Anwar: If Dr M wants Rahim Noor as mediator, let it be

BUTTERWORTH: Anwar Ibrahim said Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad should be given leeway in determining the best person to be a mediator in the southern Thailand peace talks, following the controversial appointment of a former inspector-general of police.

The PKR president did not deny that Abdul Rahim Noor’s appointment would not please some parties, especially those who remembered what he did during his tenure as the nation’s top cop.

“I know some consider this a personal issue, but we need to give Tun Mahathir some space as the prime minister to determine what is best.

“In this regard, it is not just about Anwar’s case,” he said, referring to the time the former IGP gave him a black eye in prison in 1998.

Rahim, who served as IGP from 1994 to 1999, punched Anwar in the eye on Sept 20, 1998.

Anwar was speaking to reporters after officiating the Penang branch’s general annual meeting here today.

Anwar said this when asked to comment on the statement by his daughter Nurul Izzah, who is also Permatang Pauh MP, criticising Rahim’s appointment.

Nurul Izzah, who is also PKR vice-president, had described Abdul Rahim as a “brutal assaulter of an innocent man” on Twitter recently.

Rahim replaces Ahmad Zamzamin Hashim as the new facilitator for the peace process in southern Thailand between the Thai government and Mara Patani, an umbrella body representing militant groups in southern Thailand.

Earlier in his speech, Anwar called on PKR leaders, especially those involved in the election, to return to the right track and not be involved in corruption and abuse of power.

“I want to emphasise that our situation is different from the time we formed the party. Now we are the party that rules and the strongest party in Parliament,” he said.

Anwar said the economic agenda should now be changed and its growth spurred further to benefit the people.