World

Najib demands Mahathir address past Anwar remarks

KUALA LUMPUR His deputy has said the elections will be held after September, but that has not stopped Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak from going on the offensive yesterday.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said on Sunday that September was too soon to call an election, putting paid to the theory that it was going to be called soon after next month's South-east Asia Games here, reported Channel NewsAsia.

This did not stop Mr Najib from going into election mode, and he came out with guns blazing saying Pakatan Hara­pan chairman Mahathir Mohamad must state whether he stands by his accusation in 1997 that Anwar Ibrahim is a leader with no morals.

Mr Najib said this was because many were uncertain on whether Dr Mahathir maintained his remarks then that Anwar was guilty of unnatural sex and was not fit to lead the country, The Star reported.

"The rakyat (people) are now questioning whether the allegations made by Dr Mahathir were correct or whether he is now willing to sacrifice his principles for the sake of political purposes.

"As long as he does not answer this, the people will think that his previous statement was just a political ploy with no sincerity."

On Friday, former PM Mahathir announced that he would team up with the jailed Anwar to lead Pakatan in the next general election.

The coalition also named Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president Muhyiddin Yassin, Democratic Action Party (DAP) secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Amanah president Moha­mad Sabu as deputy presidents.

Mr Najib hit out at Pakatan for announcing Dr Mahathir and Anwar as their leaders, claiming it will be the DAP which will be making the final call in the opposition coalition, The Star reported.

He said: "This is actually a political ploy as the political party with the highest representation is the strongest. We believe the DAP will win the most seats and they will have the ultimate power."

The Barisan Nasional chairman and Umno president urged Malaysians to put their trust in the ruling coalition, saying it has a clear leadership, direction and structure to ensure a secure future.

Said Mr Najib: "If we are in a situation that is not clear and directionless, and unsure about who will call the shots and about direction and policies, the people's future will be at high risk."

Najib RazakMahathir Mohamadpolitics