Don't threaten court, Anwar and supporters told
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 5 (Bernama) -- Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his supporters should respect the law and not threaten the court by planning to hold a demonstration in the federal capital this Jan 9. He said the proposed demonstration was a threat to the court process and putting those involved in the judicial process under pressure"They should not be influencing the court by issuing threats...for example, they will not demonstrate if the court rules in their favour," he said after delivering a keynote address to over 150 former high-ranking military officers including former Malaysian Armed Forces chiefs.
Anwar's supporters are said to be planning to gather in front of the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Jan 9, the day the court will give its verdict on the sodomy case involving the opposition leader.Dr Mahathir said if the opposition politicians believed in democracy, they should respect the country's laws and not be just good at talking about various regulations that the government should adhere to. "This country has laws and regulations, but the opposition regards the (sodomy) case as a conspiracy, so they feel they need not follow the law. "They say the planned gathering has to do with freedom of expression as provided by the constitution, but it is clear that their objective is to threaten the court," he said.
In his keynote addressed titled, "Malaysia Now and the Role Retired Military Officers Can Play," Dr Mahathir said Malaysia was very fortunate compared with other countries which also gained independence from colonial rule in those days, because after more than 50 years, Malaysia still enjoyed stability. "Malaysia is a lucky country, but the question is, are you all satisfied what the success achieved thus far? Or are you frustrated and want change, but think that change is always detrimental?"
He said people had accused the Barisan Nasional government today of being undemocratic and ruled with an iron first, "but strangely, if this is true, Anwar would not have been able to go through the proper legal process and be represented by nine lawyers."
Dr Mahathir also criticised today's young generation whom he said enjoyed the most, the stability and development brought about by the country's past leaders but were now going against the government. "With the wealth created, we have been able to send hundreds of thousands of our young to the west for higher education in order to improve their living standard, and of course they are exposed to the western value system, so they do not see the concept of sharing. "When they return home after their studies, they view the government as totalitarian," he lamented. On another note, Dr Mahathir thanked the Malaysian Armed Forces for always being professional and never interfering in the country's political situation"You can sympathise with the opposition but when you work with the government, you have to follow the rules, otherwise we will see a military take-over. But thank God, Malaysian soldiers are professional," he said, adding that he appreciated their contributions and sacrifices for the nation.