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Dr Mahathir a changed man, says Anwar

Free Malaysia Today logo Free Malaysia Today 8/2/2018 V Anbalagan
Anwar Ibrahim, Mahathir Mohamad are posing for a picture: anwar_mahathir_baru_600 © Provided by MToday News Sdn Bhd anwar_mahathir_baru_600

KUALA LUMPUR: Anwar Ibrahim has again declared his support for Dr Mahathir Mohamad, saying his former boss has been vilified by the current government.

“He is a changed man and is committed to the reform agenda,” Anwar told reporters after attending a court proceeding on his suit against the government for allegedly securing his conviction for sodomy through fraudulent means.

Anwar, who served as finance minister and deputy prime minister before he was sacked by Mahathir in 1998, said it was unfair to compare the 92-year-old to ousted Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe.

He said Mahathir was prepared to make adjustments after joining the opposition.

“The government has also maligned him enough,” he said.

Last month, Mahathir, who is also chairman of PPBM and Pakatan Harapan, was named as the coalition’s candidate for prime minister.

The announcement did not go down well with some PKR leaders who feared the reform agenda might be sacrificed.

Earlier in court, Anwar appealed to Justice Nik Hasmat Nik Mohamad to hear the merit of his suit against the government for allegedly securing his conviction for sodomy against Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, through fraudulent means.

Anwar is currently serving a five-year jail term over a charge of sodomising Saiful, his former aide. He is due to be released on June 8.

Anwar said his lawyers had gone through the suit in detail and there was compelling reason to believe there were triable issues.

“What is my avenue in quest of justice if the court does not want to hear the suit?” he asked, after Nik Hasmat invited him to address the court after the lawyers representing him and the government completed their submissions.

Anwar said his suit should be heard as there was fresh evidence to be presented to the court.

“Large sums of money changed hands,” he said, in reference to another suit filed by Anwar that RM9.5 million was paid to senior lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah who led the prosecution team in his sodomy case.

The government is seeking to strike out the suit as it did not disclose reasonable cause of action, that he had named the wrong party and that the action was bordering sedition.

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