I forgive Mahathir even though there was no apology, says Anwar

Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (right) denied ever saying sorry to Mr Anwar Ibrahim, whom he sacked as deputy prime minister, and who was arrested for corrupt practices and sodomy in 1998. PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president-elect Anwar Ibrahim says he has forgiven Tun Mahathir Mohamad though the Malaysian Prime Minister did not apologise to him.

"I have never asked him to apologise. I have always been firm that I am satisfied with his demeanour and readiness to work with me. Forget the past and move on. It is you who are demanding forgiveness or BBC."

Datuk Seri Anwar was responding to the statement made by Dr Mahathir during the BBC programme HARDtalk aired on Tuesday (Oct 2).

In the interview, Dr Mahathir denied ever saying sorry to Mr Anwar, who was sacked as deputy prime minister by Dr Mahathir and arrested for corrupt practices and sodomy in 1998.

"I didn't tell him that, other people put words into my mouth because they want me to apologise.

"I have never made any formal apology to him," Dr Mahathir said during the interview.

Mr Anwar said: "I have said that I have forgiven him, even Najib at a personal level. Datuk Seri Najib has to face of course the issues of squandering public funds - that is a separate issue."

"But I think with Tun Mahathir, it need not be equated because he is committed to the reform agenda. He has embraced me as a partner and in this process, I think that speaks volumes," added Mr Anwar.

Mr Anwar, who is the Pakatan Harapan candidate for the Port Dickson by-election, said this to the media after a lengthy speech on the concept of forgiveness at a function honouring the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi organised by the Indian High Commission on Tuesday.

"How do we deal with legacies of injustice, oppression? How do we come to terms with great wrongs done to the innocent? This is exactly what Gandhi has assigned to 'forgiveness' - the expression of the power to love.

"The weak can never forgive, forgiveness is the attribute of the strong," said Mr Anwar to a crowded room of mostly Indian nationals at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Indian Cultural Centre in Brickfields.

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