Barisan were known to be rough on those intending to move.
“They are using threats and intimidation. I am for example being monitored more closely now,” said Anwar, adding that he would not be discussing with the Barisan MPs interested to move while he was in Sabah and Sarawak.
He said he has his way of discussing with Barisan MPs who have given their commitment to team up with Pakatan.
“My discussions could be done in Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong although it might sound like a joke,” added Anwar, who thanked the Barisan MPs for their commitment to cross over. He said Pakatan was ready to take in political parties from Barisan if they subscribed to the Opposition coalition agenda for the country.
On Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman’s claim that all state leaders were loyal to Barisan, Anwar said: “He (Musa) must know that he does not have all the members he claims to hold now. If he wants to know, I can meet him privately and tell him.”
He said Sabah and Sarawak MPs were keeping the Barisan afloat but were saddened that they were not given due recognition by Umno, which was dictating terms from Kuala Lumpur.
Anwar said he was not making offers of any monetary kind or of personal positions for anyone crossing over as claimed by Barisan but was here to assure PKR’s commitment to Sabahans in addressing issues ranging from higher royalty to problems of illegal immigrants.
Anwar later spoke to a gathering at a ceramah held at the Hongkod Koissan cultural hall here and is scheduled to fly to Sarawak today.
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