Mahathir says opposition can win with growing Malay support

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Former Malaysian strongman Mahathir Mohamad says a wave of change is evident among rural ethnic Malays and a 30 percent swing from the bloc's traditional support for the government would be enough to secure the opposition victory in next month's elections.

Mahathir told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday that Malay support for the opposition has made an obvious increase, citing huge turnout at rallies.

The nonagenarian Mahathir led Malaysia for 22 years before stepping down in 2003 and is now leading a four-party opposition coalition to oust scandal-tainted Prime Minister Najib Razak in May 9 polls.

Still, Mahathir predicted only a 50/50 chance of victory for the opposition "because of the government tendency to cheat, to threaten people, to use money, to even block the election process."