Anwar’s baying for sympathy with retirement plan, says Utusan

KUALA LUMPUR, July 8 — Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s indication to quit politics if Pakatan Rakyat (PR) fails to wrest federal power in the next general election is just a strategy to win sympathy, Utusan Malaysia said today. 

The Umno-owned daily said in its weekly column today that Anwar’s (picture) intention to quit politics was just a way to draw attention away from various issues linked to the PR de facto leader. 

“The reason Anwar issued the statement is to see the response of all parties including opposition leaders,” the daily’s editors wrote in the paper’s weekend edition Mingguan Malaysia, using their “Awang Selamat” pseudonym. 

The paper cited Anwar’s rumoured bisexuality, sex video, sodomy case, support for Israel and recent claims of RM3 billion abuse in government funds as issues the PR leader was trying to divert from. 

“However, up to this point, the people have reacted as if they don’t care if he retires or not,” Awang said. 

“Among opposition leaders including those from DAP and PAS, none have come forwards to ask him change his mind except for two leaders, and even their pleas seemed half-baked,” the daily added. 

Awang said instead, many agreed with former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who said on Friday Anwar should not waste any more time if he intends to retire from politics as he has said. 

“The way Anwar practices dirty politics including his passion to denigrate his own country to foreign countries makes him a leader who is consistently dragging the people into hiding his moral misconducts and integrity,” the paper said. 

“Anwar is the person who started the culture of street demonstrations on the name of democracy but in fact, he has his own motives. 

“He will do anything to become prime minister,” it added. 

Anwar had indicated in an interview published recently by the Financial Times that he might consider quitting politics if the opposition fails to wrest federal power in the next general election, due by April next year. Dr Mahathir said Anwar’s statement was mere rhetoric because, even if the opposition pact were to lose in the next general election, he would continue to dream of becoming the prime minister. 

The former premier said in jest that probably an honorary prime ministerial post could be established for Anwar for the duration of five days to enable him to fulfil his dream prior to retirement.

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