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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Rival-turned-ally, Anwar, gets Dr M's birthday greeting



Pakatan Harapan chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad has recorded a birthday message for his protégé-turned-nemesis-turned-ally Anwar Ibrahim, in conjunction with the latter’s 70th birthday.
In the eight-second video that was apparently recorded in a crowded lift, Mahathir was seen facing the camera saying, “Happy birthday Anwar. I hope you will have many happy returns of the day.”
The clip was provided to Malaysiakini by Anwar's spouse Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail's office.
Earlier this morning, the jailed opposition leader had been greeted with supporters bearing a birthday cake and banners as he arrived at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex, where he was to appear as a witness in his daughter’s Nurul Izzah’s defamation suit against minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob and inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar.
Mahathir had been a key figure in Anwar’s rise through Umno’s ranks since Anwar joined the party in 1982. Mahathir was then the Umno president and prime minister.
This lasted until a falling out between the duo in 1998, where Mahathir sacked Anwar of his deputy prime minister post and accused him of being “immoral”.
In the ensuing decades, Anwar rebranded himself into a key opposition figure and headed the Pakatan Rakyat opposition coalition in the previous general election in 2013, and the two remained as bitter rivals.
In the wake of the 1MDB scandal, however, Mahathir became increasingly vocal against his successor Najib Abdul Razak. He began calling for Najib’s resignation and drifted closer towards the opposition.
He began campaigning for opposition candidates last year at the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections and later went on to establish a new political party – Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).

They also met for the first time since the 1998 fall out on Sept 5 last year,  when Mahathir attended Anwar's application to challenge the controversial National Security Council Act 2016.
This was shortly after Bersatu’s registration forms were submitted to the Registrar of Societies.
On July 14 this year, despite unease from some of Anwar’s supporters, Mahathir was named as Pakatan Harapan’s chairperson, while Anwar was named as its de facto leader. - Mkini

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