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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Malaysian PM calls opposition bluff - Aljazeera News

Malaysia's prime minister has rejected a claim by Anwar Ibrahim, the leader of the country's opposition alliance, that he enough political support to form a new government.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the opposition's plan to form a new government was "mere dreams" and he was not under pressure to resign.

Anwar, who leads the Pakatan Rakyat (People's Alliance), a loose opposition coalition, told a rally of supporters late on Monday that he had enough government defectors to seize power and urged the prime minister to discuss a transition plan.

He said that while he would miss his own deadline of September 16, he would secure the defection of at least 30 government MPs and a change of government would happen soon.

But rejecting that claim Abdullah told reporters that if it were true Anwar "would have announced it by now".

Referring to a "game of political lies" he said speculations over the future of his government were a "waste of time".

Nonetheless he did not rule out a meeting with Anwar "if there is anything concrete to discuss at a suitable time".

"Do you think [Anwar] would ask for a meeting with me to discuss a transition?" he said. "He would storm into my room with hundreds behind him, shouting victory. This is Anwar's style."

Abdullah also said that he did not feel compelled to quit despite repeated calls for his resignation after the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition suffered unprecedented losses in March general elections.

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