Monday, July 7, 2008

Rudd decides against meeting Anwar

Source : Malaysiakini

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has decided not to meet with PKR

de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim when he visits Malaysia this week to avoid a possible diplomatic row.

kevin rudd australia pm 150208The Australian newspaper said Rudd, who will arrive in Kuala Lumpur this Thursday on his first visit as prime minister, is keen not to pick a fight with the Malaysian government.

He will spend one day in Japan this week for the G8 Summit and then fly directly to Malaysia for an eight-hour visit.

"Rudd opted to stand by existing Malaysian and Australian government protocols and not meet Anwar or the leader of the opposition (PKR president Dr) Wan Azizah Wan Ismail," reported the daily.

It added that Rudd had considered meeting Anwar as part of the preparation for his trip.

Quoting a spokesperson for the Australian premier, the daily said that as in the practice of former prime minister John Howard, there would be contact between the foreign minister and the opposition leader in Malaysia.

"The prime minister (Rudd) sought advice last week from the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur on the political ramifications of meeting Anwar during his visit.

"Outspoken Australian support for Anwar and his wife, Wan Azizah, during his trial and imprisonment (previously), caused serious diplomatic rifts between the two countries, with then prime minister (Dr) Mahathir Mohamad declaring Howard was not welcome at the 1998 APEC meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

"Howard declared the conviction of Anwar to be political and said Malaysia's judiciary had lost its independence."

Then foreign minister Alexander Downer met Wan Azizah to offer Australian support in 1998.

anwar ibrahim and saiful bukhari azlanAnwar is currently facing another political setback following a police report lodged by a former PKR worker accusing the opposition stalwart of sodomy.

Anwar, who has denied the allegation, claims that it is a conspiracy to thwart the possibility of the opposition coming into power.

The government has denied this charge.

Act of treachery

In another development, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi labeled as treachery the deliberate attempts to create perceptions of uneasiness and distrust in the people via the Internet and the short messaging service (SMS) with blatant disregard for the principles of the Rukunegara.

He said these attempts had blemished the principles of the Rukunegara such as'Loyalty to King and Country, Upholding the Constitution, the Rule of Law, and Good Behaviour and Morality.

abdullah ahmad badawi pm mahathir quits umno pc 190508 03"All the slander and lies spread through the blogs and YouTube do not contribute to ease and confidence in the people," he was quoted as saying by Bernama.

The premier was speaking at the monthly gathering of the Prime Minister's Department in Putrajaya.

"There is no more regard for statements of truth in law. Little attention is given to (one's) demeanour in life. The sovereignty of the Rulers is turned into an issue," he said.

Abdullah said not all of the people believed in the negative perceptions but it was portrayed that more people had become trapped in that situation.

"Conduct attributed to the truth is not appreciated. What is appreciated is the perception, and along with it the lies.

"Perception negates the truth. The truth is no longer talked about. The important thing is the perception," he said.

Abdullah said perceptions had influenced the attitudes and options of some people in the making of decisions, including those related to investment and business.

He said this must be rectified but, unfortunately, it had become a subject which the people were most interested in, so much so that it had become word of mouth and they resorted to exaggeration.

"The people must be appeased so as not to have any fear of a possible shortage of food. They must be pacified so as not to have any worry over their own safety and that of their families," he said