Dr M claims US peeved because ‘agent’ Anwar jailed


(Malay Mail Online) – Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad laughed off today Washington’s criticism of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s second sodomy conviction, saying the White House was only disappointed with the verdict because their “agent” has been imprisoned.

He said the White House’s response to the decision was expected since Anwar, who is still federal opposition leader, was seen as the US’ “agent for regime change”.

“Because he (Anwar) was their candidate. He’s the American candidate for regime change so that’s why they are unhappy,” he told reporters when asked to comment on the matter.

The former prime minister who witnessed Anwar’s imprisonment for his first sodomy charge in 1998, then lambasted the US as hypocrites, saying that Washington is known for repeated human rights violation despite criticising other nations for the same.

“So it is not for them to take the higher moral ground to criticise us. They should criticise themselves,” he said.

Dr Mahathir also took a swipe at the petition launched by Anwar’s supporters asking the White House to pressure Malaysia into releasing the opposition leader.

He said the petition was of no significance as Anwar’s conviction was Malaysia’s domestic affair.

The said petition now has nearly 40,000 signatures from the 100,000 needed to trigger a response from the White House.

“Why should they have the petition? Maybe we should also do one petition to ask the Americans not to meddle with our affairs,” he said.

Anwar’s conviction on Tuesday invited questions over Malaysia’s judicial independence, with US and Australia leading the criticism of the decision to send Anwar to jail over a charge that he vehemently insists is a political ploy to end his career.

The Federal Court on Tuesday upheld the Court of Appeal’s 2014 ruling that had reversed Anwar’s acquittal of sodomising former aide Mohd Saiful, also sentencing him to five years’ jail.

Anwar will now lose his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat as the law bars anyone fined over RM2,000 or imprisoned more than one year from serving as a lawmaker.

The decision also leaves the Pakatan Rakyat federal opposition pact without a leader.