Two individuals whose names were listed in a recent declaration of support for PKR president Anwar Ibrahim have denied any knowledge of its nature, saying they were made to understand that it was a declaration of support for a transparent election process to choose the best leader for the country.
Ishak Yusoff, the former deputy head of the economic cluster under the National Council of Professors, said he was never informed about stating his support for any individual to become the prime minister.
"As a former pure academic, I take a non-partisan stand in politics and have never stated open support for any individual as prime minister or any party," he said.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Mujahid Ahmad Zaidi, the deputy vice-chancellor of the National Defence University of Malaysia, said he supported in principle the movement towards political stability, economic recovery and general well-being.
"I was not there during the declaration session and was in no way involved in the declaration itself," he said.
"I have never issued a statement of support for any political party leader or favoured any political party. I did not know that my name had been included in the declaration of the G70 Malay professors."
Both Mujahid and Ishak said they had asked for their names to be removed from the list.
The G70 group had convened a media conference in Petaling Jaya to issue the declaration of support for Anwar as prime minister.
The declaration sighted by MalaysiaNow showed the names of some who had been close friends with the PKR chief from his days in Abim, or the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia, as well as lecturers from the International Islamic University where Anwar was president before his removal in the wake of his dismissal from the government in 1998.
"After due consideration of the prime ministerial candidates, we are of the opinion that Anwar Ibrahim is the only figure with the authority, experience and integrity to lead a pluralistic society based on Islam as the federal religion, as well as to restore the country's reputation in the eyes of the world," said the declaration.
The National Council of Professors later distanced itself from the statement, which was seen as an effort to boost the PKR chief's rating among Malay voters ahead of the Nov 19 polls.