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Anwar again defends DAP in front of civil servant crowd

The prime minister cites large allocations for Islamic causes under his administration compared to previous governments.

Staff Writers
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Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim speaks at the Dewan Majlis Bandaraya Seremban in Negeri Sembilan today.
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim speaks at the Dewan Majlis Bandaraya Seremban in Negeri Sembilan today.

Anwar Ibrahim has again defended DAP today in front of an audience of civil servants, the second time the prime minister made such a statement within a week ahead of the state elections where Malay votes are seen as crucial for the ruling coalitions.

Addressing civil servants in Seremban, Anwar urged them not to cast their votes to those who are "out to create disturbance", after promising them that he would propose a revision of their salary schemes soon.

He also urged civil servants who will vote in Negeri Sembilan during the state elections on Aug 12 to check facts by government opponents, including accusations against DAP.

Anwar then cited allocations for Islamic causes under the current government which comprised of DAP.

"I'm not here to defend DAP. But based on my experience in the current government, with Umno leadership present, as well as PH (Pakatan Harapan) and DAP, we're making decisions that have never been taken before in history, including the three years when Bersatu and PAS were in power. The allocation for Islam now is higher than before," he said.

He then turned his guns on Dr Mahathir Mohamad, saying the former prime minister had cut allocations to religious schools.

"The People's Religious School's funding was completely stopped by Mahathir in 1999. Now they (PAS and Bersatu) are with him, but I choose to be different. We will help all religious schools.

"How are we anti-Islam?" he asked.

Anwar said DAP led by Anthony Loke has also given their full support to efforts to help Felda settlers.

"Where is this betrayal by DAP? It exists only in the words of people who foster hatred and animosity between races."

Earlier this week, Anwar was accused by a Bersatu leader of dragging the civil service into politics, after he cited Chief Secretary to the Government Mohd Zuki Ali in his speech.

Anwar, in rejecting allegations against DAP, said Zuki who attended Cabinet meetings can be a witness on the party's stand.

"Anwar has certainly put the No. 1 man in the civil service in a very awkward and tight spot," said Sasha Lyna Abdul Latif of Bersatu's legal and constitutional bureau.

Anwar's remarks came in the wake of predictions that the six state elections next month would see a repeat of the general election trend last year, when the bulk of Malay votes went to Perikatan Nasional (PN).

PH and Barisan Nasional (BN) have agreed not to clash at the coming polls, allowing an intense contest between them and PN.

In one new survey focusing on Selangor, it was found that the move could cost the governing coalitions due to Malay voters who previously backed the Umno-led BN switching to PN.

The survey's findings, published by a journal from the Singapore-based Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, found that large sections of Malay voters in the 39 Selangor constituencies who had voted for BN candidates in the polls last year have indicated they would vote for PN candidates.

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