Malaysian PM says Egyptian-style protests won’t work

Monday, February 7, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has warned against any attempt to usurp power in Malaysia through demonstrations like those in Egypt.

Dont think that what is happening there must also happen in Malaysia. We will not allow it to happen here, he said Sunday.

He did not address his warning to anybody in particular. But analysts said the warning comes following the prospects of early parliamentary elections.

Najib has told members of his ruling alliance Barisan Nasional that elections, due March 1913, were round the corner.

Protesters in Egypts are seeking the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak who has ruled for the past 30 years. Mubarak has said he is ready to step down at the end of his term in September, but not now. The defiant protesters have continued with their demonstrations that entered its 14th day Monday.

Ruling coalition Senator Ezam Mohammed Noor, just back from Egypt, responded to calls made by opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat politicians to the Malaysian government to take heed of the crisis in Egypt.

Ezam said it was absurd to even think that such mass protests would be used to force a regime change in Malaysia.

The gap between Malaysia and Egypt, in terms of socio-economic development, is too wide, he said.

For example, the monthly salary of a professor in Egypt is equivalent to RM1,000, while our professors can earn a minimum of RM10,000 a month, he said.

Ezam was in Egypt for a discourse with students over his book Islam and Corruption.

His programme in Manshourah city last Saturday was cancelled because of the curfew there.

Manshourah is about a two-hour drive from Cairo, said Ezam who was among hundreds of Malaysians stranded at the Cairo airport Sunday.

Filed under: Politics

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