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Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim claimed tonight that his Pakatan Rakyat alliance is ready to form the government in the next 24 hours, but pointed out that the opposition was, however, prepared to delay the formation.

Speaking at PR's Malaysia Day celebrations at the MBPJ Stadium in Kelana Jaya, he reiterated that the opposition coalition had the numbers in hand to form the next government. While Anwar made his claim, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi scoffed at the suggestion at a separate function tonight that the opposition was on the verge of forming the government. Anwar, however, also suggested the change of government may not happen within the next day.

"Why are we not changing tomorrow? We don't want to do it by force. To go to Putrajaya and drag them out. So, we want to negotiate with the prime minister to see if he wants one week or two weeks. "But our promise is that we will not follow the rule of the jungle. There will be no witch-hunting - what is done is done. What we want is to rule without corruption, detention without trial or theft of the people's resources." The opposition leader also told the crowd that he had already sent a delegation to Abdullah with a letter from the leaders of its three component parties seeking to discuss a peaceful transition of power.

"Tomorrow is D-Day. We are ready to form the government. We have enough numbers and tomorrow we will make our stand clear," he said to over 10,000 gathered at the stadium. He spent much of his speech criticising the Barisan Nasional government especially with regards to the recent ISA arrests. He also made a raft of guarantees - to free all ISA detainees, reduce the cost of living immediately after taking his oath of office as prime minister. "Once I take the oath of office, we will free all the ISA detainees," he told the cheering crowd.


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