Soh crushed Anwar’s Sept 16 dream (UPDATED)

Blogger Raja Petra claims that the businessman refused to fork out the RM300 million needed to purchase 30 BN MPs.

(Free Malaysia Today) – Businessman John Soh refused to fork out the RM300 million needed for Pakatan Rakyat to form the federal government after the March 2008 general election, said blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin.

According to the Malaysia Today editor, the money was needed to secure the required number of Barisan Nasional MPs to jump ship in order for Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim to realise his much-publicised Sept 16 takeover plan then.

“Getting 30 BN MPs to cross over was not that much of a problem. All it needed was money, RM300 million to be exact – to pay each MP RM10 million. The problem would be, after paying them the RM300 million, which would have to be in advance of course, how could they be assured that Umno would not up the figure by RM15 million and buy them back?

“The bottom line would be: Pakatan pays them RM10 million each and Umno also pays them RM15 million. They would receive in total RM25 million each and remain in BN. If they could be bought, then others could also buy them for a higher price. And they would take the higher price without returning the RM10 million you gave them,” he said.

The blogger said that Soh did not agree to fund the RM300 million unless Anwar could ensure success but the latter could not do so.

Anwar blamed Soh for failure

For weeks, Raja Petra added, Anwar had refused to talk to Soh, whom he blamed for the failure of the Sept 16 plan.

“When they finally met, Anwar and Soh had a heated exchange. When Anwar said that Soh was to be blamed for the Sept 16 failure, Soh retorted, ‘If you are so confident it was going to work then why not fund it yourself? Bring back some of the billions you have stashed overseas and pay the RM300 million from your own pocket!’

“That was more or less the beginning of the end of their relationship. With that one retort Soh destroyed any possibility of a compatible ‘marriage’. From then on it was downhill all the way and they disagreed on almost every issue thereafter. Anwar never forgave Soh for Sept 16,” he said.

Following this, Raja Petra said one issue after another had cropped up and widened the gap between the pair even further.

He claimed that Soh was propagating reforms but his plans were always met with resistance.

“Only then did Soh realise the influence that (PKR deputy president) Azmin Ali had over Anwar. If Soh wanted Anwar to agree to anything, he must first get Azmin to agree to it. Only then would he be able to get Anwar to go along with the proposal,” he said.

Raja Petra pointed out that Anwar needed to raise at least RM600 million for PKR to face the coming general election if he really wanted to see a change of federal government.