Ok. I changed my mind. I thought of not talking politics but I can't resist posting this AP report:
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim acknowledged that he won't be able to bring down the government any time soon but said he is in no hurry to take over given the nation's economic problems.
Anwar had previously claimed that he would get enough ruling party lawmakers to defect to unseat the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi by Sept. 16.
However, he missed his self-declared deadline. Anwar has asked Abdullah for a face-to-face meeting to discuss voluntary power transfer, but the prime minister has refused.
Anwar told reporters yesterday he is still aiming for a "peaceful orderly transition" but said his options have diminished. Abdullah also has refused to call a special Parliament session to hold a vote on confidence in his leadership, he said.
Anwar said this amounted to the opposition being denied "constitutional legal options" to bring down the government.
"We have lost two options ... (but) there's 10 to go. ... We are working on it," Anwar said. He has refused to reveal the names of lawmakers purportedly willing to defect, saying they will be subject to coercion if their identities are revealed before the time is right.
"We are not in a terrible hurry. Particularly in the present economic downturn we need to engage with government leaders to ensure that they take the right measures," he said.
Malaysia's stock market has plunged 37 percent this year amid the global financial crisis. The government also expects its economic growth forecast of 5.4 percent for 2009 to dip, partly because of lower demand for key exports such as palm oil and crude oil. Some analysts predict growth of only 3.4 percent.
Anwar's People's Alliance coalition won an unprecedented 82 seats in the 222-member Parliament in March elections, gaining ground as the government's popularity plummeted amid racial disputes, a weak economy and corruption accusations.
Anwar refused to set a new deadline to topple the government but said it will be done "with an element of surprise."
He dismissed suggestions that his goal was becoming tougher to reach after Abdullah recently announced he will hand over power in March to his deputy Najib Razak, who commands much greater loyalty from ruling party bosses.
Anwar said Najib's position is shaky amid accusations of abuse of power.
"This is the first time in history where you have a prime minister designate hounded and haunted with serious allegations," Anwar said.
The most recent accusations involve the purchase of military helicopters while Najib was defense minister. Najib has denied suggestions that the prices were inflated.
Anwar said his opposition alliance, if it takes power, would curb expensive projects and cut operating expenditures, channeling more funds instead to develop education, public transportation and housing.