Perikatan Nasional's Wan Saiful Wan Jan has slammed a series of actions against the coalition's top leaders, calling it Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim's way of ensuring that he remains in power without checks and balances.
Wan Saiful, the Bersatu leader who was arrested and slapped with corruption charges last month, said the move to arrest PN chairman Muhyiddin Yassin as well as to investigate PAS leader Abdul Hadi Awang was not surprising.
"Anwar Ibrahim is a person who has been convicted and jailed for abuse of power. It is not surprising if this ex-convict repeats his old habits once he sits on the throne he has been longing for," the Tasek Gelugor MP said, referring to Anwar's previous conviction for corruption.
In 1999, Anwar was sentenced to six years in prison for abusing his power by directing police officers to obtain retractions from two people who had accused him of sexual misconduct.
Wan Saiful's statement came on a day of intense political drama, with opposition leaders saying the government was bent on crippling them ahead of critical state elections this year.
Wan Saiful, who once headed think tank Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs or IDEAS, said Malaysians and foreign observers must realise that "this is the real Anwar".
"Anwar's crackdown on the opposition is to fulfil his desire to rule without any checks and balances. Nepotism is rife in Anwar's administration.
"Anwar is no reformist. He is merely an old vengeful opportunist," he added.
He also questioned the police's move to investigate Hadi for comments on bringing down the government, saying this was normal in a democratic system.
"There is nothing wrong with the statement. In our Westminster democracy, the government can be changed at any time."