KUALA LUMPUR: Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak says Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s statement that former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was unjustly convicted for sodomy and that the decision of the court was influenced by the government is shocking and comical.
Salleh said in essence, Mahathir was saying that Anwar was fixed up by a corrupt judiciary and that the judges were dishonest.
According to Salleh, that alone was tantamount to contempt of court, and saying so in an interview with a British daily was nothing short of an attempt to smear the country’s image.
“The onus, therefore, is on Mahathir to prove what he alleges and prove he genuinely and sincerely believes that Anwar is a victim of a political conspiracy by apologising to Anwar for everything he has said about and done to Anwar since 1998.
“It is pointless to allege that Anwar was convicted for a crime he never committed and yet not make amends for it by at least saying sorry,” Salleh said in a blog post today.
He was commenting on a recent interview given by Mahathir to The Guardian.
Salleh said failure to apologise would prove Prime Minister Najib Razak correct in saying that Mahathir fears the royal commission of inquiry (RCI) which is investigating Bank Negara’s RM30 billion losses gambling in the foreign exchange (forex) market.
According to Salleh, Mahathir’s main concern was that Anwar would testify against him and that the truth behind the losses would be revealed.
“This, therefore, is merely a move by Mahathir to appease Anwar and was not made sincerely,” Salleh said.
Anwar is serving a five-year jail sentence for sodomy. He was jailed in February 2015.
He was first jailed for corruption and sodomy in 1998.