Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Radio Australia: Epic Struggle Between Najib and Anwar

Najib, Anwar and Mahathir in this election

Updated Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:44pm AEST
The Malaysian election is turning into an epic struggle between two opponents, Prime Minister Najib Razak and Opposition leader, former colleague, Anwar Ibrahim.

On the sidelines, former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is also entering the campaigning, speaking whenever and wherever he can to support his party's case.

After all, this is an election where the political big guns are required.

The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, dominated by UNMO the United Malays National Organisation, is the only Government post-colonial Malaysia has known.

Now BN is facing a strong opposition party known as Pakatan Rakyat (PR). Opinion polls suggest the race is very close.

In the Malaysian election, the pitch of the opposing sides has boiled down to "don't risk the change" from BN - to "end the cronyism" from PR.

In speeches this week Prime Minister Najib has been promoting his Government's record in infrastructure development and public transport.

Growing public frustration over a lack of public transport led Prime Minister Najib to accelerate projects in Government, including the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system the country's biggest infrastructure project to date.

He also recently announced a high speed rail link with Singapore.

Poor public transport around Kuala Lumpur and traffic snarls are an ongoing problem.

With a population of 28 million people, Malaysia has 11 million cars and 9 million motorcycles in 2012, which gives the country the highest rate of motor vehicle ownership after the United States.
Prime Minister Najib says the large infrastructure projects undertaken by his Government proved it was a government that could deliver.

"Ask yourself if you actually need to change the Government to get the desired effect."
He is telling voters that Malaysia has grown as a result of BN policies and that voters could lose it all if they vote for the Opposition.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is continuing his campaign pitch asking Malaysians to "end the cronyism" by voting for his party.
First posted Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:41pm AEST

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