‘Verdict will ruffle Umno hawks’ feathers’

PKR vice-president Tuan Chua believes that the surprise court decision will lead the hawks to sharpen their claws for Najib Tun Razak.

(Free Malaysia Today) – Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim’s acquittal is expected to trigger a conflict in Umno, said PKR vice-president Tian Chua.

According to him, Umno hawks will not take kindly to the acquittal and are likely to blame Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak for it.

“I expect a major conflict in Umno following this decision,” he told FMT.

It is said that Najib’s initiatives to introduce greater civil liberties face stern but passive opposition from Umno’s hawks who are keen on maintaining the strong measures often used in the past when dealing with the opposition.

Pakatan Rakyat leaders believe this will be one of the key reasons to boost its chances of wresting Putrajaya in the next general election.

Meanwhile, Tian, and fellow PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah, said the court’s decision to exonerate Anwar of the sodomy charge has sparked off a “new momentum” in favour of the opposition.

“We are surprised but extremely elated with joy; since it vindicates us… I believe it will help Pakatan gain momentum for change in this nation of ours,” Nurul, who is also Anwar’s daughter, told FMT.

A conviction would have meant the end of his political career and some analysts also predicted the collapse of the coalition as Anwar is seen as the binding element in an otherwise ideologically antagonistic Pakatan.