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Jun 2, 2008

Some BN MPs wavering over defection, concedes Opposition leaders

malaysiainsider - Some Malaysian government lawmakers who were planning to defect to the Opposition might change their minds now that the prime minister has announced policy changes to win their allegiance, Opposition leaders said today.

Officials in the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) nevertheless voiced confidence that enough members of Parliament will still switch sides by September to topple Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's government.

"My gut feeling is (Abdullah's reforms) are not going to change things very much," said the party's vice-president, Sivarasa Rasiah.

Worries about potential defections were believed to be a main reason that Abdullah promised on Saturday to increase funding and improve administrative policies for Sabah, a poor eastern state where complaints about government neglect have simmered for years.

Abdullah's Barisan Nasional (BN) has been jittery about losing power after it clinched only 140 seats in the 222-member Parliament in March elections – the first time in 40 years that it failed to secure a two-third majority.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim of PKR has repeatedly claimed that he can get at least 30 lawmakers, mainly from Malaysia's Sabah and Sarawak states on Borneo island to defect. That would be enough to topple Abdullah's government.... selanjutnya.


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