Anwar: Though no apology, I forgive Dr Mahathir (Updated)

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 02 Oct 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim says he has forgiven Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad though the Prime Minister did not apologise to him.

"I have never asked him to apologise. I have always been firm that I am satisfied with his demeanour and readiness to work with me. Forget the past and move on. It is you who are demanding forgiveness or BBC.

"I have said that I have forgiven him, even (Datuk Seri) Najib (Tun Razak) at a personal level. 

"Datuk Seri Najib has to face of course the issues of squandering public funds - that is a separate issue. But I think with Tun Mahathir, it need not be equated because he is committed to the reform agenda. 

"He has embraced me as a partner and in this process, I think that speaks volumes," said Anwar.

The PKR president-elect and Pakatan Harapan candidate for the Port Dickson by-election said this to the media after a lengthy speech on the concept of forgiveness at a function honouring the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi organised by the Indian High Commission on Tuesday (Oct 2).

"How do we deal with legacies of injustice, oppression? How do we come to terms with great wrongs done to the innocent? This is exactly what Gandhi has assigned to 'forgiveness' - the expression of the power to love. 

"The weak can never forgive, forgiveness is the attribute of the strong," said Anwar to a crowded room of mostly Indian nationals at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Indian Cultural Centre in Brickfields. 

Anwar was responding to the statement made by Dr Mahathir during the BBC programme HARDtalk aired on Tuesday. 

Anwar was found guilty of corruption and sodomy in 1999 and jailed, but his sentence was overturned in 2004.

In an interview with the BBC back in June, Anwar said that the premier acknowledged that he had made a mistake and that he wanted to make amends. 

"Well, that is his opinion," said Dr Mahathir during the interview in BBC's HARDtalk programme.
"I didn't tell him that, but other people put words into my mouth because they want me to apologise, but I have never made any formal apologies to him," Mahathir said.

The Prime Minister said he regretted that Anwar had to be sentenced to jail, but that he would not be taking the blame for it as the matter was "decided by the court". 
He had also reiterated his stance that he played no part in putting Anwar in jail.

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