Australia perceived as 'complicit' in Malaysia corruption, Anwar says
The PKR leader says the Australian authorities must send Sirul Azhar Umar back to stand trial, in order to correct the perception that parts of their foreign policy have been tainted.
Anwar Ibrahim says Australia had always made âextremely supportiveâ statements about the Najib administration. (Reuters pic)
SYDNEY: Leading politician Anwar Ibrahim today claimed that Australia was complicit in alleged corruption by the former government as he called on Canberra to send home a policeman implicated in a murder scandal.
One-time opposition leader Anwar slammed Canberraâs âtaintedâ policy towards former prime minister Najib Razakâs administration, which was sensationally ousted in last monthâs election.
Anwar, who was jailed by Najib i n 2015 and released after the election, said Australia had always made âextremely supportiveâ statements about Najibâs administration.
He cited the high-profile case of a policeman, now in Australian custody, who fled Malaysia after being sentenced to hang for the killing of a Mongolian model linked to a Najib government bribery scandal.
âItâs time Australia accepts the fact that some of their foreign policy clearly has been tainted, has been perceived by many Malaysians as complicit, or tolerant, of the crimes of corruption and also criminal actions,â the 70-year-old told ABC radio.
âSo I think the Australian authorities need to do their utmost to make sure that this is corrected, and that means (former police officer Sirul Azhar Umar) should be allowed to come back.
â(He should) be given security protection to say the truth, and let a new trial that is clearly transparent and just proceed.â
Sirul has claimed he was ordered by âimportant peopleâ in 2006 to murder model Altantuya Shaariibuu â" the mistress of a Najib associate accused of arranging kickbacks for the purchase of French submarines.
Anwar, the presumptive successor to 92-year-old Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, said he was willing to move on as relations with Australia need to be âextremely cordialâ.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop defended Canberraâs previous relationship with Najib and said she was âlooking forward to a close and productive relationshipâ with the new government.
âOur positive and broad-based ties with the previous administration enabled us to collaborate on matters that were in both Australia and Malaysiaâs national interests,â Bishop said in a statement.
âWe do not seek to impinge on the sovereignty of other countries, just as we expect other countries not to interfere in our political affairs.â
Australiaâs home affairs department, which manages the Sydney detention centre where Sirul is being held, told AFP today it would not comment on individual cases.Source: Google News