KUALA LUMPUR, March 1 – Have tea with Mohamed Azmin Ali and appoint him the new Opposition leader instead. This was Utusan Malaysia’s advice to PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and vice-president Nurul Izzah, who are trying to get Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to attend the upcoming parliamentary sittings.
Debate is currently going on whether or not the Opposition leader should be allowed to attend the session on March 9, following his five jail sentenced for sodomising his aide, which he is currently serving in Sungai Buloh prison. Utusan, via its collective editorial voice, ‘Awang Selamat’, said it was amused by Nurul’s claim that her father deserved to have tea with the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong.
“This is definitely a strategy that was arranged to pressure the highest bodies such as Parliament as well as attract public attention,” Awang wrote this morning. The Umno-owned daily, however, said there was absolutely no need for Anwar to be accorded any special privileges compared with other convicts and fellow inmates.
“The truth is, many more groups and people deserve to have tea with the Ruler especially war heroes and unsung heroes.” What was even more embarrassing, according to Awang, was the continued efforts by Anwar’s family and PKR leaders to confuse the people over the recent petition sent by Dr Wan Azizah to Istana Negara.
For example, it explained, the document sent by Dr Wan Azizah was to seek Anwar’s release and not an appeal for a royal pardon which was being publicised by PKR. “Each one has their own interpretation from a legal perspective and it is not fair to manipulate the people with it.”
While more drama was expected to continue after this, Awang advised both Dr Wan Azizah and Nurul Izzah to accept that Anwar was guilty as charged, as the five Federal Court judges decided unanimously in upholding the Court of Appeal’s verdict.
“As such, the Permatang Pauh by-election must happen and PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali become the new Opposition leader.” On Monday, Anwar’s family filed to seek a royal pardon from Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah after the former deputy prime minister was convicted of sodomising his former aide in 2008.