Monday, July 12, 2010

‘CIA tool’ label for Anwar is smear tactic ahead of polls

The tactic will not work as Malaysians are generally more concerned with the country’s economy than the issue of Anwar's loyalty

‘CIA tool’ label for Anwar is smear tactic ahead of polls, say analysts

By Dinesh Kumar
July 12, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, July 12 — Umno is labelling Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as a "CIA tool" to smear the opposition leader ahead of the next general election, analysts told The Malaysian Insider.

Umno leaders over the weekend pounced on a claim by New York-based blogger Elaine Meinel Supkis (Culture of Life News) that Anwar was a CIA ‘man’ to protect Washington's interests and covert operations in Kuala Lumpur. They had also cited a strategist who claims the PKR de facto leader paid for a CNN interview.

“It is obvious the election is a reason why they are doing this. But these are just allegations. It will not work in the long run.

"It’s just a smear campaign,” Professor James Chin of Monash University told The Malaysian Insider today.

Rights advocacy group Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) executive director Cynthia Gabriel agreed with Chin.

“This very directly is to smear the image of Anwar. Ever since he picked up the issue of APCO, they are trying to smear him,” she said, referring to Anwar's claims that the government-appointed public relations strategist APCO Worldwide has Israeli links.

“This attempt is to gear up for the general election,” Cynthia said.

Anwar, who is now facing a second charge of sodomy after the first case in 1998 that got him sacked from the government, has been linked at various times to Jewish and American interests. The former deputy prime minister has denied all accusations by his former colleagues from Umno, where he was once deputy president.

Supkis' article posted on June 28 was used over the weekend by Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim to question Anwar's loyalty. Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar also asked Selangor to drop Anwar as its economic advisor.

But Chin pointed out that the tactic will not work as Malaysians are generally more concerned with the country’s economy than the issue of Anwar's loyalty.

“The marketplace, the people, are just tired of all this nonsense. They are more worried about the economy and where the country is headed,” he said.

Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) commissioner Muhammad Sha'ani B. Abdullah found no reason for the issue, saying that nothing has been proven.

“If there is a case, let the case take its course. There is no police report. No complaints have been made. So it is irresponsible for anyone to carry out a media trial,” said Sha'ani, who is secretary-general of the Federation of Malaysian Consumer Associations (Fomca).


The Malaysian Insider

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