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NEWS UPDATES 6 June 2009

Malaysian opposition blames ruling party for economic woes

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Malaysia's Islamic opposition party told supporters Friday that the National Front's fall from power was imminent because of voters' deep disillusionment with the ruling coalition, reported AFP.

Addressing the opening of his party's annual congress, Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) leader Abdul Hadi Awang also blamed Malaysia's severe economic downturn on the National Front, or Barisan Nasional.

“The National Front government is always blaming the external factors' for the crisis,” Abdul Hadi said.

He said the National Front's defeat in elections due by 2012 was assured if the PAS strengthened its alliance with Parti Keadilan Rakyat, led by ex-deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim and the Chinese-dominated Democratic Action Party.

“Let us increase and embolden our relationships, at all levels, within the Pakatan Rakyat since this will increase our (chances of winning) the coming 13th national general election,” Abdul Hadi said.

He also slammed the government's “immoral and unconstitutional” means to topple the opposition-led government in Perak state.

“It signals nothing else except the near downfall of the National Front headed by UMNO,” he said, referring to Prime Minister Najib Razak's United Malays National Organisation, which heads the ruling coalition.

The PAS general assembly will last three days, and delegates are expected to debate whether to return to the party's hardline religious roots or to put on a more moderate face to continue winning non-Muslim support.

Chinese and Indian voters have enthusiastically supported PAS candidates in seats where they stood for the Pakatan Rakyat, and thousands have joined PAS “Supporters' Clubs” around the country.

The Pakatan Rakyat snatched a third of parliamentary seats in an unprecedented performance in the 2008 polls and reversed a decline that had seen PAS decimated in the 2004 polls.


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