The opposition leader must answer charges that he feared facing the blogger, says Penang Malay Congress
GEORGE TOWN: Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim must explain to Malaysians why he avoided facing blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin in a WikiLeaks forum last weekend, Penang Malay Congress (PMC) president Rahmad Isahak said today.
“Anwar should have used the forum as an international platform to strengthen his, PKR’s and Pakatan Rakyat’s political standings,” Rahmad said in a media statement.
“He should have faced RPK and cleared the air on many issues. We are disappointed that he failed to do so.”
He said Anwar, to prove that he deserved the standing of a top political leader, must now convincingly respond to charges that he feared facing the blogger.
According to Anwar’s chief of staff, Ibrahim Yaacob, WikiLeaks had originally requested an interview between its founder, Julian Assange, and the opposition leader without mentioning Raja Petra’s participation.
“It was only later that we were told that Raja Petra would be joining,” he said yesterday. “Hence, Anwar stressed that he had only given consent to the original request, which was an interview involving him and Assange.”
The producers, Quick Roll Production, then made an independent editorial decision to continue the show without Raja Petra, he added.
However, Raja Petra has maintained that Anwar had asked WikiLeaks to drop him.
Rahmad said Malaysians generally felt that Anwar avoided the blogger because of personal, not political, differences.
Nevertheless, he added, his failure to address the question would be no help to Pakatan Rakyat in the coming general election.
“Surely Anwar does not want to compromise Pakatan’s electoral chances, or does he?” Rahmad said.