No personal vendetta against Mahathir: Anwar


Jailed former Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said he bears no ill will against former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, urging the public to support him.

(CNA) – Jailed former Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on Tuesday (Mar 22) said he does not bear a personal vendetta against former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Speaking publicly for the first time since he was jailed last January over a second sodomy conviction, Mr Anwar said he holds no grudges against anyone, including Prime Minister Najib Razak.

A year ago, Anwar was jailed again on sodomy charges, which he said were concocted by Mr Najib’s government to eliminate the threat he posed to its grip on power.

“I have already forgiven everyone a long time ago,” said Mr Anwar, who was at the Kuala Lumpur High Court, where he appeared as his own counsel in a defamation suit. “My battle is not a personal one; it is about institutional reforms. I have no personal vendetta against Dr Mahathir or Mr Najib.”

Mr Anwar was fired and jailed in 1998 after a fall out with his former boss Dr Mahathir. Earlier this month he extended an olive branch and urged opposition parties, including NGOs, to support the citizens declaration to save Malaysia initiated by Dr Mahathir.

Several senior leaders from Mr Anwar’s PKR party, Democratic Action Party, as well as Islamic party PAS signed the declaration calling for removal of Mr Najib along with institutional reforms to save the country from becoming a failed state.

Najib has been buffeted for months by allegations of graft and financial mismanagement at debt-burdened 1MDB and in particular by revelations of the transfer of around US$681 million into his account in 2013.

He has denied wrongdoing, saying the funds were a legal political donation and he did not take any money for personal gain.

The Wall Street Journal report said money beyond the US$681 million arrived in Najib’s account in 2011 and 2012.