Malaysia: Ex-PM Mahathir makes amends with sworn nemesis Anwar
Sep 07 2016 by Francis Osborne
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's so-called "historic meeting" could turn off PKR supporters and may lead to some leaving the party, says Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed (pic).
The meeting between the two was the first since Anwar was sacked as deputy prime minister on Sept 2, 1998 when he was embroiled in allegations of power abuse and sexual misconduct.
"Anyone who supports the reform agenda must be given a chance", he said, adding that he presumed that Mahathir supported it based on his appearance today.
He pointed out that the former prime minister had been just as cordial with Anwar in 1998 the day before he removed the latter as his deputy. Relations between the two men have been tense ever since, although earlier this year, news broke of Anwar showing support for the former Prime Minister, hinting at an improvement of the once tense battle between them.
Malaysia's political landscape has been shaped for almost two decades by a bitter feud between Anwar and Mahathir, whose decision to sack Anwar as his deputy sparked an opposition movement, Reformasi, or Reform, in 1998.But in July, Anwar endorsed a political compact spearheaded by Mahathir, as ruling party rebels and the opposition joined hands to fight against Najib.
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"The Opposition have also broken apart so hard, so they had to find a unifier in Dr Mahathir", he said. "This has already been chronicled in my blog", said Dr Mahathir.
Anwar and Dr Mahathir also shook hands during their meeting.
The handshake marked a significant shift in the Malaysian political landscape as Mahathir has been a staunch critic of the opposition up until he had a fallout with Prime Minister Najib Razak over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal previous year. He named the Government and the National Security Council as respondents in his originating summons filed at the High Court civil registry.
On Monday, social media was flooded with pictures of the two men shaking hands and chatting cordially in a high court in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, where Anwar had sought an injunction to stop implementation of the National Security Council (NSC) Act.
Article 66 (4A) goes on to say that should the Agong not assent to a Bill within the stipulated time, "it shall become law at the expiration of the time specified in that Clause in the like manner as if he has assented thereto".