Old foes Anwar and Mahathir unite to condemn Malaysia’s new security laws

19 September 2016

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Channel News Asia (19 September 2016)

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has teamed up with an unlikely ally – former deputy Anwar Ibrahim – to condemn the country’s new National Security Council Act.

In a statement issued on Monday (Sep 19), Dr Mahathir and the jailed opposition figure said the Act implemented by Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government “threatens the democratic system of the country”.

They said: “We observe that nearly every major institution in the country, including the Royal Malaysia Police, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Attorney-General and central bank have already been fully controlled by him.”

“This Act has sidelined the powers and roles of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Conference of Malay Rulers in important matters regarding the security and liberties of the people,” they added.

“It is because of this national crisis that we, together with the people, object to this Act, thereby bringing transformation and reformation that will save the rights and freedom of the people and rebuild our beloved country.”

The statement comes a week after the former rivals met for the first time in 18 years, while the Parti Keadilan Rakyat leader was filing an injunction in court to stop the Act from being enforced.

Mr Anwar was sacked in 1998 by Dr Mahathir over political differences, an episode that continues to reverberate. Charged with sodomy and corruption, he had spent six years in jail.

But he emerged to lead the previously ineffectual political opposition to historically strong electoral showings until he was jailed again in 2015 by Mr Najib’s government.anwar-mahathir-statement-data

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