Friday, July 4, 2008

Anwar: I just want to move on - The Sun

PETALING JAYA (July 3, 2008): by Zainon Ahmad and Llew-Ann Phang

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said when he takes over as prime minister of the country, all he wants to do is to forgive and forget the past, and to move on and be an effective leader of the country.

There will not be any witch-hunting as he had already indicated to those who had a hand in his downfall 10 years ago - from a high position in the government to the lowest position as a prisoner - that they would not be victimised.

“I am a human being, I have a family, I have six children, I have suffered, I am tired of all the intrigues, I want to forgive and I want to move on,” he told theSun in an interview in the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) headquarters today.

Anwar said it was unfortunate that the sodomy allegation had emerged just as he was on the threshold of taking over power in the country, just as it had happened when he was deputy prime minister.

Those who are behind this allegation and who are conspiring to prevent him from taking over the leadership of the country are aware of the number of MPs who are crossing over and the ministers he is talking with and so they had to act.

The PKR de facto leader alleged that IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan and Attorney General Tan Sri Gani Patail were behind what happened to him 10 years ago and he saw a similar pattern in the new allegation.

“I told everyone after I was freed that I wanted to be left alone and I wanted all this nonsense to stop, but it was unfortunate that they continued unabated and with impunity, and I find this very shocking,” he said.

He said he has received messages from his friends the world over, including former Philippines President Cory Aquino, expressing shock over this new allegation.

Anwar deplored the various statements made about him by several Umno ministers, one of whom accused him of being an American agent.

“They portray themselves to be good Muslims yet they live with these lies and corruption. How can they in all honesty do these things, and still call themselves good Muslims,” he said.

Anwar alleged that the conspiracy against him involves people in high places in the government and named Musa, Gani and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah.

He said he had evidence to show that Saiful Bukhari Azlan, the man he was alleged to have sodomised, was planted by these people as one of the volunteers working for him before the March 8 general election.

“I have also evidence of his direct communications with Musa while he was serving me. And I now know that it was through him that the conspirators knew about the four MPs and the announcement I was to make on Tuesday about my candidature in an upcoming by-election,” he said.

Anwar does not believe that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was involved in this conspiracy but his inaction to prevent it from being carried out reflected badly on him.

Others in his family are not sure about the prime minister anymore.

When his wife Datin Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and daughter Nurul Izzah came back from their meeting with Abdullah on Tuesday, they said they were touched by his expressions of concern and assurances.

But then, they were completely surprised by his statement expressing full confidence in the police force under Musa and in Gani Patail, which they found to be conflicting with what he had told them earlier.

These are some excerpts of the interview:

Q: For them to resort to this allegation it means they think you are very much on the threshold of assuming power, that you have the numbers. They were desperate and therefore they had to take desperate measures. Is that how you see it?
A: Yes. Although public statements they did not say so. I mean, what do you expect them to say? They know. The police monitors very closely. They know who I met, the ministers I met, the MPs I met and what was said.

Q:Why do you feel that there are attempts to assassinate you all of a sudden?
A: I said that because I was cautioned by a number of people. And I have actually made reference to that some time ago as we came closer to the general election. I had been forewarned a number of times to the extent that some people even gave me their bullet-proof vest but I never wore them. More so after March 8, because there’s a lot at stake. So that’s it.

Q: Did you have any sense or an inkling that this trouble was brewing before the allegation came up?
A: Yes, I was told that something along what happened was cooking. In fact, it was told to me five days before the allegation was made. I told my staff, including volunteers, including Saiful. And I am aware that he communicated to Musa.

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