Anwar says Najib's warning that PR will ruin the country is "desperate and irresponsible"

Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim speaks during an election campaign in Kuala Lumpur on April 10, 2013. Mr Anwar says on April 18, 2013 that Prime Minister Najib Razak's warning that an opposition Pakatan Rakyat win would ruin the country is "desperate and irresponsible" -- PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR - Prime Minister and Barisan Nasional (BN) chief Najib Razak's warning that an opposition Pakatan Rakyat win would ruin the country is "desperate and irresponsible" and unbecoming of an incumbent prime minister, said opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

He said Mr Najib's latest attempt to strike fear among the investment and business community is "shameful and deplorable", reported Malaysiakini news website.

In a statement on Thursday, Mr Anwar said the prime minister's warning of a sharp plunge in Malaysian stocks and the ringgit and "a catastrophic ruin for the country" during an interview with Bloomberg news agency was a "desperate and irresponsible act to paint Pakatan Rakyat in a bad light".

"It is most unbecoming of Najib to use his position as caretaker prime minister to make such rash statements calculated to spook the public and agitate the market,'' Malaysiakini quoted Mr Anwar as saying.

"He must stop acting like the proverbial boy who cries wolf and start acting the part of a leader of a coalition that will soon be met head long by the Pakatan Rakyat in the coming elections.

"The outcome will be determined by the people who we believe must be given all means to make a rational and informed choice," he added.

The opposition leader also reminded Mr Najib that the choice of the people was "completely in accordance with the practice of constitutional democracy".

"Najib's attempt to link such a process with the Arab Spring or revolutionary overthrow of governments is completely misconceived and smacks of bad faith and mischief to mislead the people," said Mr Anwar, who is the incumbent Permatang Pauh MP.

He added that the economy would be able to absorb any "knee-jerk reactions to a change of government" and would not have any long term effect.

"On the other hand, change is imperative in order to raise Malaysia's long-term global competitiveness and to catapult the long-term potential of Malaysia's economic growth beyond six per cent," he said.