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Anwar backs anti-Najib pact with Dr M, urges support
Published:  Mar 3, 2016 12:46 PM
Updated: Mar 4, 2016 12:07 AM

De facto PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim today announced his support for efforts to oust Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and institute systemic reforms, even if this movement includes former Umno strongman Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who was responsible for jailing him in 1998.

Anwar, now under a second incarceration since last year, urged the people to support this effort and to set aside "personal vendettas".

"I support the position of friends in civil society, political parties, and individuals, including Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Muhyiddin Yassin, and others to build up strength and ​common ​understanding ​together ​as articulated by the leader of the opposition recently.

"This understanding ​will focus on the demand for Najib Abdul Razak to resign as prime minister as he has clearly failed to lead this nation.

"Therefore I urge my friends and the rakyat to stand together in this effort without limiting it with​ personal agendas or personal vendettas.

"We must together chart a new way forward to save our beloved nation," he said in a statement issued through his party.

Anwar said Najib is responsible for selfish political acts, wreaking havoc upon administrative institutions and burdening the rakyat with continued economic crisis.

Anwar added the 1MDB scandals involving Najib is the "most severe scandal in our history" and has badly damaged the country's reputation.

"This can only happen when power is centred in one individual such as the prime minister, as well as the failure of key financial, judicial, and enforcement institutions to perform their tasks independently without fear or favour.

"We have also learned from history that meaningful ​transition of power cannot happen only with a change of leadership but it also demands a systemic change," he said.

Anwar claimed that key institutions have been badly damaged under Najib's administration and outlined the areas of changes that are needed.

“The rights of the rakyat must be returned through a free and fair elections, as well as an independent judiciary and free media.

"Economic policies must be reformed to refocus on fresh economic growth combined with equitable distribution of wealth," he said.

Anwar was in February last year jailed for five years for sodomy.

The conviction is a repeat of 1998 when Mahathir, who was then prime minister, sacked Anwar as deputy prime minister and accused him of immoral acts.

Anwar has maintained, on both occasions, that the charges are politically motivated.

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