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On this Riz Khan show continue their special coverage of Malaysia and ask Anwar Ibrahim "How long can the ruling party of Malaysia keep its half-century of hold on power? "Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today made a series of accusations against Umno to an international audience, citing it as the cause of racial tensions and lack of economic competitiveness. He also joined those who believe it is possible that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi may yet stay on after the Umno party polls in March.

Speaking on a special interview with Riz Khan on satellite television station Al-Jazeera, Anwar said he did not see extremism as a serious threat in the country but blamed the Umno-led governing coalition Barisan Nasional for harming race relations in Malaysia. "I do not seriously see it as a threat but we will be on our guard. Unfortunately, Barisan Nasional, especially Umno, keeps on harping about Islamic and Malay issues in an extreme way," the former Deputy Prime Minister said.

He also said that while he believed in affirmative action for all marginalised communities, Malaysia as a whole needed economic growth to be propelled and that the Bumiputera-affirming New Economic Policy had been abused by Umno. "Umno has used the New Economic Policy to enrich themselves with billions going to the families of Prime Ministers but the vast majority of the poor remain marginalised," he said. He added that under an administration led by him, an affirmative action policy based on needs for all poor people would be established.


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