DAILY EXPRESS NEWS
'Anwar seeking help of ex-leaders' claim
BUKIT MERTAJAM: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has sought the support of former Indonesian and Filipino leaders in contesting the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat in a by-election on Aug 26.
Former Indonesian President Abddurrahman Wahid who is also Nahdlatul Ulama leader had expressed his support for Anwar soon after arrival at the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) office in Petaling Jaya Monday, said Universiti Sains Malaysia Social Science Studies Centre lecturer, Dr Sivamurugan Pandian.
He said this reflected as if Anwar, who is PKR adviser, was under increasing pressure and not confident of victory, so he had to seek help from his friends from neighbouring countries.
Sivamurugan said Anwar had also cultivated friendship with some American leaders since 1997 when he was in the Government.
Abddurrahman or Gus Dur had expressed his dismay over the sacking of Anwar as Deputy Prime Minister by former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 1998, said Sivamurugan.
"The question is whether the voters can differentiate whether it is personal support or regard it as foreign interference. This is not a wise move as it is only a by-election.
"The Americans had meddled in Anwar's sodomy charge and this affected the country's political situation.
The voters must think whether we should have a leader who is attracting foreign sympathy," said Sivamurugan.
He said canvassing for support from overseas for a by-election could be detrimental to the country's political stability and create uncertainties.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Historical, Political and Strategic Studies Centre lecturer, Assoc Prof Dr Ahmad Nidzammuddin Sulaiman said Gus Dur and former Filipino president Joseph Estrada's support would not have any bearing on the voters' decision as their influence in their countries had plummeted.
"While Estrada had served time in jail, Gus Dur was toppled. They knew Anwar when he was in power. They should not interfere in the by-election," said Ahmad Nidzammuddin.
Historian Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Kim said Anwar was trying to portray that he had maintained friendship with several world leaders on a personal basis.
"It will not have any repercussion on the country as the friendship is personal in nature.
"Whoever he wants to make friends with, it is up to him. What is important is for the voters to determine what is good for the country and themselves.
"They must know whether they are choosing an honest and sincere candidate or one with a personal agenda.
"Foreigners do not know what the local people want. Only the voters know best what they want," said Khoo.
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