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Apr 18, 2008

Malaysia's deputy PM rejects defections claim - report

Msn - Malaysia's deputy prime minister has rejected opposition claims it has the support of enough defectors from the ruling coalition to seize power, reports said Thursday.

The Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition lost its two-thirds majority in parliament and control of four states in March 8 general elections in the worst performance of its half-century rule over Malaysia. Five states are now in opposition hands.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has said government lawmakers from Sabah and Sarawak states on Borneo island have approached him about switching sides although none has declared such intentions publicly.

'So far, there's no indication of BN elected representatives wanting to cross over,' Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak was quoted as saying in The New Straits Times.

'I don't believe we are in a crisis to be toppled at any time. Still, we will monitor the situation and not take things for granted,' he said.

Anwar's claim that 'we have enough MPs to topple the government' was made Monday as he celebrated the end of his ban from politics with a rally.

'We are saying here for the first time that we are ready (to rule the country),' he said.

'But we will only enter when the majority is comfortable,' Anwar told reporters after his speech to 10,000 supporters was cut short by police, who said the gathering was illegal. more...


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