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Teoh El Sen
Free Malaysia Today
Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has challenged the Singapore government to substantiate reports that the sodomy charge against him was true.
“You have evidence, bring it to court and I will challenge it and defend myself,” Anwar told a crowd of some 500 people at Taman Melati here last night.
This is the first time he has openly commented on a US state department cable issued in November 2008 and which was revealed by Internet whistle-blower WikiLeaks.
According to the cable, the Singapore government, including its Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, believed that Anwar “did indeed commit the acts for which he is currently indicted”.
The cable was exclusively released to Australian daily The Sun-Herald and widely reported by other Australian newspapers on Sunday. According to a Sydney Morning Herald report, Anwar’s political enemies were responsible for the whole “set-up” from which the sodomy charges arose.
Anwar also dared Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to challenge Singapore to prove the allegation.
“I challenge you. I will defend my integrity and honour. If Lee Kuan Yew goes to court as a witness… I have no problem with that. I want to ask Najib: can you challenge Singapore to prove this?” he said.
“A real entrapment would be like… they bring a ‘budak jambu’ (goodlooking boy) here and then take a video of the whole thing, ” joked Anwar.
He also questioned why certain newspapers, particularly the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia, had “blacked out” another important point in the WikiLeak cables based on the communication of Singapore intelligence officials with their Australian counterparts.
“The cables also stated that Najib’s political fortune continues to be haunted by the Altantuya (Shaariibuu) ghost,” he said.
He was referring to the leaked cables that revealed that Singaporean officials also believed Najib was in a predicament over allegations of his involvement in the murder of the Mongolian model.
Anwar questioned why Najib had continually downplayed the Altantuya accusations by saying it was “something small”.
“Something small? We are talking about the prime minister who is accused of murder,” he said.
On his suspension from Parliament, Anwar said: “Last week, you know why I was suspended from Parliament? APCO. And what is this APCO? Is it very great? Can’t be criticised even a little? Wah… so powerful?…”
“I, as the leader of the opposition, had merely received information about One Israel and I was merely asking Najib about it. Well now I will go around the country to fight them,” he said.
A better Malaysia
Anwar is facing a six-month suspension from Parliament for claiming in the Dewan Rakyat on March 17 that Najib’s public relations consultant APCO Worldwide was headed by Israelis who had worked on former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s “1 Israel” campaign.
Anwar claimed that Najib’s “1 Malaysia” concept was borrowed from the Israeli campaign eventhough Malaysia was against the Zionist regime.
Anwar said all these attacks were part of the ruling government’s attempts to defend itself from the relentless Pakatan Rakyat attacks.
“They (the government) are doing all these for political expediency. They are a corrupt government, struggling to remain in power, at all costs. They are using the media and all the instruments of power just to intimidate and punish the opposition. We are not stupid… are we?”
“If you’re trying to weaken us, you’re making a very big mistake,” he said.
He said that the opposition was committed to its reform agenda and vowed to work together with the other Pakatan partners towards a better Malaysia.
“This is about a new Malaysia – free, just and democatic.”