Dr M demands apology from Anwar for PKR congress remarks

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Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad wants the Prime Minister to retract an allegedly defamatory statement made towards him at a PKR gathering.

Dr Mahathir also said Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim must apologise in writing at a special press conference and sent a letter of demand for this purpose on Monday (March 27).

He added that Anwar has seven days to respond.

“Even though the Prime Minister did not mention my name in his speech, it is clear he was referring to me.

Miera Zulyana

“Who else led the country for 22 years plus a further 22 months as prime minister,” he said at a press conference in Putrajaya on Tuesday (March 28).

During the PKR special national congress on March 18, Anwar was quoted as saying that “someone, after 22 years (and) another 22 months in power, is lamenting that the Malays have lost everything… How could they not, if you were (taking) everything for your family and children. Now when you have lost power, you want to talk about the people.”

The Prime Minister had also hit out against those attempting to create racial disunity, saying that “patriotism, racism and religious bigotry are the last refuge of the scoundrel”.

Dr Mahathir said he will consider taking action if Anwar fails to respond to the letter of demand sent to Anwar’s office yesterday.

“These are very terrible accusations and give the impression as if I have stolen money, misappropriated money, did not pay taxes, that I’m a scoundrel and so on,” he added.

According to Dr Mahathir’s lawyer Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali, the seven-day period started yesterday.

Dr Mahathir was asked if legal action would be taken against anyone else who repeats Anwar remarks.

He replied that currently, action will only be taken against Anwar as the allegations made were very serious “coming from a prime minister”.

Dr Mahathir said Anwar’s remarks had damaged his image as a statesman who was a two-time prime minister with a reputation as a respected leader.