Malaysia: UPDATE: Najib and Anwar Spar Over Accusations

Updated On: Jul 07, 2008

Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim sparred from 3 July, trading accusations over two scandals. Anwar claims to have evidence to expose an alleged cover-up in the murder trial of a Mongolian woman. DPM Najib admits that he met the man who has filed a report against Anwar for sodomy.
Anwar produced a key witness in the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu who alleged that the police omitted vital information he provided that DPM Najib knew the dead woman and had sex with her.
Mr Najib has lashed back, insisting that this is, 'terrible lie, a malicious fabrication' to damage him, and a 'desperate attempt' to divert attention away from a police investigation into the report alleging Anwar sodomised a former personal assistant.
The witness involved is Balasubramaniam Perumal, a private investigator hired by Abdul Razak Baginda, who was then a political adviser to DPM Najib and is now facing trial for the murder of the Mongolian woman. The allegations were made in a sworn declaration. But on 5 July, just a day after, the PI retracted all his allegations. He claims he had been under duress to make the declaration.
On the sodomy accusations against Anwar, DPM Najib admitted that he had met Anwar's accuser, Saiful Bukhari Azlan, days before he lodged his police report. He claims that Saiful had “come to see me and he was traumatised. He said he needed help,”. Najib, who says he did not direct Mr Saiful to do anything, including filing the police report.
Rumours of the government imposing emergency rule have been quashed by PM Abdullah Badawi, who has said things are stable. The renewed controversies are thought by some commentators to give some pause to those who wish the PM to step down in favor of DPM Najib.
However, the political scandals have affected market sentiments. KL’s composite index closed on 4 July at 1,1134.14 points, the lowest in 15 months.

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