ZUBAIDAH ABU BAKAR : Ezam trains his guns on Anwar

Ezam Mohd Noor will tell the people what the BN has done and has to do more in the fight against corruption. 


THE ghost of Sept 16 is haunting opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, this time in Kuala Terengganu where a by-election is due next Saturday.

And it is none other than his former protege Ezam Mohd Noor who will be piling on the pressure, demanding answers as to why the big chief or ketua umum of Parti Keadilan Rakyat, is still not prime minister.

Anwar had set Sept 16 last year for Pakatan Rakyat to topple the Barisan Nasional through defections of MPs to the opposition coalition but it did not materialise.

Yet, he still insists that the agenda is still on track, only that no new target date has been set.

Anwar's disciple Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, however, is not a bit bothered about Ezam.
"Ezam is trying to prove his worth in Umno and we are not going to let him play this tune. PKR leaders are not going to entertain his allegations. Ezam will not add value to his re-entry to Umno," says Saifuddin who is PKR strategist and Machang MP.

Ezam is well aware that his former boss who he now calls a traitor to the Malays because of the latter's alleged willingness to do away with the New Economic Policy, is playing dumb on the botched Sept 16 attempt.

Nevertheless, he feels it is his duty to explain Anwar's political ploy to the people.

"He is defensive and feels very uneasy talking about the Sept 16 fiasco because he cannot explain to his supporters.

"It's his responsibility to tell why it was off target as he had built a momentum and created false hopes," says Ezam who was PKR youth chief.

Ezam quit PKR some time ago, claiming that Anwar was a weak leader and a dictator.

He was speculated to be Umno's point man against Anwar but his performance in Permatang Pauh, during which he vowed to stop Anwar from returning to active politics had not made that much impact on the voters.

Ezam had failed to convince Umno members unhappy with, and suspicious of his return to the party, that some senior party leaders openly showed they were less than thrilled by his presence, fearing him as a Trojan horse for Anwar's comeback into Umno.

In Kuala Terengganu, where his friend Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh is facing off Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut of Pas, lies another chance for him to do so.

In Kuala Terengganu also, the Angkatan Muda Keadilan is waiting for him to disclose the boxes of documents on corruption said to be in Ezam's custody.

"Kuala Terengganu is different from Permatang Pauh which is Anwar's turf.

"I will be in KT this weekend," he says, adding that it was also important for him to tell the people what the BN has done and has to do more in the fight against corruption.

Now an ordinary Umno member, Ezam is chairman of Jakarta-based Yayasan Generasi Baru Nusantara (New Generation of Nusantara).

He was confidential secretary to Anwar from 1996 until the then deputy prime minister's expulsion from the government and Umno in 1998.

Anwar had a very hectic schedule during his two-day trip to Kuala Terengganu where he spoke at two ceramah, met voters and party workers at the PKR operations centre in Gong Kapas.

In his first appearance at a mammoth beach rally on Tuesday with Pakatan Rakyat heavyweights including Pas spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat and party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang, Anwar sent out a signal that the coalition was far from breaking up and was into the Kuala Terengganu by-election as one force.

As expected, Anwar and most of those who spoke had nothing good to say about the government as they kicked-start the Opposition's campaign for their candidate Abdul Wahid, the Wakaf Mempelam state assemblyman.