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PKR president refuses to join Save M’sia due to Dr M’s Anwar comments

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia’s opposition leader Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has slammed Save Malaysia frontliner Dr Mahathir Mohamad for disparaging her husband, revealing at last her reasons for refusing to join the bipartisan movement seeking to oust Prime Minister Najib Razak.

She expressed regret that Dr Mahathir had, in a recent interview with The Australian, stated her husband and former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim did not have the morals to lead Malaysia.
“I regret Dr Mahathir should choose to continue to express rancour and venom against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. This persists despite Anwar’s magnanimity in forgiving Mahathir’s previous excesses,” she said (using Anwar’s honorific title). “But when he chose to repeat the scurrilous attacks on Anwar’s character using the same institutions he had helped control and wield influence over, and now chooses to attack, I think that is nothing short of being unacceptable.”
Dr Mahathir has, in the past, repeatedly attacked Anwar’s character and used the latter’s sodomy charges to justify why he could never become prime minister.
Anwar was jailed for sodomy last year and Dr Wan Azizah, the opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president, replaced him as the opposition leader.
In the same interview, Dr Mahathir also said Anwar — who will be 69 in August — is “too old” to become the country’s next prime minister.
Dr Mahathir is the frontliner for the Save Malaysia movement calling for the Prime Minister’s resignation.
The movement has been supported by Anwar, other federal opposition lawmakers as well as civil society leaders and even some ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition veteran members.
Mr Najib has faced sustained pressure to resign since last year, over irregularities in state firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and US$680 million (S$918 million) in deposits into his private accounts. However, he maintained he has not used the funds for personal gain, and has since been cleared of any criminal offence or corruption.
Dr Wan Azizah had stayed away from the movement’s launch on March 4, as well as the signing of the 37-point Citizen’s Declaration, which included a call to remove Mr Najib and “those in concert with him”.
Yesterday, Dr Wan Azizah sought to explain her position regarding Save Malaysia. She said that the movement should not just be about removing Mr Najib, but must also seek to meet the public’s demand for institutional reform.
“First, I believe the (Citizen’s) Declaration should be expanded to one that meets people’s demand for institutional reforms and concrete actions, to see the end to endemic corruption,” she said.
“Secondly, Dr Mahathir must understand in any meaningful collaboration with the opposition and civil society, we cannot opt for autocratic methods because we have worked throughout based on consensus; prioritising the welfare of the people particularly affected by the current economic malaise and flawed governance.”
She said Dr Mahathir must learn to accept the fact that it was not up to him but voters to decide who should lead the country.
“Controlling mindsets only represents the old order,” said Dr Wan Azizah. THE MALAY MAIL ONLINE

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