Dr M book puts Anwar’s credibility at stake

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s latest claims of sexual misconduct by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in his memoirs has forced Pakatan Rakyat (PR) into a “perception war” over the latter’s credibility as prime minister-in-waiting.

PR leaders said they have their work cut out to negate the former prime minister’s accusations in his autobiography that hit bookshelves this week.

In it, he wrote that Anwar had propositioned four girls for sex and not denied accusations of sodomy before being sacked as deputy prime minister in 1998.

Still licking its wounds from the twin defeats in Merlimau and Kerdau on Sunday by increased majorities, PR now has to reckon with the influential former prime minister’s efforts to “hammer in another nail in the coffin” of the opposition pact.

The latest claims will add to Anwar’s headaches. — Reuters pic

“That’s the reason he is doing this, just to add to all the other accusations against Anwar, trying to hammer another nail in the coffin,” said PAS political bureau member Khalid Samad.

“Dr Mahathir knows that Anwar is the glue in PR. By attacking Anwar and destroying him, it is as good as destroying PR,” DAP Youth chief Anthony Loke said.

Anwar is deep in the middle of a second sodomy trial while the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) has dismissed the PKR de facto leader as irrelevant after PR’s dismal performance in the twin by-elections.

“Dr Mahathir is very influential and what he says is very influential. We have witnessed how he attacked his predecessor, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and the kind of repercussions it had for Barisan Nasional .

“His stories today will create confusion among the people and paint a negative image of Anwar so soon, we are in for a perception war,” said Rasah MP Loke.

“He is trying to damage Anwar’s credibility as an Islamic leader with charges of sexual misconduct. It is quite obvious that these are sensitive issues for Malays,” Khalid added.

Both Loke and Shah Alam MP Khalid said that despite the lack of proof, many will still swallow Dr Mahathir’s words whole.

“As it is coming from him, it will definitely create a perception, whether it is true or not. Perception matters very much in politics,” Loke said.

“Some will think, because Dr M said it, it must be true,” Khalid said of the allegations made in the book entitled, “A Doctor in the House: The Memoirs of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.”