Ramadan holiday may thwart Anwar Ibrahim’s plan

September 11th, 2008 - 11:21 am ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, Sep 11 (IANS) Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has kept alive his plans to topple the government next Tuesday, but political observers say the Ramadan holiday for parliament could block these plans.When he arrived at a court for the hearing of the sodomy case in which he is accused, Ibrahim Wednesday told reporters: “Next trip, Taipei!” The remark was an apparent reference to the 41 ruling Barisan Nasional MPs who left for Taipei recently for a study tour.

Ibrahim has accused Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi of arranging the tour to keep his flock together and at a safe distance from being approached for a possible defection, The Star newspaper reported Thursday.

Many had speculated that the trip was planned to derail Ibrahim’s plan to topple the government Tuesday by getting Barisan MPs to jump ship, although many quarters have denied this. Most of them will return Wednesday.

Ibrahim told media at the courtroom that he would reveal his political plans “in the next one or two days”.

A change in the government could not take place without the vote of no confidence against the prime minister or his resignation. Parliament has adjourned for the fasting month and, as such, no confidence vote can be tabled. Besides, the prime minister has continuously said he will not relinquish his post.

Badawi and his Barisan lawmakers have ridiculed Ibrahim’s plans and his announcement that he will bring down the government Tuesday as “√≠maginary” and “a gimmick”.

Recently returned to parliament in a by-election, Ibrahim has been threatening to topple the Badawi government that has a bare majority of 30.

However, the sodomy charge that he faced 10 years ago, which cost him the post of deputy prime minister, returned to haunt him in June. He has been accused of sexual harassment by a former aide and he has been fighting the court battle while staging a political comeback.

Now before the sessions court, the sodomy case has been postponed to Sep 24.

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