How to kill two birds with one stone?: Anwar to be detained under ISA?
Posted by ella-mae on September 17, 2008
Anil Netto at 14:34 said:
1434: It is a serious weakening of Abdullah’s own position in the Cabinet in relation to Najib The PM, who was finance minister until now, will now focus on “religion, social issues and reforms”, reports the NST. He says he will not stay on after 2010, but “may go earlier”. Najib has strengthened his hand considerably in government. Perhaps the hope is that this Cabinet swap will pre-empt the Mahathir-inspired faction, Razaleigh and Muhyiddin from gaining momentum. In a sense, it may be seen as history repeating itself. Abdullah’s current position reminds me of the tail-end of Tunku’s tenure in 1969-70 when Najib’s father Abdul Razak for all intents and purposes held real power even though the Tunku only stepped down later.
And then we find out Pak Lah takes over (tada!) the Defence Ministry.
Malaysiakini:Najib takes over as finance minister
Beh Lih Yi | Sep 17, 08 2:16pm
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today said he would pass his finance portfolio to his deputy Najib Abdul Razak, while he takes over as defence minister.
Abdullah told a press conference this afternoon that the swap in the cabinet posts will take effect immediately.
The prime minister, who has held the post of finance minister since 2004, said he had informed the cabinet of the decision.
Abdullah also said that he may step down earlier than 2010 depending on Najib’s performance.
However, both leaders nevertheless reaffirmed their commitment to the 2010 power transition plan.
Abdullah added that both he and Najib will defend their respective posts as Umno’s top two leaders in the party polls in December.
Najib, who was present at the hastily-called press conference, said when asked to comment: “We have agreed. I’m leaving it to the party. We are offering ourselves to the party and I hope that they will accept.”
There has been increasing pressure on Abdullah to quit earlier than scheduled, but it now appears that Najib has stitched a deal with his boss to placate the demands of the Umno grassroots.
Both men have been at the centre of a political maelstorm, caught by bitter infighting in Umno amid a mounting challenge from Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, who has promised to form a new government soon.
Imagine this scenario…
Bird 1= Anwar
Bird 2 = Najib
Stone = Defence Ministry
So clever la you, Pak Lah. Diam diam ubi berisi…
Apa pendapat anda? (And oh! Everyone’s favourite minister (NOT) Nazri might be made the de facto Law Minister to replace Zaid Ibrahim’s former cabinet position.)
Another round of ISA for Anwar?
Sep 17, 08 3:40pm
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has left observers wondering if Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim could once again be detained under the Internal Security Act.
During a press conference at Putrajaya this afternoon to announce a reshuffle of cabinet portfolios, the premier made remarks that appear to indicate the possibility of an ISA arrest for the maverick politician.
Among others, Abdullah described the opposition leader as a “threat to the country’s economy as well as a possible threat to (national) security.”
This in itself provides sufficient grounds for the authorities to invoke the security law which provides detention without trial against Anwar.
And when asked what action the government would take against him, Abdullah refused to reveal his cards, saying: “I will not indicate what plan I will take, what I do will be in the best interests of the people and the country.”
Employing the ISA against Anwar would undoubtedly have severe repercussions but such a move would not come as a surprise since the opposition leader had been constantly flirting with this possibility.
Since the March 8 general election, Anwar had been a major thorn on the side of Barisan Nasional by threatening to launch a political coup.
The two-time ISA veteran claimed that he has enough ruling MPs willing to cross over into the opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat in order for him to form government with a simple majority.
Anwar had failed to initiate the coup yesterday (Sept 16) – the date which he had set – but reiterated that he had the numbers and the toppling of the BN-led government was imminent.
The 61-year-old politician had also requested to meet Abdullah to discuss a transition of power plan and urged the premier not to resort to drastic measures, like declaring an emergency, to thwart the takeover.
Abdullah, however, rejected the meeting again today and dismissed the takeover claims as lies.
“There is nothing to discuss,” he said.
Anwar, who is currently facing a court battle over a sodomy charge, was first arrested under the ISA in 1974 in connection with a student protest. The former student leader was incarcerated for 20 months.
More than two decades later, he was once again briefly arrested under the ISA after spearheading a series of protests against his sacking as deputy premier in 1998.