PETALING JAYA- Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim challenged Prime Minister Najib Razak to a public
debate on Monday, calling the ruling UMNO party's hope of regaining a
two-thirds parliamentary majority in the coming election a 'pipe dream'.
This was after Mr Najib, who is also UMNO's president, warned at the
recently concluded annual party congress that the opposition's proposed
budget would bankrupt the country.
He also said that peace and stability would be disrupted if the opposition was voted into power.
"Stop hiding behind the protective wall of your propaganda machinery and
taking potshots at Pakatan Rakyat and me. Man up to your position as
Prime Minister and face me in the ring," said the opposition leader.
Speaking at a news conference, Mr Anwar said UMNO's offensive against
the opposition was a clear sign of frustration and a desperate cling to
Later in an interview, Mr Anwar also discounted the possibility of the
Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition ever regaining the two thirds
parliamentary majority that it lost in the 2008 general election.
"The entire debate was talking about the threat to their rule... All the
leaders know that their positions are being threatened, which means if
at all they consider seriously they could win, it's only by a simple
majority," he said.
The opposition leader also called for all polling irregularities to be corrected before the election so that there was "no basis for anyone to charge and complain".
Prime Minister Najib has repeatedly turned down Mr Anwar's invitation for a public debate, saying that it was pointless and a complete waste of time.