Mahathir, Anwar join hands against NSC

 |Sep 19, 2016
Mahathir and Anwar join hands to oppose the NSC bill.
Mahathir and Anwar have joined hands to oppose the NSC Act.

A joint statement was issued by former Premier Mahathir Mohamad and his ex-deputy Anwar Ibrahim opposing the National Security Council 2016 Act today.

The statement which was written in Bahasa Malaysia had both their signatures.

Both the long-time political rival said they decided to join hands in order to protect the interest of Malaysians.

“Due to this national crisis that we, with the people of Malaysia, object to this Act to save the rights and freedom of Malaysians and to restructure our beloved country,” they said in the combined statement.

“This Act has shelved the powers of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as well as the Conference of Malay Rulers in key issues relating to the nation’s security and the liberty of Malaysians,” they duo added.

The authenticity of the statement was confirmed by Anwar when met outside Kuala Lumpur court complex in Jalan Duta today.

The statement about the controversial NSC Act, which provides the prime minister absolute emergency powers, came shortly after the two political nemeses shook hands after 18 years.

Anwar, when met outside the courtroom at the Kuala Lumpur court complex, confirmed the authenticity of the statement.

The Joint statement issued by Mahathir and Anwar.
The Joint statement issued by Mahathir and Anwar.

Despite joining hands to oppose the NSC, Anwar declined to answer on whether he would forgive Mahathir.

“I mean, of course we have suffered immensely.

“I have forgiven a lot of people, a lot of times, but my concern is the present, because people in the present should stop this harassment and injustice,” Anwar.

He however, stopped short of answering if he would extend his forgiveness to Dr Mahathir, who had sacked him from the Cabinet and Umno 18 years ago.

Last week, Anwar’s second daughter Nurul Nuha said that Mahathir must publicly apologise to her father and admit his past transgressions against the opposition leader.

Dr Mahathir showed up in court on September 5 for a case involving Anwar, who was filing an interim injunction application at the High Court to stop the National Security Council (NSC) Act 2016 from being enforced.

Both leaders, however, have remained tight-lipped on whether or not the move was a form of reconciliation.

“I have explained. The problem was that this came (all of) a sudden. I had no opportunity to speak to my children before that, but now since I have explained to them the circumstances, it is enough,” Anwar said today when prodded further.

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Murali is a contributor to MO. He advocates the principle of practising human rights with responsibility.