Anwar says wouldn’t have understood ‘excesses and abuse’ if he had become PM in 1999

12-Jun-2018 Intellasia | Malay Mail | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has acknowledged the significance of his incarceration, stressing that he would not have understood the “excesses and abuse” in Malaysia had he become prime minister in 1999.

In an interview with The Star, the PKR de facto leader said that it was through his incarceration that he learned the value of freedom.

“Had I assumed office (as PM) in 1999, I wouldn’t have that sort of understanding of the excesses and abuse we have seen,” Anwar told The Star.

In April 1999, Anwar was jailed for sodomy charges following his removal as deputy prime minister and finance minister under Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s administration.

He was later jailed again by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and freed last month when he received a full royal pardon after the Dr Mahathir-led Pakatan Harapan coalition won the May 9 general election.

Anwar also stressed that he was unapologetic of his experiences in prison.

When asked if he had changed in the last 20 years, Anwar told the English daily that “people mature. You should grow wiser, not become a miser”.

Addressing claims that he had become too pluralistic over the years, Anwar said it was a problem he had to face and he could only do “what I think is right”.

“You go to the rural areas and some say, ‘Anwar, he’s not like before, he’s too pluralistic, he wants to appease the Chinese, he chooses to quote Confucius, he doesn’t quote the Quran anymore’,” he told The Star.

“I don’t go to a Malay kampung and quote Confucius! It’s true, I go to the kampung and quote the Quran because they understand. What is important is the substance.”


Category: Malaysia

Print This Post