Anwar confirms met Ku Li, denies bid to coax defection

(The Malaysian Insider) – Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim admitted meeting Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah “before” and “after” his failed September 16, 2008 takeover bid, but he denied enticing the Kelantan prince to defect to Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

The PR de facto leader refuted today a Wikileaks’ leaked US diplomatic cable which said that he (Anwar) had continued to claim Putrajaya through crossovers by seeking Tengku Razaleigh’s support.

Anwar told The Malaysian Insider that his meeting with the Gua Musang MP was no secret, and that it was merely to discuss “political issues.”

“There was a meeting, it is public knowledge, I met him (Tengku Razaleigh) before and after September 16.

“(But) we met because he wanted to be informed about issues, political issues,” Anwar said, and repeatedly stressed that there was no discussion about any form of crossovers.

“No, not like that. Not in that form,” Anwar added.

The leaked cable said that Anwar’s efforts were “inconclusive” as the Kelantan prince was said to be eyeing the prime minister’s spot personally.

In the cable, US ambassador James R. Keith told his government that the opposition leader had only altered his tone but not his goal nor his tactics, and had even stayed in contact with then prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi through Khairy Jamaluddin before Datuk Seri Najib Razak took over in 2009.

PKR party leaders Chua Tian Chang (Tian Chua) and R. Sivarasa purportedly confirmed this when met by “polcouns”, or political counsellors, separately in November 3 and 5, believed to be in 2008, but added that their leader had relaxed his pace to a “lower key approach” after his failed September 16 plan.

But Anwar also denied today that he contacted Abdullah through Khairy.

“No, what the report (leaked cable) says is not right. There is no basis,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

The Rembau MP himself has refuted the leaked cable’s report, and said that he has “never met Anwar” secure the opposition’s support for Abdullah’s reform legacy before the prime minister stepped down from office in 2009.

The leaked US cable also said that Anwar had lost significant political momentum after the debacle but PKR planned to recoup its losses by finding ways to weaken the new administration, to be helmed by Najib in April 2009, with scandals like the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu and the Eurocopter aircraft purchase.