Thursday, March 18, 2010

BN moves to refer Anwar to privileges committee

The government will decide whether to refer Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim to Parliament's powerful special rights and privileges committee over his claims that Prime Minister Najib Razak's '1Malaysia' was a carbon copy of the 'One Israel' concept.

Should that be the case, Anwar could face a possible suspension from Parliament.

At a press conference at the Parliament lobby this afternoon, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nazri said the cabinet would discuss the matter at its weekly meeting tomorrow.

"I will bring this matter to the cabinet to inform the ministers on this allegation which we think is going overboard," said Nazri in response to Anwar's allegation yesterday that Najib's '1Malaysia' idea originated from the Zionist regime.

"The select committee will decide whether action should be taken against the opposition leader for uttering false statements in the Dewan, especially for making untrue allegations against the prime minister,” added Nazri.

During lengthy three-hour speech on the royal address in Parliament yesterday, Anwar claimed that Apco Worldwide, a consultancy agency hired by the Malaysian government, was the brain behind the 'One Israel' slogan.

'A serious offence'

According to him, Apco had in 1999 advised former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak to adopt the 'One Israel' slogan.

However, in a statement today, Apco denied its involvement in the 'One Israel' concept.

Nazri, who is in charge of Parliament affairs, said that cabinet needs a majority consent for a before a decision on a motion to refer Anwar to the privileges committee is made.

“The allegations have been made against the leader of the House who happens to be the prime minister and of course accusation against the prime minister involves the executive,” he said.

Nazri refrained from commenting on the possible penalties faced by Anwar but warned that he had made a serious offence by associating a Muslim leader with Israel.

"It is a serious matter when a Muslim leader is associated with the Zionist. As you know, we support Palestine and we are against the Zionist and Israeli administration," he said.

KJ offers retort

Earlier today, Khairy Jamaluddin (Rembau - BN) told the Dewan Rakyat that Anwar was a liar while waving a copy of Apco's official statement refuting Anwar's claims.

At a press conference later, Khairy read out the statement which has been published in Apco website.

"Apco states contrary to statements made by Anwar in parliament, '1Malaysia' was conceived by the prime minister prior to the government appointing Apco," said Khairy, who is also Umno Youth chief.

The statement said it was incorrect to claim that Apco once represented the government of Israel or Israeli premier Ehud Barak as alleged in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

"At no time has Apco been involved with a public relations campaign relating to a 'One-Israel' concept. The statement in Malaysia's Parliament that APCO was involved in such a campaign is false."

Khairy, then challenged Anwar to repeat his claims outside Parliament and prove his allegations about the Apco link to the 'One-Israel' campaign.

courtesy of Malaysiakini

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