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Friday, April 23, 2010

Outcome of Najib's meeting with Obama confirms our suspicions: Anwar


KUALA LUMPUR, April 23: Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has praised his arch enemy Dr Mahathir Mohamad over his firm stance against US policies in Muslim countries, and said the former prime minister's policies were now history due to outside intervention.

Anwar said the outcome of prime minister Najib Razak's meeting with US president Barack Obama earlier this month had only confirmed suspicions of Israeli-linked consultancy firm Apco Worldwide's involvement in dictating the country's foreign policies.
"Obama's meeting with Najib, we welcome. I would encourage, as a Malaysian, to have healthy bilateral relations with the United States, but not to become so submissive to be perceived as lackeys to the US.
"This is what is happening now. Why do choose to reprimand Iran and ignore Israel? Why do you choose to support the military action against Afghanistan? Why are you muted when it comes to the Palestinian question?" he told reporters at the parliament lobby Thursday.
Earlier, the Permatang Pauh MP was addressing the Dewan Rakyat during a debate to refer him to the rights and privileges committee, over his remarks last month that Najib's "1-Malaysia" was inspired by Israeli military leader Ehud Barak's "One-Israel" election battlecry.
The motion was passed after yet another noisy session, but not before Pakatan Rakyat MPs staged a walk-out in protest of procedural flaws.
Washington has been leading efforts to toughen sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear programme, which the US and Western allies say was aimed at producing weapons, a charge Tehran has consistently denied. The US efforts have met with strong opposition from big powers such as China, Russia, Brazil, Turkey and south American countries.
Najib was reported to have agreed with Washington's campaign to isolate Iran over its nuclear power project, and said the government would like to contribute to the US's operation in Afghanistan.
"You are talking to probably the most important personality of power on earth that can weigh so much influence on the Arab-Israeli issue, Afghanistan and Iraq.
"Here, you went there just to submit fully. And this strengthens our view that this is purely an Apco agenda - that 'if you want the Americans to respect you, you submit to them'," Anwar said.
"When I used the word 'melutut' (kneel down) they got very angry, so I said 'mengalah' (surrender)," he added, referring to his remarks in the Dewan Rakyat earlier, in which BN backbenchers erupted in shouts of protest when Anwar said that Najib was "kneeling down" to the US by declaring support for Washington's campaign to isolate Iran over its nuclear programme.
Kudos to Dr M
Anwar said he respected his once arch-rival Dr Mahathir Mohamad's strong stance on Palestine and other issues despite their many disagreements.
"Although I have many differences with former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir, but we cannot question his firm stance on the issue of Afghanistan and Palestine.
"It is now being questioned by the current UMNO administration.
"Let me give an example. Never before in the history of our country that the government has taken such a strong stand against Iran in the nuclear weapons issue. But thanks to Apco's advice, the prime minister now kneels (melutut) in front of Obama  to support his actions," he said to angry demands by UMNO MPs to retract the word 'melutut'.
'Khairy the Apco spokesman'
Anwar also described Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin as a spokesperson for Apco Worldwide, the company in the centre of the controversy following revelation in parliament over its Israeli links.
"Up till now, all we have been hearing are denials. There has been no response from the prime minister or the ministers.
"The gimmick by the Rembau MP is misplaced. He talks like a spokesman for Apco," he told parliament yesterday, referring to Khairy's action of producing a statement of denial by Apco that it had carbon-copied its "One Israel" project for prime minister Najib Razak's 1Malaysia campaign.
"That's because of his ties with those people who brought Apco here," said Anwar Ibrahim during the debate on a motion to refer him to the rights and privileges committee.
Later, speaking to reporters, Anwar again said Khairy was a spokesperson for Apco.
"From the start, he is the one who read Apco's statement (in parliament). Can you imagine that an independent parliamentarian reading out such a statement?
"He goes all the way to defend Apco like it is question of life and death."
'This is the Malaysian parliament'
On the decision to refer him to the rights and privileges committee, where he faces a six-month suspension, Anwar expressed no surprise.
"This is the Malaysian parliament. It's a tyranny of the majority," he said.
"This is a very unhealthy trend, very undemocratic, very repressive in nature, unparliamentary, and shows complete disregard for the rule of laws and procedures and runs contrary to democratic principles.
"Of course they are very confident because they have paid a large sum of money to Apco to go and say no, (and that) our parliamentary procedure is the most ideal in the Commonwealth, that we have a rule of law, that we have independent judiciary, so  they leave to Apco to defend them.
"Here, we have ample evidence to suggest that repression is continuing. In this particular case, they cannot handle the Israeli-Zionist question," he said.


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