Khairy says not Pak Lah’s envoy to Anwar

(The Malaysian Insider) – Khairy Jamaluddin has denied that he met with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to secure the opposition’s support for Tun Abdullah Badawi’s reform legacy before the prime minister stepped down from office in 2009.

The Rembau MP told The Malaysian Insider that he “never met Anwar” on behalf of his father-in-law as stated in a leaked United State diplomatic cable.

“Abdullah wanted bi-partisan support for the bills. It was important for him and Umno that they were passed,” the Umno Youth chief said.

The Malaysia Today news portal published the leaked US cable that cited then PKR vice president Sivarasa Rasiah and his successor Chua Tian Chang as saying that Khairy “approached Anwar regarding support for judicial reform measures… as part of Abdullah’s parting legacy.”

Khairy also denied that the reform package, including the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act, the Judicial Appointments Commission Act and the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission Act, were political strategies to head off a move to replace Abdullah as prime minister.

“I remember Abdullah asked Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz to brief all MPs including the opposition on the bills,” Khairy said, but insisted that he played no role as an intermediary between Abdullah and PKR de facto leader Anwar.

In the cable, US ambassador to Malaysia James R. Keith told his government that  Abdullah had kept in touch with Anwar through Khairy before handing over the reins to Datuk Seri Najib Razak in 2009.

PKR party leaders Chua and Sivarasa purportedly confirmed this when met by “polcouns”, or political counsellors, separately in November 3 and 5, 2008.

Keith also wrote that Umno veteran leader Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had speculated that Khairy acted as a go-between as there “existed grounds for PM Abdullah and Anwar Ibrahim to work together.”