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Apr 11, 2008

Anwar set on enhancing opposition

Anwar at Jakarta?

Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia's opposition leader, was in Jakarta on Monday and Tuesday to meet a number of political and religious figures. Prior to his departure Tuesday, he shared some of his views with The Jakarta Post's Tony Hotland and Kompas daily about the major victory of a coalition of opposition parties in Malaysia last month. Also discussed was the current internal friction eating at Malaysia's ruling party, the United Malays National Organization (UMNO). The following are the excerpts from the interview.

Question: What is the main agenda of the opposition after its significant gain in last month's election?

Answer: In the states we rule, one sure thing is that we must keep our promises to the people during the campaign -- an accountable government and good governance. There can't be room for corruption.

The development program and economic progress in the states of Selangor, Perak and Penang, which are the vital states in terms of economic development, are the top priority and must be customized to the needs of the people.

Our coalition must draw a line of cooperation based on a strict concept and program. We need to share the emphasis on the priority issues so there will be no mistakes or confusion like before.

This is the first time for the opposition to rule in some of the key states. Do you think it will be a major challenge to govern them effectively, to ensure another victory in the next elections?.

It is not a problem of whether or not the public is appraising, but it is imperative for us to materialize our campaign promises, the manifestation of reforms we advocated.

I don't see an urgency to immediately look forward to the next elections because I believe in the power of people. Had last month's elections been free and fair, I'm sure we would have won bigger than we did.

Now we have a number of lawmakers from the ruling party approaching us to become a part of us. That is already a public secret.

You will be eligible again to be voted as state official this month. Do you have any plans to become a parliament member in the next election to pave your way to become prime minister?

April 14 is the date when my ineligibility period ends, a period which was imposed on me by corrupt judges who were politically steered. But I've never been worried about or paid attention to that situation, and I've been campaigning all along.

I do have an option (to become a parliament member and run for premiership), but I am not making it my personal agenda. It is more crucial for now to manage the opposition coalition and I will deal with my personal goals in the coming years. I'm in no rush.

How do you view and gain benefits from the ongoing conflict in UMNO?

The media in Malaysia is largely still controlled by UMNO, which is why the media focuses so much on attacking the opposition. But since UMNO is starting to be engulfed by overwhelming internal friction, the media cannot help also exposing them.

Of course, we will just let them fight. We are watching a play. These rumblings are shaking the position of (Prime Minister) Abdullah Badawi and (Deputy PM) Najib Tun Abdul Razak, as well as the UMNO and (the ruling coalition) Barisan Nasional. The public are beginning to feel that UMNO will not survive.

The way Abdullah has been governing, and how he damages the judiciary bodies and other systems in Malaysia ... they are real, and our victory was a reproach to the current system. The system has not changed.

But let me assure you that, even without the rumblings within UMNO, we are already a strong force.

Cuba baca artikel ni :
mat saman kati: Pak Lah masuk PKR. Haaaa?


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