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June 7, 2008

Anwar: "multi-racial" opposition emerging

Malaysia`s opposition figurehead Anwar Ibrahim said Friday that a "multi-racial, multi-religious" opposition was emerging in his country for the first time to challenge the ruling party, reported AFP.

The 60-year-old former deputy prime minister said many Malaysians of all races and religions were "sick and tired of corruption, of the destruction of the judiciary."

There is a "multi-racial, multi-religious cohesion of emerging forces in Malaysia which is clamouring for change," Anwar told an academic forum in the Philippines.

Recently there have been growing fears over "Islamisation" of Malaysia and the increasing polarisation of the three main ethnic communities.

About 60 percent of Malaysia`s 27 million people are ethnic Malay Muslims. The country`s minority Chinese and Indians are mostly Buddhists, Hindus or Christians.

Anwar, once heir-apparent to long-time former premier Mahathir Mohamad, spent six years in jail on sex and corruption charges, but now leads a resurgent opposition.

More on Malaysia


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