Raja Petra: How will Anwar be freed?


Blogger questions PKR for including Anwar’s freedom as among the objectives of Save Malaysia campaign.

(FMT) – Controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin has questioned PKR’s inclusion of Anwar Ibrahim’s freedom as one of the objectives of the “Save Malaysia” campaign to be launched by a coalition of anti-Najib forces.

The campaign is based on a 37-paragraph Citizens’ Declaration signed last week by 45 people, most of them opposition politicians and a few civil society members. Others were supporters of Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who initiated the declaration.

The declaration calls for Najib Razak to be removed as prime minister and includes a paragraph calling for reforms of the country’s institutions and political system.

Raja Petra, writing on his web site Malaysia Today, pointed out that there was agreement on ousting Najib but no agreement about his successor.

While Dr Mahathir had made it very clear that the campaign was not about Anwar, the DAP and Parti Amanah Negara had chosen to remain silent, Raja Petra noted. However, Anwar’s party, PKR, has said that the campaign was also about freeing Anwar, who is serving a five-year jail sentence on a sodomy charge.

“What does PKR mean by freeing Anwar from jail and how are they going to do that?” Raja Petra said, urging PKR to throw more light on the matter.

Raja Petra, who fell out with Anwar in a disagreement with political strategy several years ago, said that Anwar had been found guilty by a court after a trial, not by Najib, and questioned why Najib was being blamed when the events of his arrest and charge took place when Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was prime minister.

He asked if opposition supporters were questioning the integrity of the judge who heard the case or of Abdul Gani Patail, who was then the Attorney-General. After making reference to past accusations that Gani had previously fixed up Anwar, Raja Petra pointed to the opposition’s about-turn in defending Gani when he was removed as the Attorney General last year (when it was believed he was part of a conspiracy to topple Najib).

Raja Petra also questioned Anwar’s refusal to give sworn testimony in his defence, choosing to make a statement from the dock, and also posed questions on why Anwar had not followed through with his defence of alibi.

Although PKR had stated it wanted Anwar freed, the party had not stated how it would be accomplished. “Are the PKR people going to march to the Sungai Buloh Prison and demand that they allow Anwar to walk out a free man,” he asked.

It was important for the party to state what method would be employed, he said. “That is what they need to tell us first before telling us that the Save Malaysia campaign includes freeing Anwar from jail.”