Kadir defends Anwar’s UK trip

(MMO) – Veteran newsman Datuk A. Kadir Jasin today said he still has a good relationship with PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, despite the latter disparaging his blog post on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Kadir, who resigned as the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) spokesman on June 9, was spotted at Ilham Tower today, the meeting place of the government’s informal advisory panel.

“It’s a free country, I can be anywhere. I was just meeting Tun Daim Zainuddin to wish him Selamat Hari Raya,” he told reporters here.

Kadir said he has not spoken to Anwar since the incident but stressed that they have been good friends since the 1980s.

“We have been friends for a long, long time even before he joined Umno and was leading the Malaysian Muslim Youth Movement (Abim).

“When he joined Umno around 1982, I got to know him better,” he said.

Kadir, who is the former New Straits Times group chief editor, also defended Anwar’s trip to the United Kingdom despite holding no position in the current federal government.

He said Anwar’s trip abroad is “not extraordinary.”

“In Malaysia and in most parts of the world, we enjoy freedom of movement. He’s a politician and he has his audience.

“He has every reason and right to travel, unlike some people who are not allowed to,” Kadir said.

Kadir is now being investigated under the Sedition Act 1948 and under Section 233 of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Act for writing that the government allocated RM256.9 million from January 2017 to April 2018 for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s facilities and amenities.

His blog post on June 5 was then lambasted by Anwar who said Kadir should have shown more respect and decorum to the Malay Rulers.

Kadir said that he was not forced to resign but decided to relinquish his post with the CEP after taking into consideration the public’s view of the advisory panel.

“So my decision is, I want to be a writer more than anything else.

“Now I’m just a reporter, like you. The only difference is you get paid and I don’t,” he quipped.

He also refused to speculate on who would be his successor as the CEP’s media and communications head.