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Malaysia's Anwar Again Delays Bid to Take Power


Malaysi an opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim says he will proceed "cautiously" in his bid to topple the government, backing down from previous assertions his opposition alliance was poised to take control. VOA correspondent Nancy-Amelia Collins reports.

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has signaled more delays in his bid to topple the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Anwar has repeatedly claimed to have enough defectors from the government ruling coalition to oust the government, but several self-imposed deadlines to seize power have passed without results.

In a statement released Wednesday, Anwar asked Malaysians for "patience" and said bringing down the government was a huge task and he wanted it done within the law.

Political analyst from Malaysia's Monash University, Wong Chin Huat, says Anwar may not have the necessary defectors to bring the government down.

"I suspect that this is what he's trying to hint," Wong said. "By him saying don't fix a date, be patient, is basically saying that his strategy of getting a number of defectors to start a snowballing effect. That strategy is not paying off now. It's not effective."

Wong says there may be a window of opportunity for Anwar to push his bid for power on October 18th, when parliament convenes.

"If he has the numbers, I suppose that the best thing, the easiest thing for him to do is to defeat the government budget bill… So, I think actually he would lie low now," Wong said. "If he has the numbers, he perhaps would pull it off on late October. I mean, by defeating the budget bill, that's effectively a no confidence on the government. I think, like it or not, his failure in fulfilling his plan has eroded a bit of his credibility."

Anwar is also fighting charges he sodomized his male aide, a crime punishable in Malaysia by up to 20 years in jail.

Anwar denies the sodomy charges and says they are politically motivated to stop him from bringing down the government.

Wednesday, Anwar's lawyers argued against moving his case to the high court because they believe the judge might be biased against him.

The case was adjourned until October 7.