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Opposition leader to challenge govt over economy

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October 13, 2008

Malaysia Power Struggle:
Opposition leader to challenge govt over economy

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said Sunday he will challenge the government over the economy when parliament reconvenes, but declined to say whether he will attempt to seize power, reported AFP.

Anwar has said he has enough support to topple the government after persuading lawmakers from the ruling coalition to switch sides.

He refused to comment Sunday on the possibility the defecting lawmakers could physically cross the floor when parliament opens on Monday, saying only, "well, wait for tomorrow."

But he said he would challenge the government over Malaysia's 2009 budget,
which he said was based on "obsolete" figures.

"I will talk about the economic crisis we are facing and the danger we are in because the current finance minister is still in denial," he told reporters.

"One of the first things will be a review of the budget figures. We need to do that as an urgent matter. We cannot work on obsolete figures that is not realistic and does not reflect the economic fundamentals."

Najib Razak, Malaysia's finance minister, said earlier this month the country's economy was strong enough to weather the financial crisis battering
world markets.

But opposition lawmaker Lim Kit Siang urged Najib Sunday to "table a revised 2009 budget in parliament on Monday," focusing on a strategy to help Malaysia survive the crisis.

Malaysia's stock market is down 35 percent this year after falling 3.6 percent on Friday.

The opposition gained control of a third of parliamentary seats in March elections and Anwar has since said that he has the support of at least 31 government lawmakers, enabling him to seize power.

On Sunday, he offered no clues as to how he would carry out his delayed plan to seize power.

"We will continue to take necessary steps and at the time when it is right, we will see a change," he said.

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