‘Stop targetting Nurul’

A MIC leader and a business group express disappointment with the wave of attacks launched against the PKR vice-president.

RK Anand, FMT

Caught in the eye of a religious storm, PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar is staring at the possibility of being probed by the Islamic authorities.

But an outspoken MIC leader cautioned the powers-that-be against “doing to her what was done to her father.”

Party communication chief S Vell Paari said Nurul – whom he described as “one of the few bright sparks in a pitch black room” – should not be hauled up over a political vendetta.

Furthermore, he added that Nurul had explained herself.

In 1998, Nurul’s father Anwar Ibrahim was sacked as the deputy prime minister. He was then charged with sodomy and corruption, which Anwar claimed were trumped up by his former boss turned arch nemesis Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Anwar, now the opposition leader, was once again charged with sodomy in 2008 but had been acquitted this year. Once again, he accused his political rivals of hatching a plot.

Conceding that he had no authority to comment on issues pertaining to Islam, Vell Paari explained that he was looking at the matter from a different vantage point.

“While it is common for politicians to sing a different tune and issue threats of legal action when the heat is turned on, Utusan however is not the benchmark for free and accurate reporting either.

“So Utusan’s reports must be taken with not a pinch but rather a fistful of salt,” he added.

The MIC leader also took a swipe at Mahathir for claiming that Nurul was influenced by the ideals of Western liberalism.

Firstly, he said it was wrong for the former premier to presume that the daughter of his nemesis had supported apostasy, when there were two versions to the dispute.

Secondly, Vell Paari said Mahathir should stop blaming everything on the West as if this part of the world was free from sin.

“If these critics feel that the West is the root of all evil, then they should stop wearing tailor-made designer suits and stop being chauffeured around in continental cars,” he quipped.

On a more serious note, Vell Paari said the latest controversy highlighted once again how the political climate in Malaysia was now enveloped in hate and fear.

“Politics of hate and fear have become the staple diet in this country with both sides of the divide indulging in such antics to seek mileage. This must stop.

“Both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat leaders must cease this unhealthy brand of politics as it impedes the maturing process of this nation,” he added.

Give them room to express

Meanwhile, Malaysian Indian Business Association (Miba) president P Sivakumar was also disappointed with the attacks launched against Nurul.

He told FMT that the younger generation of leaders must be given the scope to express themselves without fear of reprisals, be it from their seniors or the authorities.