Anwar played a key role in Ops Lalang, says Dr Mahathir


(Bernama) – Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today that Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim also played a key role in Operasi Lalang of 1987.

The operation witnessed the Internal Security Act being invoked to detain 108 political leaders and activists without trial.  Anwar was the deputy prime minister then.

Denying Anwar’s allegation that he (Dr Mahathir) was fully responsible for Operasi Lalang, Dr Mahathir said: “As a member of the cabinet, he (Anwar) should also take responsibility. Unless he had said, ‘I’m resigning from the cabinet because I don’t agree.’

“He never said such things. He agreed, supported everything including the ISA.”

Dr Mahathir also described the opposition leader as a master of deception and not a ideal thinker and that his party (PKR) was a party on “Anwarism”, set up solely to fulfill his (Anwar’s) ambitions.

The former prime minister said Anwar had also portrayed himself as a human who could not do wrong or sin in his path towards his personal interest and political career.

“His party is not Party Keadilan (party for justice) but a party for himself, his family and not for the race, religion and others. It is not even about ideology.

“He is a master of deception, an expert in denying what he had said before and reimaging himself as sinless. If Anwar is right, he would have been Prime Minister today,” he said.

He said Anwar had the skills to manipulate people with his scholarly approach when in fact he was neither a thinker nor a leader capable of leading the country.

“But he is no thinker but a glib talker, good at convincing people for himself. This is Anwar.”

Dr Mahathir was speaking to reporters after opening a seminar titled “Kassim Ahmad: An Evaluation” organised by Friends of Pena Pak Kassim at the Perdana Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya.