Up to people to judge if Anwar is an ex-convict, says Hadi

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: It is up to the people to decide for themselves if PKR president Anwar Ibrahim is an ex-convict, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang said.

Asked to state his stand on the matter, Hadi said it was not up to him to judge, but the people.

“It is up to Malaysians to judge, whether Anwar is an ex-convict or not.

“I will not be the one to judge. They are the ones who will judge,” he said at a dialogue with the media today.

Also present were party secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan and other party leaders.

In Sandakan last week, Takiyuddin had reportedly asked if the people wanted a “former convict” like Anwar as their prime minister.

Today, Takiyuddin declined to be drawn into the debate, saying only that close to 10 police reports have been lodged against him.

“Surely, I will be called up by the police. I will give my statement to them,” he said.

Takiyuddin was also reported as saying that Anwar’s conviction and sentencing could not be questioned as it was a decision made by the Federal Court.

“As a lawyer, we know what happens when someone comes out from jail. Their status for the rest of their life is that of a convict,” he said.

This led to a demand by PKR Youth chief Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir for Takiyuddin to apologise to Anwar and retract his statement, which he described as malicious and rude.

Anwar was given a full royal pardon and early release from his five-year sentence for sodomising his former aide, Saiful Bukhari Azlan, and this allowed the former deputy prime minister to once again stand for election.

Kelantan PKR Youth today urged police to investigate Takiyuddin’s speech, which they claimed questioned the royal pardon granted to Anwar.

State PKR Youth exco member Muhammad Arif Mukhtar said that as a leader, MP and legal practitioner, Takiyuddin should not question any decision made by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

At today’s function, Takiyuddin alleged that threats were made against Sandakan voters to prevent them from attending ceramahs organised by the opposition.

He said that while there were those who did go out, the numbers were few.

“We received word that the voters did not dare attend opposition ceramahs as they had been threatened,” he said.

Hadi also weighed in on the matter, saying that abuse of government machinery in the recent by-election was rampant.

“You also need to look at the race factor, where DAP successfully played up racial issues. That helped them to win in Sandakan,” he said.