Anwar Ibrahim threatens to pull down government by Sep 16

August 27th, 2008 - 12:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, Aug 27 (IANS) Malaysia’s controversial opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who has just won a parliamentary by-election, says he will bring down Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s government by mid-September. His opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat (PR) would take over by Sep 16, The Star newspaper quoted the leader, who comes back to parliament after a decade, as saying.

Ibrahim has termed his election in a parliamentary by-election Tuesday as Malaysia’s “second political tsunami”, an allusion to the outcome of the March elections when the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN) was for the first time denied a two-thirds majority.

The opposition leader, who has earlier issued threats that he would bring down the government, said his victory brought new meaning to the word “merdeka” (freedom).

Ibrahim, 63, promised that his opposition alliance that emerged strong with 82 members in parliament and control of five of the 13 states in the March polls would bring “new hope to the people with its reform agenda”.

“We will stick to our promise that the price of fuel will be reduced when we form the government,” he told supporters after his win.

Speaker of the Malaysian parliament Dewan Rakyat Pandikar Amin Mulia announced Wednesday that the new member from Permatang Pauh, a tiny constituency in Penang that witnessed a vigorous campaign, would be sworn in Thursday.

Ibrahim won the Permatang Pauh by-election by a resounding 15,671 majority, getting more votes than his principal rival, BN’s Arif Shah Omar Shah who only managed 15,524 votes.

Ibrahim’s win was expected, media reports and commentators said Wednesday, despite his being slapped with a sodomy charge by a former aide — a charge identical to the one he faced a decade back, which cost him his job as deputy prime minister and finance minister as well as his seat in parliament.

Ibrahim remains under probe and has refused to take a DNA test.

With a bulk of the opposition busy with Ibrahim’s election, the government Tuesday pushed a bill that aims at making DNA tests mandatory if the court requires it.

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