A FORMER PKR researcher’s claims of sexual assault against party president Anwar Ibrahim are an “old script” aimed at discrediting the prime minister-in-waiting, grassroots members said.
This would be the third time Anwar was faced with claims of sexual misconduct, and it is getting stale and unbelievable, more so because the latest claims were over an incident that allegedly took place more than a year ago, they told The Malaysian Insight.
Keningau PKR branch deputy chief Antakor Rasam said party members found the allegation by Muhammed Yusoff Rawther hard to believe.
“It’s hard to believe as the incident was more than a year ago. If it happened today and tomorrow the complainant lodged a report, then that would make sense.
“This really looks like Sodomy 3.0 because it’s the same old script. Right now, we should be focusing on addressing important issues like the economy,” he told The Malaysian Insight.
Yusoff, who worked as Anwar’s researcher from September 2018 until May this year, has accused the prime minister-in-waiting of trying to force himself on him in an incident at the latter’s residence in Bukit Segambut on October 2 last year.
Yusoff revealed his claims in a statutory declaration dated November 19, this year. The document was widely shared on social media and in chat groups on December 4, the day he also held a press conference on the matter.
He only lodged a police report on the incident on December 7.
Anwar, meanwhile, has denied Yusoff’s allegations, saying he had attended an event to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi and was also busy campaigning in the Port Dickson by-election at the time of the alleged incident.
Perak PKR member Hasmizat Hassan said sex allegations against Anwar did not make sense, adding that people were fed up and wanted Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) largest party to focus on governance and reforms.
“It’s so stale. The grassroots are just fed up. Move on. Enough of all these stories. People are tired. People just think it’s a political attack.
“We should be focusing on addressing cost of living issues, about ways to bring down the prices of goods. Petrol is not cheap,” says Hasmizat who heads a branch in Perak.
Selangor PKR Youth member Hasnor Ali questioned Yusoff’s motives, calling his actions illogical.
“If you notice, he revealed his allegation just before the congress. It doesn’t even make sense. Why wait more than a year to raise the matter and lodge a police report? Why continue working for Anwar after the incident if he did that to you?
“It’s just aimed at discrediting Anwar. It’s an old script, repeated, to stir dirty politics. We have no interest in it,” said Hasnor.
The emergence of Yusoff’s statutory declaration on December 4 was just a day before the opening of the PKR youth and Women’s congress. The main congress held its proceedings two days later, on December 7.
For grassroots members, sexual misconduct allegations against Anwar is a tactic used once too many times in attempts to end his political career.
The first, in 1998, was when he was sacked as deputy prime minister. Anwar was subsequently charged for sodomy and attempting to subvert the investigations.
The trial, however, was marred by several inconsistencies, such as the inability of the prosecution to accurately decide on the dates of the alleged sexual encounters due to the inconsistency of the DNA evidence.
Nevertheless, Anwar was found guilty and sentenced to six years for corruption and nine years for sodomy. His sodomy conviction was subsequently overturned at the Federal Court in September 2004.
In 2008, he was accused of sodomy by his aide Mohamad Saiful Bukhari Azlan. The trial again saw inconsistencies in the evidence and Anwar was acquitted by the high court, only to have this decision overturned by the Court of Appeal and upheld by the Federal Court. He was sentenced to five years in prison from February 2015.
Anwar was released through a royal pardon on May 16, 2018, after PH won in the last general election and formed the government.
The third and latest allegation comes as the Port Dickson MP waits to succeed Dr Mahathir as agreed by PH component parties before the general election last year.
It also follows an open feud between Anwar and his PKR deputy Mohamed Azmin Ali, who has been implicated in a sex scandal of his own in a video clip that emerged in June this year, but has denied it.