May 21, 2007

Khairy wants some answers

Khairy wants answers. Give it to him.

KOTA BAHARU, May 20 (Bernama) -- Umno Youth today sought an explanation from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim over his relationship with Paul Wolfowitz who has announced his resignation as World Bank president over ethics charges.

Its vice-head, Khairy Jamaluddin, said Malaysians were uncomfortable with an opposition leader who had offered himself as an alternative leader but maintained close ties with Wolfowitz, a former United States defence secretary, who was involved in the World Bank furore and was allegedly an architect of the ongoing war in Iraq.

"Anwar, as the chairman of the Foundation for the Future, must explain his connection in the furore involving Wolfowitz and the latter's companian Shaha Riza that has led to Wolfowitz resigning as president of the World Bank," he told reporters after a meeting with Kelantan Umno Youth members, here.

Khairy said Anwar had to provide an explanation because it had been reported in the media that the foundation had written a letter last year to the World Bank requesting Riza to be transferred from the United States' State Department to the foundation.

"Anwar must explain his role in the scandal, whereby the woman (Riza) was given a substantial salary rise when she was transferred from the World Bank to the US State Department before she was moved to the foundation," he said.

Khairy said that if it was correct that there had been abuse of power, as reported by the media, then Anwar as chairman of the foundation must provide an explanation.

"Anwar has to explain because this is an irregularity and abuse of power at the international level," he said.

Meanwhile, Khairy said the Malaysia-Singapore Special Committee on the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) was a co-ordinating committee on logistics and was not meant for obtaining the views of the republic on development of the region.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong had announced the setting up of the committee after their informal meeting in Langkawi on May 15.

Report from MalaysiaKini:

Anwar Ibrahim :“I did not appoint Reza to the foundation. She was first assigned by the World Bank through the US State Department to the foundation in late 2005 before I became chair(person),” Anwar said in a statement today.

“The executive committee of the foundation then decided in mid-2006 to regularise the appointment so that she (Reza) advises directly from the World Bank and not the US State Department.”

Anwar was responding to Umno Youth which had highlighted reports of his alleged involvement in the appointment process.

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Adam Soliman said...

Anwar Ibrahim does not really have to explain anything to Khairy. If Khairy really wanted to find out the truth all he needs to do is read the publicly available documentation on this case, released by the World Bank ethics committee.

In those documents it is clear that the World Bank handled the Riza incident internally and Anwar Ibrahim had absolutely no role in her pay raise or transfer to the State Department. When Anwar Ibrahim requested the transfer in October 2006 he did so on behalf of the Foundation for the Future as the Chairman. By that time the Foundation had been formally established as an independent entity. Riza's assignment to the St. Dept in 2005 was for the purpose of establishing the Foundation as a proper institution. Had the Foundation been in existence in late 2005 perhaps her assignment would have been directly to it.

If people took the time to learn the facts instead of being manipulated by innuendo and conspiracy theories then they would see this smear campaign against the Foundation and Anwar Ibrahim is just a political maneuver being staged to marginalize and discredit the only political force in Malaysia that has a chance to change the system.

Adam Soliman said...

The Ethics Committee documents illustrate the following:

1. An attempt was made by the Bank, PW, and SR to follow due process in resolving the conflict of interest at the Bank. Whether they succeeded in that attempt is the crux of the matter and is addressed in the more recent statement by the Bank and PW.

2. That Riza's raise and external assignment to the State Department were the result of deliberations that took place within the World Bank during the Summer of 2005 and that were finalized in September 2005. Neither Anwar Ibrahim personally nor the Foundation for the Future as an organization (which did not even exist at that point) had anything to do with either her raise or external assignment to the State Department.

3. That the Foundation for the Future did nothing inappropriate. The Foundation did not exist in September 2005. It was an idea that existed on paper and could not have been party to any negotiations of any sort. Once the Foundation was a real institution it was in a position to hire staff and to formally assign Riza to the Foundation and dissolve her association with the State Department which was clearly no longer necessary. Anwar Ibrahim's October 2006 letter as Chairman of the Foundation to the Bank reaffirms SR's mandate to work to build and develop the Foundation (which was the focus of her assignment to the State Department as described in a september 2005 letter between the State Dept. and the World Bank). The letter makes no mention of SR's salary other than to refer to the existing arrangement that had already been made with the State Department.

While the Malaysian Minister is busy trying to dig up a scandal on Anwar Ibrahim where none exists (Anwar does not even receive a salary as Chairman of the Board of the Foundation) the Malaysian government is descending deeper into an abyss of corruption and decadence.

Talk about baiting and switching the Malaysian public.