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Dec 16, 2007

Anwar proving to be a leader for all

via drctoni.blogspot.

De facto
PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim has expressed his disappointment over how Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is dealing with the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) issue.

Speaking to reporters after making public the full VK Lingam videotape at his Petaling Jaya office yesterday, the former deputy prime minister did not mince his words when ticking off his former cabinet colleague.

“I am disappointed and appalled at how the PM is acting right now. He is so gullible to succumb to the pressure of the extremist few.

“With the rhetoric of the government, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more arrests,” he said.

Anwar was commenting on this week’s arrests of five leaders of the

Indian-rights movement under the Internal Security Act (ISA), which allows for detention without trial.

On Thursday, Hindraf leaders - P Uthayakumar, M Manoharan, R Kenghadharan and V Ganabatirau and T Vasantha Kumar - were sent to Kamunting for two years under the orders of Abdullah.

Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan said the arrests, under Section 8(1) of the ISA, were made against the five for carrying out activities that threatened national security.

In a rare move, the five were sent straight to the notorious detention centre in Taiping, Perak, to be detained there without undergoing the usual 60-day investigation period.

Anwar stressed that as a principle, he and the party is against the use of ISA against anyone.

“We have evidence, we have experienced the abuse of ISA against political personalities, civil society leaders throughout the years,” said Anwar, who himself was an ISA detainee for almost two years in the mid-1970s.

PKR members previously held under ISA include deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali, information chief Tian Chua, and supreme council members Dr Badrul Amin Bahron and N Gobalakrishnan.

I back Hindraf demands but...

The PKR leader said that while he supported Hindraf’s demands, he disagreed with some of the organisation’s wild rhetoric.

“I support their demands, legitimate grievances that they’ve been marginalised, very high crime rate, they’re very poor, their problems in Tamil schools and when old temples are demolished. I defend the right for Indians to make their demands

“(However), I do not agree (with) their rhetoric about ethnic cleansing, about Article 153 of the Federal Constitution (on special position of the Malays) and some of their racist statements,” he stated.

Anwar also lambasted Umno for seeking to make political capital out of the Hindraf issue.

“They use the ISA because there are some alleged Hindu fanatics or terrorists, and the fact people like us or I choose to defend them.

“They would then distribute pamphlets to show that I’m pro-Hindu or pro-Hindraf. Why do we choose to highlight on this when there are so many racists statements by Umno leaders?

“There are so many demonstrations organised by Umno Youth that you condone. Why do you choose to bully the minorities in this manner. This will not reflect well on Malaysia,” he lamented.

The ISA arrests and a slew of charges against protesters came in the wake of the Nov 25 rally which saw 30,000 disgruntled Indians taking to the streets of Kuala Lumpur.

They were met with chemical-laced water and a barrage of tear gas canisters fired by the police.

The Hindraf rally has also received worldwide media coverage bringing Malaysia’s race relations and Abdullah’s leadership into the spotlight.


I had been close following Anwar since his fall from grace.Yes,he made mistakes before,who hasn't?But he has learnt useful lessons from his fall which have made him a better person - a truly Malaysian leader.I think Mahathir has done a great service to Anwar and the nation as a whole by sacking and punishing Anwar.

Anwar now speaks for all Malaysians regardless of race.We need more leaders,especially Malays,like him to put a stop to the rot that is rampant today. He shouldn't worry too much if he cannot contest the next election as we need him as the icon of unity for the opposition.


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