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Jan 10, 2008

PM creating state of fear - Anwar

Malaysiakini: PKR’s de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim wants Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to explain why the former has been branded as a threat to the national security.

"Pak Lah, please explain why I'm a threat to the national security? Why I'm the public enemy No 1?” asked Anwar today at a press conference in Penang.

Anwar, a former deputy premier and finance minister, said that he was told that Abdullah had branded him as such to a group of Malay NGOs during a national security council meeting at Putrajaya on Tuesday.

Anwar claimed that Abdullah had told the group that he (Anwar) was a national threat and a traitor of the Malay community.

He added that the premier did so to create an atmosphere of fear in the run-up to the forthcoming general election.

Anwar said that he was labelled as such due to his support to non-Malay cause and struggle for justice, notably the recent Hindu Rights Action Front (Hindraf) awareness campaign among Indian community in the country.

Anwar said that he learnt that Abdullah had informed the Malay NGOs that the government was accumulating evidence to prove Anwar's threat to the national security.

BN's fear factor

Anwar dismissed Abdullah’s allegations as baseless and malicious, adding that the premier had singled him out as a threat to the national security simply because he was a major threat to the ruling party.

"Is this what the Islam Hadhari that Pak Lah espouses? He owes me and fellow Malaysians an explanation," said Anwar.

The PKR leader said the Abdullah must realise that the political landscape and thinking among all races had changed dramatically and drastically over the past 40 years.

"We are now talking politics in a multi-racial society. So how could an issue pertaining to Indian and Chinese affairs become a threat to Malays?" he asked.

Anwar cautioned that although BN's fear factor was not a new political game, nonetheless it was becoming much more vicious than before.

"The people should reject the unhealthy tactic of instilling fear among voters and the threat of Internal Security Act with the general election being just around the corner," he said.

DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang, who was also at the press conference, chipped in to say that Abdullah should substantiate his accusation with evidence.

"BN should stop playing politics of fear and intimidation, and politicise the national security. The opposition parties are equally patriotic, if not more than, BN leaders.

"We will not allow the national security to be compromised for political gain,” he said.


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