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PM Abdullah urged to hand over power earlier

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September 17, 2008

Malaysia Power Struggle:
PM Abdullah urged to hand over power earlier

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should re-think his 2010 time frame to hand over the premiership to his successor, Singapore news agency Channel News Asia quoted Malaysian Minister for International Trade and Industries, Muhyiddin Yassin, as saying.

The minister was speaking to the media after addressing the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Singapore on Wednesday.

Muhyiddin also dismissed de facto opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's plan to seize power by September 16.

On Tuesday, Anwar reportedly claimed that he has at least 31 Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs who have committed to crossing over to enable the opposition to form the new federal government, reported Malaysia daily The Edge.

Speaking at a press conference, Anwar, however, declined to name the MPs and said that he would reveal them only to the Prime Minister when they meet. He has written to Abdullah Ahmad Badawi requesting for a meeting but there is no indication if any meeting will take place.

Meanwhile, former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad is expected to officially rejoin the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) later Wednesday, according to his son, UMNO Youth executive council member Mukhriz Mahathir.

Mukhriz said his father took the decision to rejoin UMNO after being persuaded by several quarters who wanted him to return and help strengthen the party.

Mahathir had led UMNO for many years before quitting in May, a move designed to pressure his hand-picked successor, current Malaysian Prime Minister, Abdullah Badawi, to step down.

Mahathir had earlier said he would agreed to return as he was concerned about developments in the party.

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