Jailed former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim today equated Umno’s removal of Mukhriz Mahathir as Kedah menteri besar with PKR’s Kajang move in 2014.
Cross-examined by lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah appearing for Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin at the Kuala Lumpur High Court, Anwar admitted that Kajang move was meant to make him Selangor MB, as it was mooted by party leadership to bring change in the state by replacing then MB Khalid Ibrahim.
He said it was then decided that someone senior would replace Khalid, and the move was then facilitated by replacing then Kajang assemblyperson Lee Chin Cheh, who accepted the change and allowed the replacement.
Shafee: The initial intention was to put you as candidate, but this did not happen?
Anwar: Yes, it did not happen.
Shafee: As a result, there was another candidate?
Anwar: Yes we decided someone senior than him (Lee) and it was Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, where we saw Khalid also coming down to campaign.
Shafee: Do you agree that in the Kajang move, Khalid had made a statement that he did not agree with the move?
Anwar: Certainly, as he did not want to let go of the post.
Anwar then said he did not ask Khalid why he had made a statement that put the Kajang move to shame and was acting hostile when the latter had known about his (Anwar’s) nomination and that of Wan Azizah.
“I seldom comment on personal statements as I would like to focus on policy. I thought (at that time) there was a need for change as I felt the water agreement should have been more transparent. I do not respond on the personal aspect”.
Shafee: Wasn’t Khalid upset (tersinggung) as he felt the Kajang move was a betrayal by the party?
Anwar: There is a difference of opinion regarding management. I am responsible as a leader. It happened anywhere, even in Pahang and also in Kedah, where it involved Mukhriz (Mahathir). This (change) also involved Umno leadership.
Shafee however, said the situation in Kedah was different as he (Anwar) was not a Kedah state representative, to which Anwar concurred but pointed out that the decision to replace Mukhriz was there and thus, his argument is substantive.
Mukhriz was removed by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak last year, in what certain quarters claimed was due to the former’s father Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s relentless attacks against Najib.
Mahathir got it from others
When replying to questions during re-examination by R Sivarasa, Anwar said the issue of him betraying Mahathir was made by certain politicians who are opposed to him.
Reading a chapter from Mahathir’s book, Anwar said Mahathir himself had noted that the plot to topple him was planned by those who are against him (Anwar).
“This group did not like Anwar as they felt that he was a threat to senior Umno members,” Anwar said, adding that it was those who had plotted against him.
Sivarasa told reporters outside court that they have no intention of summoning Mahathir or former Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin as witnesses.
He added however that Saifuddin Nasution Ismail and Mansor Othman would be called on Wednesday, while Selangor menteri besar Azmin Ali on Friday.
Hearing before Justice Azizul Azmi Adnan continues on Wednesday.
Source : @ Malaysiakini