Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Anifah to Anwar: See you in court

By Adib Zalkapli, Malaysia Insider

SEPANG, May 17 - Foreign Minister Datuk Anifah Aman today said he is ready to face Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in court over his statement that Anwar had offered him the deputy prime minister's position if he crossed over to Pakatan Rakyat (PR) last year.

"Oh yes, I have no problem with that, as the foreign minister I have better things to do, Anwar is the least of my concern," said Anifah when asked whether he is prepared to face legal action by Anwar after he refused to retract his remark.

Anifah, at a joint press conference with Hillary Clinton in the United States on Thursday, said Anwar had offered him the deputy prime minister post to lure him to defect to PR, but Anwar had yesterday denied the allegation and threatened to take legal action.

Speaking to reporters upon his arrival from the United States, Anifah said that Anwar had called him once last year to make the offer.

"I told him, 'Don't waste your time, I am not willing to leave Umno and Barisan Nasional'," said Anifah adding that the matter was an open secret. When asked when the call was made he said he could not remember as he did not treat the call from Anwar as something important.

Anifah said he only revealed what Anwar did in Washington because a reporter there had asked about the charges against the opposition leader.

"There was a reporter who asked a question about whether all the charges against Anwar were politically motivated so I told the reporter that I have utmost faith in our judicial system, there is no need to doubt, our judicial system is free and independent," said Anifah citing the recent High Court declaration on the Perak crisis which favoured the PR.

He added that Anwar was being irresponsible by tarnishing the country's image in the United States which is Malaysia's largest trading partner.

"I believe it is necessary to tell the Americans the truth," said Anifah.

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