Malaysia's struggling coalition
Inside Story looks at the challenges facing the increasingly unpopular government.
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2008 10:17 GMT

Anwar Ibrahim, the opposition leader, has made a strong comeback [EPA]
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the Malaysian prime minister, has proposed reforming the ruling coalition to allow multi-ethnic membership.

The move is seen as an effort to boost the coalition's popularity after considerable losses in general elections in March.

Many believe that voters punished the government for its perceived corruption, authoritarianism and a slowing economy.

Policies which are said to favour the majority ethnic Malays have alienated the large ethnic Chinese and Indian communities.

Badawi is planning to resign in March next year. Since the elections he has had tumultuous times, fending off attacks from the opposition and from within his own party. He is accused of incompetence and indecisiveness.

Anwar Ibrahim, the opposition leader, who has made a strong comeback to Malaysian politics, is seeking to seize power with the help of defecting MPs. Ibrahim now claims he has the numbers to make a change.

Just what went wrong with the coalition government in Malaysia? And what could the opposition offer?

Inside Story, with presenter Sami Zeidan, discusses.

Watch part one:

Watch part two:

This episode of Inside Story aired on Sunday, October 12, 2008

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