KUALA LUMPUR, 23 Oct 2008: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is no longer in a hurry for Pakatan Rakyat to take over the federal government, although he has not given up hope.
“We are not in a terrible hurry because of the economic situation, we need to be engaging government leaders for solutions,” the Opposition leader told reporters in Parliament today.
However, he said the opposition would continue exploring constitutional ways to unseat the Barisan Nasional (BN) government, although he admitted that the avenues tried so far were unsuccessful.
“Constitutional, legal options were denied to us. We tried to have a proper meeting with the prime minister to discuss an orderly transition, this was denied. We called for a special session (in parliament), this has also been denied.
Anwar at the press conference “We are now exploring other possibilities with respect to the constitution. We want the takeover to be smooth and orderly,” Anwar said at a press conference to unveil Pakatan Rakyat’s counter-measures to the global financial crisis and recommendations for the government’s 2009 Budget.
The opposition earlier set 16 Sept as their deadline to take over the government, but this had been dependent on getting enough BN members of parliament to switch camps.
Anwar, who is the Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto head, was reluctant to answer questions about a new takeover timeline, saying several times: “I’ve said enough on the subject.”
He said the opposition would employ “an element of surprise” in planning its takeover.
Asked if chances were slimmer now that Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was likely to become prime minister after Umno elections in March, Anwar said people were still wary of him.
“To say that Najib has consolidated his position is an exaggeration. Maybe within Umno, but not with the whole BN and the Rakyat. There are still major questions about him unanswered. He is haunted by some serious allegations.”
In a Bloomberg report today, Anwar told the agency that he now had fewer options to topple the government. “It’s getting to be more difficult,” he admitted.
Pakatan Rakyat needs 30 MPs to form a majority in the Dewan Rakyat. It currently has 82.