MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku



Sunday, May 29, 2011

Anwar: Dr M told me to quit and get some money or be sacked and go to jail

Anwar: Dr M told me to quit and get some money or be sacked and go to jail

In a stunning revelation, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim told a crowd of young professionals that former premier Mahathir Mohamad had given him an option to quit, or face trumped-up charges that would disgrace and force him out of government.

Then the country's Deputy Prime Minister, Anwar had been riding high and was even more popular than his boss in their Umno party and amongst the Malay community.

Anwar was also Finance minister and had impressed global bodies such as World Bank and IMF. This created the first discordant note between the two men, who had actually held each other in high esteem before their falling out.

A little later as the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 wreaked its full havoc on the region, Anwar's reluctance to bail out a firm controlled by one Mahathir's sons was the last straw.

“Mahathir told me - you have wife, a family, it is better if you resign voluntarily, if not charges will be brought against you,” Anwar told a dialogue on Sunday.

Anwar also revealed that Mahathir had offered him some financial compensation if he quit voluntarily. But he chose to stand his ground and fight.

“It was the only time I spoke harshly to him," said Anwar, adding that despite the hardships he and his family suffered, he has forgiven Mahathir.

Najib betrayed Anwar in 1998 and again in 2008

The rest is history. Sad history to be precise.

Malaysia has been the worse for wear for that tumultous sacking. It split UMNO down the line and divided the Malay community. While time has blurred the bitterness, the community is still haunted and polarized by Mahathir's unfortunate decision.

After slapping on a curfew, Mahathir then announced to the country that Anwar had been sacked from the government. He did not give reasons that night but speculation had swirled in the months leading to that fateful day in September 1998 that Anwar had allegedly sodomised his wife's driver.

At an emergency UMNO Supreme Council meeting held to endorse the sacking and also to chop Anwar from the party, Mahathir was pelted with eggs and rotten fruit. He was the most unpopular man in the country.

Leaders, like current defense minister Zahid Hamidi, who were close to Anwar were detained amid fears they might swing a revolt against Mahathir. At that time, even current deputy premier Muhyiddin Yassin was an Anwar supporter and the first to visit him at his home on hearing the shock news.

It was Najib Razak, whom Anwar had previously endorsed for the post of UMNO Youth chief, who betrayed him.

Najib agreed to throw his weight behind Mahathir and rally the other Supreme Council members behind the older man. For his support, Mahathir has made sure that Najib became Deputy Prime Minister and now, the Prime Minister.

Feelers in 2004

In 2004, just months after Mahathir finally retired, the Federal Court overturned the fabricated sodomy charges against Anwar. He was freed in 2004 after spending 6 years in jail.

Recently, Anwar - who is now 64 - revealed that certain quarters had sent out "feelers" to invite him back to UMNO in 2004. So far, Anwar has never really given a reason why he did not.

He has told the press many times that after so many years in jail, he wanted to spend time with his family. He also went overseas to get his bad back cured and took up teaching posts at Oxford and a prestigious university in Washington.

But there were surely political considerations as well.

"I'm seen to be a threat. What else? Say I retire tomorrow, do you think they would proceed with all this? Say I retired in 2004 after my release (from prison), that was the only time feelers were sent to me, whether I could re-join Umno. Do you think we would have this now?" Anwar told a news portal recently.

He was referring to the second round of sodomy charges that Najib slapped on him in 2008 and the sex video scandal that mysteriously cropped up two months ago, thanks to three Umno members with close ties to Mahathir and Najib.

Anwar has denied involvement in both cases. In Sodomy II, he has accused Najib and wife Rosmah of hatching the conspiracy so that Najib could secure the premiership. The charges emerged just weeks after Anwar announced his decision to return to active politics and make a comeback to Parliament.

As for the sex video, close-ups have shown distinct differences between Anwar and the man filmed having intercourse with a sex worker.

- Malaysia Chronicle

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.