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Published: Tuesday March 30, 2010 MYT 2:56:00 PMUpdated: Thursday April 1, 2010 MYT 12:16:58 PM
By ZULKIFLI ABD RAHMAN and LEE YUK PENG
KUALA LUMPUR: Apco Worldwide had set up a branch in Malaysia known as Mindteams Sdn Bhd at least six months before Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced the 1Malaysia concept, claimed Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
He told the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday that Apco, which he alleged had links with Israel, had started operations in Kuala Lumpur before the 1Malaysia concept was created.
The CEO and top officials of Mindteams were also the same people who had signed agreements on behalf of Apco with the Malaysian Government to help burnish the country’s image overseas, he claimed, holding up papers which he alleged were evidence which showed Malaysia’s links with Apco.
(In a press conference later, however, the Opposition Leader declined to divulge the contents of the documents).
Addressing the controversy following his accusation that the 1Malaysia concept was mirrored after “One Israel”, Anwar urged Najib to explain to the Dewan Rakyat the Government’s ties with Apco and why, despite its background, was given the task to plan government strategies and policies.
“The Government should cease its relationship with Apco immediately and a Royal Commission of Inquiry be formed to investigate the scandal of Apco’s involvement in Malaysia, which had affected national security and integrity,” he said.
Anwar’s remarks came after he was directed by the House to explain his allegations that the 1Malaysia concept was designed by a foreign firm that created the One Israel concept in 1999 for then Prime Minister Ehud Barak.
Anwar also claimed that the similarities between One Israel and 1Malaysia were too many to be regarded as coincidences.
“The One Israel concept slogan is People First, while 1Malaysia is People First, Performance Now.
“Among the One Israel initiatives was to increase medical benefits; in Malaysia, 1Malaysia clinics were formed.”
Apco, he alleged, had signed an agreement in August last year to help improve the Government’s image.
He said it was unacceptable that the Malaysian Government had engaged Apco’s services when its directors had also been involved in Israeli intelligence and security services.
As an example, he said Apco’s international adviser Doron Bergerbest-Eilon was a security chief with the rank of major-general in the Israeli army.
Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee then advised MPs to submit a motion to bring Anwar to the Rights and Privileges Committee if they felt that he had misled the House.
Apco issued a statement to Bernama yesterday, reiterating that it neither worked with the Israeli government nor helped to create the 1Malaysia concept.
“The allegations repeated against Apco Worldwide in Parliament are false,” it said.
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