Anwar is play acting, charges Syed Hamid

KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 — The government today accused Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim of play acting and dismissed his claims that his life was in danger.

It also said that contrary to claims by the Opposition leader, he was not invited to seek refuge in the Turkish embassy by the country’s ambassador to Malaysia. He allegedly sought an appointment with the ambassador yesterday morning and chose to remain on the embassy grounds.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar told reporters in Parliament lobby today: “I guarantee that his life will not be in danger when police carry out their investigation. We have a legal system here and everyone, including Anwar, must respect that.”

Syed Hamid said that since Anwar was released from prison in 2004, he has had the freedom to do what he wanted as a political activist, both locally and overseas.

“Nobody has endangered or threatened him. He could move freely making all sorts of statements and allegations.

“We have not taken any action to endanger his life. Why should we do that? His family has done very well in the political arena. This is not a country that stops people from doing what they want to do so long as it is within the law,” he said.

Syed Hamid noted that the Turkish embassy has not endorsed Anwar’s action to seek refuge at its embassy here and it was now an issue under the jurisdiction of the Foreign Ministry.

“Turkey did not intervene. He went to the Turkish embassy on his own accord. He asked for an appointment, he went to see the ambassador, the ambassador met him and subsequently he did not want to go out.”

Meanwhile, Bernama reports that Foreign Minister Datuk Rais Yatim said Anwar was never invited to the diplomat’s home nor had he sought political asylum from the Turkish government.

After meeting Turkish ambassador to Malaysia Barlas Ozener at Wisma Putra today, Rais told reporters that the diplomat had clarified that Anwar was never invited to his house and that the opposition leader had gone there on his own accord.

“The Malaysian government accepts this explanation. Anwar is not at the ambassador’s house as an asylum seeker but as a guest. It has just been less than 24 hours. If he stays there for a longer period then we might have to take adifferent stance. The question of political asylum too does not arise,” he said.

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