Friday, March 19, 2010

Anwar: Umno must explain Apco's role

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim described moves to refer him to Parliament’s Rights and Privileges Committee over his allegations that 1Malaysia concept mirrored the 1Israel campaign as “a bad joke”.

Speaking at a press conference at the London School of Economics last night, Anwar, who was once accused of being a Jewish agent, described the similarity of 1Malaysia and 1Isreal as a “strange reality”.

He said it was ironical that the government, which brazenly declared itself as champion of the Malays and guardians of Islam in the “Allah” issue, had appointed Apco Worldwide, an international public relations consultancy led by Jews and Zionist believers.

Anwar said the onus of explaining Apco’s role is on Umno and its leaders.

'Allegation serious'

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz yesterday said Anwar could be referred to the Rights and Privileges Committee for drawing the 1Malaysia-1Israel similarities.

Anwar had told Parliament that Apco, which was retained by the Malaysian government, had been involved in a PR campaign for a 1Israel concept in 1999, under Ehud Barak.

Said Nazri: "This is a serious allegation. We will have to decide whether action should be taken against Anwar for making a false statement in the House.”

Anwar said Apco, which is based in the US, should not be involved in any political management activities in the country.

Apco, which was reportedly paid RM20 million, is also believed to be involved in organising several political strategies aimed at turning the tide of support towards Umno.

However Apco issued a statement yesterday stating that the 1Malaysia concept was conceived by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak even before the PR agency was hired by the government.

"Apco had no role of any kind in creating the 1Malaysia concept, which was fully formed, and made public, prior to Apco’s engagement,” it said.

It added that inaccurate statements were made in the parliament regarding the firm and its role in Malaysia, as well as its work, past and present, in relationship to other governments.

by FMT

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