News / Asia

Malaysia’s Opposition Leader Sees Early Elections

Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim (file photo)
Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim (file photo)
Ron Corben

Malaysian opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, says he expects the Malaysian government of Prime Minister Najib Razak to call early elections within months despite one more year for the government’s term in office to run. Anwar says the opposition is pegging its hopes of winning control of the government, for the first time in six decades, on policies promoting economic reforms.

Malaysia’s opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, is predicting Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will hold elections  within months, well ahead of the end of the goverment's full term in office in March, 2013.

Anwar, speaking to reporters in Bangkok, pointed to recently announced  government income support programs as a sign the governing coalition parties were preparing the people for a national vote.

“I would assume that the elections are just around the corner. We had a discussion among the opposition coalition yesterday - most of them are not too convinced that the election will be very soon. But I told them - and I think it will be much sooner than later. But it’s tough for us because the campaign period will be one week - the shortest in the world,” he said.

Prime Minister Najib, who came to office in mid-term in 2009, has triggered this speculation of early elections in recent months.

Former Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, has warned the ruling UMNO coalition to allow more time to boost support especially among the Chinese minority before holding elections.

Anwar said the opposition would be offering the people major economic reforms, including an end to programs that in the past led to affirmative action policies - known as the New Economic Policy - that provided the majority ethnic group, the Malays,  with education, housing and employment preferences.

“So the [opposition] economic policy clearly states that we have to dismantle what we consider as obsolete race-based New Economic Policy to replace it with the Malaysian Economic Agenda which promotes growth, which has to bring back Malaysia into a growing vibrant economy, more competitive able to attract  - as in attractive destination for investments,” he said.

Anwar said Malaysia had fallen behind on the regional economic ladder over the past 20 years as other countries such as South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and more recently the Philippines, captured a larger share of foreign investment, growth and competitiveness. He said if he won the election his government would also look to address corruption, assist the poor and the marginalized communities.

The governing United Malays National Organization - UMNO - which has led Malaysia since independence in 1957 has been facing increasing challenges from the opposition parties over recent years, especially in state elections.

Under Anwar the opposition made strong gains in national elections in 2008.

Anwar, a former finance minister under Prime Minister Mahathir, has faced a long political battle after he was sentenced to six years in prison for corruption in 1999 and another nine years for charges of sodomy.

But a federal court in 2004 quashed the second conviction and he was released. In January this year the Court again acquitted Anwar on a second sodomy charge. The Malaysian prosecutors are appealing the verdict.

You May Like

Kurdish Party Pushes Political Gamble to Run in Turkey Poll

HDP announces it will run as political party instead of fielding independent candidates in June election, but faces tough 10 percent threshold More

Twitter Targets Islamic State

New research shows suspending Twitter accounts of Islamic State, its supporters has been effective; group, its backers are facing 'significant pressure,' says terrorism expert More

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

Majur Juac made the leap from being a refugee in Africa to a master chess champion in US, where he shares his expertise with students More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Spacei
X
Rosanne Skirble
January 27, 2015 5:05 PM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.
Video

Video Weekly Protests in Korea Keep Japanese WWII Atrocities Alive

Every week in Seoul protesters gather in front of the Japanese Embassy to demand an apology and reparations from Tokyo for the thousands of South Korean women who were forced into prostitution during World War II. Although this year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, these protestors have helped keep the issue of comfort women alive and made it difficult for Japan to move beyond its past wartime atrocities. VOA's Brian Padden reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Exercise: New Prescription for Parkinsons Disease

Exercise could be the new prescription for Parkinson's Disease, a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. More than six million people worldwide suffer from Parkinsons and they're traditionally treated with medication and surgery. Shelley Schlender has more.
Video

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Greece’s youngest-ever prime minister, 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, was sworn in Monday after his victorious far-left Syriza party entered a coalition with far right rivals. Tsipras says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts. So begins a new chapter for the country at the epicenter of Europe’s economic crisis - a change that has sent tremors across the continent, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Oil Price Drop Troubles Texas Producers

As oil prices have fallen over the past several months, drilling operations have slowed in some parts of the United States - including Texas, the state that surpasses all others in energy production. The Lone Star State’s energy output has been boosted in recent years by development of resources trapped deep below ground in the Eagle Ford shale deposit, which stretches across south central Texas. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Karnes City, Texas, the drop in oil prices has created concerns,
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid