PKR files complaint with US embassy over Anwar petition removal


(Malay Mail Online) – An official complaint has been lodged with the US embassy here over the removal of the online petition seeking the release of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from the White House website, his eldest daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar said today.

“Yes, I am aware of the removal. We have lodged a complaint with the embassy and are awaiting a response,” the Lembah Pantai MP told Malay Mail Online when met at the Parliament lobby.

According to a brief notice on the site this morning, the petition was removed for being in violation of its “terms of participation”.

“Thanks for your interest in We the People, a new tool on that allows all Americans to ask the Obama Administration to take action on a range of important issues facing our country.

“The petition you are trying to access has been removed from the site under our Moderation Policy because it is in violation of our Terms of Participation,” the notice said.

“While you can’t sign this petition, there may be other petitions on We the People on a similar issue that you’d like to add your name to. Or, you can create your own petition,” it added.

It is not expressly known, however, which term the petition campaigning for Anwar’s release had violated.

Malay Mail Online is attempting to ascertain the reason or reasons for its removal.

Under the White House’s petition terms, it is stated that participants must be aged above 13 years to sign the petition and are prohibited from signing more than once.

A participant must create a user account to sign the petition, which requires one email address for each individual.

“The White House may disable user accounts, remove associated signatures and remove petitions created or signed by users that it has reasonable belief do not satisfy the above rules.

“The White House may also block access from IP addresses that it has reasonable belief are using automated systems or bulk processes to create multiple user accounts or petition signatures,” the terms say.

Launched by former US ambassador to Malaysia John R. Malott, who refers to Anwar as a “longtime friend” of the US, the petition presses the US administration headed by President Barack Obama to prioritise the release of Anwar in the superpower’s policy towards Malaysia.

“Anwar Ibrahim, the Leader of the Opposition in Malaysia, a champion of democracy, a believer in Islamic justice, and a longtime friend of the United States, was convicted and jailed on trumped-up charges on February 10, 2015,” the petition says.

The petition noted that the US White House had quickly issued a statement after Anwar’s conviction to express its “deep disappointment” and concern over Malaysia’s rule of law and fairness of the judicial system, but said such remarks are inadequate.

“But statements are not enough. The Administration must follow its words with action. Anwar is a political prisoner. The future of democracy in Malaysia is at stake.

Securing Anwar’s release from prison must be a top priority in US policy towards Malaysia, to be advanced in every way possible,” the petition says in urging for action.

This is not the first time that a petition regarding Malaysian events were started on the page, with a petition started in May 2013 to protest against alleged fraud during the country’s 13th general election.

The Federal Court on February 10 upheld the Court of Appeal’s conviction of Anwar for sodomising his former political aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, also keeping a five-year jail sentence.