In an interview yesterday, Mahathir told the British daily – ‘owned’ and funded by George Soros – that Anwar was a victim of “a political vendetta” waged by the administration of Prime Minister Najib Razak. According to him, his former deputy was in prison because the government of the day had manipulated the judiciary to end the latter’s political career.
“In the case of Anwar we can make a case that he was unfairly treated. The decision of the court was obviously influenced by the government and I think the incoming government would be able to persuade the king to give a full pardon for Anwar. In which case he would be able to participate in politics and become PM. I can have no objection to that,” said Mahathir in the interview.
Ironically, this is the same Mahathir who sacked Anwar in 1998 amid allegations of a political conspiracy to end the latter’s career, then at its peak. The former premier, whose administration saw to Anwar’s incarceration on charges of corruption and sodomy, sparked a nationwide protest seeking his resignation from government and Anwar’s unconditional release from prison.
Back then, Mahathir turned a deaf ear.
Today, however, he stands alongside his arch nemesis – dictator for life, Lim Kit Siang – to demand Anwar’s unconditional release from prison. According to Mahathir, his former deputy was incarcerated by Najib for posing a ‘threat’ to his administration and not for anything else.
And that reeks of irony.
The reason being, in 1998, every political pundit said the same of Mahathir, swearing heaven and earth that it was Anwar who posed a threat to the former’s administration. The existence of such a threat was attested to by Mahathir himself in a televised statement he made to the Associated Press (AP) not long after Anwar was sacked from government.