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Statement by Anwar Ibrahim

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3 (Reuters) - The following is a partial text of a
written statement, translated by Reuters from Bahasa Malaysia, which the
sacked Malaysian finance minister Anwar Ibrahim issued at a news
conference on Thursday:

"Malaysia is wrestling with a bitter challenge. The miracle economy
which was a source of pride is now more of a mirage, like a beautiful
dream. Now it is shocked by the bitter bite of reality.

The people will suffer because of the economic turmoil. Many will be
jobless. The number of poor will rise. So we have to combine our
strength and the resilience of the people to overcome the turmoil.

But believe me that the economic problem is only one of a host of
challenges which we are facing. We are faced with the problems of
politics, social, culture, moral. Every problem if left to itself will
become rotten. All of them require attention and have to be solved with
wisdom and according to priority.

We are also faced with problems which emerged with the birth of a new
era. The economic turmoil is not the source of the suffering now, but it
is due to our failure to make adjustments to the new era. We have
already entered the new era. The era of globalisation. The era of
information explosion. We may not be able to overcome the challenges
without making changes.

The time to launch a reformation has arrived. We must have a clear
agenda. We must also decide on the ways, methods, rhythm and pace of
reformation. The reformation is demanded from within, not due to
external pressure. From the Islamic perspective it is in line with a
Koranic verse: "...There is nothing that I want except to make a success
according to my ability."

Therefore, let there not be groups who are accusing it of being an
external conspiracy. We are opposed to any conspiracy. We are Malaysian
patriots. We oppose external conspiracies. We will also fight
conspiracies from within. We fight against external tyranny. But we must
also fight any tyranny from within the country and in the midst of our
society. It is not a question of East or West, North or South. It is a
question of justice. We must oppose tyranny, be it from the East or from
the West.

The people demand reformation. The voice of reformation is the voice of
the people. The cry of the people's hearts. But there is a small group
who are worried about the wave of reformation. They are among those
engaged in bribery, who are afraid their crimes will be exposed. Those
who abuse power and position are scared. Those wealthy merchants who
heap riches through practices of nepotism and cronyism are like worms
under the sun.

Don't be fooled and deceived by those who are afraid of the wave of
reformation. They are void of ideas, repeatedly playing old songs. They
are afraid of the new generation. Hence, they create a bogeyman to
frighten the people. Only children can be frightened by the bogeyman. We
have been independent for 41 years. As an independent nation, we have
reached adulthood.

The people need to unite in order to face the new generation. But the
unity of the people flows from the unity of the leaders. The people
stand behind the leaders. They will not scatter if their leaders do not
quarrel with one another. Solid unity cannot be obtained if the leaders
are always preaching unity, but allowing the elements that incite them
to quarrel, to roam free right in front of the people's eyes.

Since I was appointed as Deputy President of UMNO (United Malays
National Organisation), I have always reiterated my loyalty to the
party's president. I trust in the wisdom of the UMNO members. When they
are asked to make decisions, especially at crucial moments, they will
always make wise decisions. They want stability and unity within the
party. They want the party to always be strengthened and be given new
strength through the replacement of old leaders with new ones."

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My comment:

This statement indicates that Anwar's challenging Mahathir for the
leadership of Malaysia, not of Umno. He is inviting Umno to come with him,
not asking Umno to let him lead. Now Umno has fired him too. (Meli, maybe
we should think about inserting that "r" back into "evolution"?)