How much truth must be told?
Posted August 20, 2008on:
|‘Najib, remember Port Dickson?’|
|Athi Veeranggan | Aug 20, 08 12:55pm malaysiakini.com|
|In a rare outburst that is perhaps telling of the toll the Permatang Pauh by-election is taking on him, opposition icon Anwar Ibrahim is threatening to expose a ‘dark secret’ of Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s, involving the southern beach town of Port Dickson, if the latter continued to wage personal attacks against him.
“Enough is enough. Stop the scornful lies on me,” Anwar warned during a rally at the Bukit Mertajam mini-stadium last night. “Otherwise, I will expose Port Dickson.”
His words brought the 3,000-strong crowd to its feet, sparking shouts of “bongkar sekarang” (expose it now), but the slim and bespectacled de facto leader of the Pakatan Rakyat opposition alliance Anwar held off, declining to give further details.
Anwar also accused Najib of pretending to be a paragon of virtue, pointing to allegations the deputy premier was involved in the gristly murder case of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, from which tales of exorbitant commission for a submarine deal as well as a sex-scandal have gripped and titillated the nation.
“Najib will run if I were to narrate its tales,” Anwar said.
Today marks the fifth day of campaigning in the Permatang Pauh by-election, with polling due only the following Tuesday on Aug 26.
Tough campaign taking a toll
Touted as the mother of all by-elections, both Anwar and his main rival, Arif Shah Omar Shah from the Umno-led Barisan Nasional ruling coalition have been working feverishly, holding nightly ceramahs and making door-to-door visits.
Anwar, who faces sodomy charges from his former personal aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan that he denies and claims are politically motivated, has borne the brunt of the BN’s two-pronged campaign strategy to attack him both as a man and a politician.
The sodomy charges have been wielded by the BN as their number one weapon against Anwar and local party members have been screening almost non-stop a video of Mohd Shaiful swearing on the Quran that his former boss had indeed sodomised him.
Large screens have also been placed at strategic spots throughout the constituency showing the infamous oath-taking ceremony.
And although Anwar had earlier promised he would not resort to mudslinging, he could not resist taking another swipe at Najib, who is in charge of the BN campaign.
He told the crowd that the deputy prime minister should learn to be ‘humbly cautious’ as the latter too had his bad times, almost losing his Pekan parliamentary seat in Pekan during the 1999 general elections.
“He won due to some dubious votes,” said Anwar.
The Permatang Pauh seat fell vacant after PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail vacated it to pave the way for Anwar’s return to Parliament after a 10-year absence.
Anwar has promised to overturn BN’s existing parliamentary majority and form a new government by Sept 16.