Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Anwar slams poor effort to fight graft

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 – Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today slammed the ruling coalition for what he alleges are cases of “selective prosecution”.

The arrest of maverick ex-Perlis mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin on Sunday night allegedly for delivering a lecture in Ampang without permission from the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) was a case in point, the PKR adviser said.

Anwar, who was in court today for his sodomy case to be mentioned, explained that he had just been updated on the happenings in the country by Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.

The high-profile politician, who is fond of quoting from the Quran during his many public lectures, noted there was no valid reason for the Dr Asri's arrest.

“We do not condone those measures,” the PKR adviser stressed.

The former Umno man appeared cynical of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commision’s (MACC) seriousness about fighting graft when asked to comment on yesterday’s arrest of several lawmakers for corruption, including one from his rival Barisan Nasional (BN) faction.

He noted that they were merely hauling up the “small fry” instead of catching the “big fish.”

Anwar named several highly-controversial BN government business deals as cases the MACC should prioritise for prosecution; from the ongoing hulabaloo over the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project to old stuff such as the Defence Ministry's submarine and Sukhoi fighter jet purchases and state-owned Perwaja Steel corporation calamity.

“You can’t ignore these major cases,” he said.

“If they are serious in combating corruption, we will support them,” Anwar said.

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