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PKR MP warns Anwar's govt against selective prosecution, becoming failed state

Hassan Karim says there is a risk of the current government falling into the proverbial 'absolute corruption'.

Staff Writers
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Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim speaks in the Dewan Rakyat, Feb 21. Photo: Bernama
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim speaks in the Dewan Rakyat, Feb 21. Photo: Bernama

PKR MP Hassan Karim today warned the government against resorting to selective prosecution against political rivals, in the wake of the questioning of Perikatan Nasional (PN) leaders by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) as well as the arrest of a Bersatu MP.

"As a backbencher, I realise that we can call all of these big figures, ministers and former prime ministers because we have the power, we are the executive. 

"The MACC is under us, the police are under the government. So I'm worried that in the absence of a reminder, there could be selective prosecution that would victimise the opposing party.

"If there is a basis, it's fine, but I'm afraid, as they say in the democratic tradition, 'power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely'," he said in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Karim.
Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Karim.

His remarks came as Bersatu's Wan Saiful Wan Jan was charged with two counts of bribery today, following his arrest together with another party member last night.

This followed a series of statements by government leaders including Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim accusing the previous Perikatan Nasional administration led by its chairman Muhyiddin Yassin of corruption and the abuse of power to benefit its party coffers.

Muhyiddin has denied the claims, speaking of a calculated move to financially squeeze his coalition ahead of the six state elections to be held this year.

Hassan, whose past criticism of his party boss had ruffled feathers within Pakatan Harapan, added that the prime minister had vast powers, to the extent that his advice should also be heeded by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

"Power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely," he said to applause from opposition MPs.

"So power should be used carefully, not hastily. I believe it is not in vain that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong touched on the need for integrity," he added, referring the Agong's speech in the Dewan Rakyat last week.

Hassan also criticised the move by Anwar to appoint himself as the finance minister, warning against a repeat of the 1MDB scandal in which the prime minister had likewise held the portfolio.

"Let us avoid the fate of a failed country such as Sri Lanka. Save Malaysia," he said. 

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