Nov 3, 2006

Anwar’s comment on Dr M ‘distorted’ by dailies

Two national English dailies, News Straits Time and the Star had manipulated the comment made by ex-deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim yesterday on Dr Mahathir Mohamad, a Anwar aide clarified today.

Anwar’s press secretary Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad explained that the comment came following a journalist’s question who asked Anwar for his opinion should Mahathir apply to join the opposition one day.

He said Anwar had responded that apart from their personal differences, the former premier who is a citizen of Malaysia is free and has the right to join any political party he wants.

“But what was reported by the two newspapers were something different. The reports suggested that Anwar has invited Mahathir to be the adviser for the opposition which is untrue,” Nazmi said.

The Star reported today that Anwar Ibrahim who is the adviser of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) had invited the former prime minister to serve as advisor to the opposition.

The New Straits Times made a similar claim in a report under the headline, ‘Anwar offers Dr M post of adviser in Opposition.’

Nazmi said the comments made by Anwar were consistent since the open spat started between Mahathir and Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

“Anwar has consistently stated that Mahathir must be given the right to criticise the government without considering his motive as the former prime minister,” he added.

Apologise first

Anwar, who is now overseas, spoke to reporters at PKR Hari Raya open house Kuala Terengganu on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, PKR vice-president Sivarasa Rasiah also gave the correct version of what Anwar actually said.

“He (Anwar) did not invite Mahathir to become the opposition adviser but that Mahathir has the freedom to join any party including the opposition,” he said when contacted.

Sivarasa added that even if Mahathir was keen to join PKR, the party is not likely to accept him without an apology first for all his wrongdoings as premier, including his treatment of Anwar.

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