Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim says now is not the right time to topple the government, contrary to his earlier vow to unseat the ruling coalition by September 16.

Anwar said Thursday that the opposition still plans to unseat the Barisan Nasional government. But he said it would not be appropriate to make such a move during the global financial crisis.

In March elections, Anwar's three-party, People's Alliance, coalition reduced the ruling coalition's majority to the smallest since Malaysia gained independence in 1957.

Anwar said at the time he would persuade enough ruling party lawmakers to join his coalition to form the necessary majority to topple the government.

But speaking to reporters Thursday, he acknowledged that his options have diminished since Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced recently he will hand over power to his deputy, Najib Razak, in March.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.