Is Azmi suggesting that Anwar may be assassinated, poisoned again or stage a "great escape"  when he warned that  HUKM  would be  held responsible if anything happens to Anwar while in hospital

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): Yesterday, Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Azmi Khalid warned that Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM) would have to take full responsibility should anything untoward happen to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim while in hospital.

Is Azmi suggesting that Anwar might be assassinated, poisoned another time or that he might stage a "great escape"  while in HUKM?  Is Azmi also suggesting that there is a conspiracy in the public service supporting Anwar against Mahathir and the Barisan Nasional government?

The Barisan Nasional seems to be trotting out their own conspiracy theory to counter Anwar’s allegation of the highest-level  political conspiracy to eliminate him from Malaysian politics, by suggesting that there is a  public service conspiracy  to support Anwar against Mahathir and  the Barisan Nasional government.

Fitting into this mould is the allegation by the new Director-General of the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA), Datuk Ahmad Zaki Husin  yesterday that he is trying to trace  senior ACA officers who are pro-Anwar involved in a conspiracy to leak information to discredit the ACA.

In making such an allegation,  Ahmad Zaki has done a great disservice to the ACA.  If Ahmad Zaki believes that there is a conspiracy of "a small number" of "disgruntled and misinformed" ACA officers who sympathised with Anwar  and who are undermining the  image and integrity of ACA, he should lodge a police report for an independent investigation to be conducted instead of publicly attacking his own agency.

Lately, Barisan Nasional leaders seem to be making more and more wild  and  desperate statements  when they realised that after more than a year after Anwar’s sacking,  they could not shake off the "Anwar factor" in the coming general election.

On the contrary, their repeated blunders and refusal  to handle  the Anwar case in a fair, just and  decent manner had fuelled public disenchantment with the Barisan Nasional system of justice and governance and made more Malaysians realise why it is important to break the Barisan Nasional political hegemony by ending its unbroken two-thirds parliamentary majority in the next general election.

With Azmi’s unusual warning to the HUKM and Ahmad Zaki "revelation" of pro-Anwar senior ACA officers, the Barisan Nasional government is giving the impression that it is not only under siege politically in the run-up to the 10th general election, but is also under  siege inside the administration itself because of the presence of strong "pro-Anwar" support.

Malaysians wonder whether they are about to see a major purge of the public service with a massive witch-hunt to ferret out and eliminate the so-called "pro-Anwar" elements, as indicated by the ACA Director-General.

It is not an offence or a breach of government General Orders for any public officer, whether occupying lowly ranks or the highest public service posts, to have sympathies for Anwar and to feel that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and the Barisan Nasional government had committed a whole catalogue of wrongs, injustices and gross abuses of power in  the handling of the Anwar issue.

It is the constitutional right of the 800,000 members of the civil service to have political views of their own and to exercise the right to vote any political party of their choice, as there is no law to say that one of the conditions of government service in Malaysia is that every government servant must vote the Barisan Nasional in elections.

No one in the government service, therefore  should be penalised or victimised in any manner for having pro-Anwar sentiments, provided such views do not interfere with the responsible and efficient  discharge of their duties as a member of a civil service which is politicaly neutral in the political arena.

As an illustration, it should not be an issue whether an ACA officer is pro-Anwar or pro-Mahathir, as what the people expect of him is that he should be fully committed to the war against corruption, regardless of whether the corrupt is a crony of Mahathir or Anwar.

I would therefore caution and warn the Barisan Nasional government to respect the political rights of the 800,000 members of the civil service and not to launch an anti-Anwar  witch-hunt to purge the public service or any important sector of so-called  pro-Anwar elements, which will be a major violation of human rights of the civil servants in Malaysia.


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong