Malaysia’s Minister of Youths and Sports is in a quandary after jailed former deputy Prime Minister gave minute details of meetings at the ruling United Malays National Organisation (Umno) that took place in 1998.
The jailbird Anwar who is serving five years of imprisonment in a sodomy case, denied Khairy’s accusations that he attempted to overthrow his mentor and former Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohamad in 1998.
Anwar, who met Mahathir for 45 minutes at the courtroom yesterday, rejected the accusations brought forward by 3 individuals who are currently witnesses in the case by the Youths and Sports Minister.
Anwar said he never challenged Mahathir as leader of the party, but the existing vice-presidents Najib Razak, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Tun Abdullah Badawi wanted Anwar to bring up issues related to Proton, Perwaja, the Bakun dam and others.
“But I was never involved in any attempts to overthrow Mahathir, he said, adding that “Khairy Jamaluddin was never present in these meetings,” lashed Anwar.
It is apparent that Khairy made the accusations based on rumours and coffee talk shops, in which it is said Anwar plotted the downfall of Mahathir but Mahathir acted faster than the latter and removed him as Minister in 1998.
Anwar is suing Khairy at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur, who accused the former minister of plotting to bring down the government of Mahathir prior to the ‘reformasi’ movement (reformist) he launched after his dismissal as deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance in 1998.
“There was no party elections in 1998. The party’s council had, at that time, decided there will be no contest of the party’s president and deputy president posts.
“I supported the move during the party’s meeting. But I wanted my post to be contested.
“My position on these issues were reported by the newspapers – including The Star on May 11, 1998,” said Anwar.
Mahathir meets Anwar
After meeting with Anwar, Mahathir said he and his former protege agreed that it was better for Prime Minister Najib Razak to quit from his post, due to the many issues plaguing his regime.
Mahathir told the media that he and Anwar also agreed to reinforce the opposition grouping.
Mahathir is currently the member of a new opposition party, the Party Bersatu (Bersatu), which is joining the opposition alliance the Pakatan Harapan, headed by Anwar Ibrahim.