Monday, March 19, 2012

‘Forum did not include Raja Petra at first’

Anwar Ibrahim's chief of staff explains the issue, but the Malaysia Today webmaster calls it a lie.
PETALING JAYA: Anwar Ibrahim’s chief of staff, Ibrahim Yaacob, claimed that the opposition leader’s interview in a forum along with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange had initialy not included Malaysia Today webmaster Raja Petra Kamarudin.
However, Raja Petra maintained that Anwar had requested for him to be dropped.
Commenting on the issue, Ibrahim said: “It was only later that we were told that Raja Petra would be joining in the forum.”
“Hence, Anwar stressed that he had only given consent to the original request which was an interview involving him and Assange,” he added in a posting on Anwar’s official website at www.anwaribrahimblog.com.
According to Ibrahim, the production team – Quick Roll Production – then made an independent editorial decision to continue the show without Raja Petra.
This explanation came in the wake of a report on Friday where Raja Petra claimed that Anwar had snubbed him off from participating in the forum on the global political scenario, scheduled for last Saturday in Kent, England.
Ibrahim also took a swipe at Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak for manipulating the issue by claiming that Anwar was afraid to face off with Raja Petra in a debate.
“We are disappointed that Najib did not speak based on true facts. The question of a debate did not arise because what was agreed by Anwar and Assange was an interview with one another,” he said.
Meanwhile, Raja Petra dismissed Ibrahim’s statement as a lie.
“This is not true. I was asked by Wikileaks to attend an interview with Assange, which I agreed,” he said.
Raja Petra recalled that the interview was postponed and he was told that Anwar would be participating, to which the blogger did not object.
“I replied I had no objections. Finally, Wikileaks called and told me that Anwar did not agree to appear on the same stage as me. So I agreed that Wikileaks drop my name in favour of Anwar.
“If not, then Anwar would not want to do the interview,” explained Raja Petra, who is in self exile in Manchester.

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