KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia’s Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has acted against an opposition politician for allegedly accusing him of being “an Israeli agent”.
His aide is also threatening to take action against an opposition politician for saying Datuk Seri Anwar’s so-called unity government is a “kerajaan zina” (adulterous government).
Mr Anwar has over the years been accused by his political opponents, without evidence, of working for Israel or the United States, as part of smear tactics in political rallies or on social media.
He himself referred to the accusation in his first meeting on Tuesday with civil servants, saying he has been ignoring a lot of slander since becoming prime minister, including that he was an “Israeli agent”.
“I want to focus on work, besides, you know I’m an agent of many countries – the US, Israel, India, now Turkey, so I have surpassed 007 in many ways,” Mr Anwar quipped. “So I hope we can focus on work.” His remarks drew chuckles from the audience, Bloomberg reported.
On Tuesday, Mr Anwar sought an apology from a Perikatan Nasional (PN) federal lawmaker Hassan Saad in Kedah state over a Twitter audio posting said to contain allegations of his links with Israel, Malaysiakini reported. PN is an opposition coalition.
Mr Anwar claimed that the posting defamed him, and also ridiculed the decree of the Malaysian King to appoint him as prime minister and was an insult against Malaysia’s royalty as well, the news site reported.
Separately, a leader of opposition Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), Afif Bahardin, condemned the information chief of PM Anwar’s coalition, Fahmi Fadzil, for threatening to bring in the police to act against PN election candidate Mr Azman Nasrudin.
Mr Azman had allegedly said the new government is an “adulterous government”. The Anwar administration is led by his Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition with help from other coalitions, including former political foes Barisan Nasional.
PH’s communications director Mr Fahmi accused Mr Azman of being “extremely rude” to the King and his constitutional right to appoint a person deemed worthy to be prime minister
“Harapan’s threat to take police action over a statement against Azman goes completely against its repeated promise that they will defend freedom of speech,” Mr Afif said in a statement.
“In their GE-15 election manifesto, Harapan specifically promised to abolish draconian laws that restrict freedom of speech and promise to ‘defend democracy and promote free speech,’ the statement added.
Mr Azman is the PN candidate for the Dec 7 Padang Serai election in Kedah states, to appoint a federal MP. Voting was rescheduled after one of the candidates died before the Nov 19 general election.