Sunday, February 14, 2021

Zuraida to spill ‘previously unseen’ evidence against Anwar

The former PKR vice-president says she will reveal documented and electronic evidence implicating the party president.

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Former Wanita PKR chief Zuraida Kamaruddin will reveal alleged evidence of sexual misconduct by party president Anwar Ibrahim at the hearing of the suit against her by PKR over a breach of agreement.

In her defence filed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court, Zuraida, who was among the PKR leaders who quit the party in the wake of the political crisis in February, said she would also produce in court electronic evidence that had never been made public before.

“The defendant (Zuraida) affirms that the continuous allegations of sexual misconduct against Anwar, as well as the status of the full pardon given to him, not only caused discomfort in PKR (when the defendant was still a member), but caused many members including the defendant to lose trust in Anwar and the real direction of PKR,” Zuraida, a former PKR vice-president said in the statement.

She also said that two men – Mohammed Yusoff Rawther and Aidil Azim Abu Adam – would be called to testify for the defence.

The duo had lodged separate police reports accusing Anwar of sexually attacking them.

Zuraida said while Yusoff had spent four hours at the Bukit Aman police headquarters undertaking a polygraph test due to his allegations, Anwar had refused to do the same.

She said Anwar also refused to make good on his threat to sue Yusoff for defamation.

Zuraida said Aidil Azim had lodged a police report against Anwar, in addition to shocking details of sexual misconduct in a sworn affidavit which was shared on social media.

Meanwhile, Zuraida in her defence statement also questioned the royal pardon granted to Anwar in 2018 allowing him to be released from prison, where he was serving a five-year sentence for the crime of sodomy.

She said the pardon was defective as the Pardons Board did not meet the quorum before making its recommendation to the Agong.

In her 21-page statement, Zuraida said she had quit PKR as she felt Anwar was not qualified to lead the party or the nation.

Anwar was named by the Pakatan Harapan coalition to replace Dr Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister, but the transition never took place. In February, the PH government collapsed following Mahathir’s resignation, with Zuraida and 10 other PKR MPs quitting the party.

Zuraida, a three-term MP who joined PKR when it was founded in 1999, said the party had strayed from its values and objectives, adding that she only began to see “the true face of PKR” after Anwar took over as its president in 2018.

Among others, Zuraida accused Anwar of nepotism in the selection of state chiefs, bypassing the divisional leaders.

“With such a clear practice of nepotisme, Anwar appointed his own daughter, Nurul Izzah Anwar, as the Penang PKR chief. Not long after, Nurul Izzah resigned from the post.

“The appointments for other critical posts were done without consultation with the newly elected deputy president Azmin Ali or the new office bearers,” she said.

PKR is suing Zuraida, who is also the Ampang MP, for leaving the party, saying she was bound by a RM10 million bond she signed with the party.

Zuraida, the housing and local government minister who has since joined Bersatu, however said the bond was unconstitutional, adding that the party’s demand for RM10 million in compensation from defecting MPs could lead to abuse of the democratic process, especially by wealthy politicians.

“It is clear that the suit has been filed with the objective to damage the defendant’s reputation in the eyes of the Malaysian public and also to secure funds to finance PKR,” she added.

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