“When he was finance minister, he gave away RM1 billion each to 15 crony companies, without tenders and negotiations – all under the Skim Kontraktor Wibawa” – said Ezam Mohd Nor on Anwar Ibrahim at UMNO’s ceramah.
I met Anwar Ibrahim’s arch enemy last night in Tanah Liat – the ‘incorruptible’ (according to Aliran) Ezam Mohd Noor. He was at UMNo Permatang Pauh, getting ready to expose his great secrets.
I spoke to him and he gave me his card – he is currently based in Jakarta, has an NGO called The New Generation of Nusantara, which works on Malaysia-Indonesia relations.
Before that, his side kick, who used to be a strong PKR supporter Abdul Ghani, met me too and asked “So, you don’t want to see Ezam these days?”.
I said “Come on, then why am I here? But I would like to know his secrets”. We both laughed.
By the way, outside the UMNO centre is a big screen showing examples of those who ‘menghina Islam” (or those who insult Islam), for example, activities of the Inter-Faith Council.
The overt message was of course: Anwar supports those who insult Islam. Below, pamphlets going around accusing Anwar of being a traitor to Islam, and the Malay race.
The crowd was quite happy when Ezam criticised his former boss.
Anyway, Ezam did try to expose those ‘secrets’ in his speech last night. But he tried to convince himself, more than anything or anyone else, of why he deserted Anwar.
He said it was a very difficult decision but at the end it came down to choosing between an individual and race, religion and country. So he chose UMNO!
He added that Anwar had betrayed his race, religion and country by opposing the New Economic Policy.
“Anwar is the first leader, among the Malays and non-Malays to have criticised and opposed the NEP,” he stressed.
He later talked about the six boxes which were supposedly under his safe keeping.
“I only said I knew about the boxes. I don’t have it. Anwar Ibrahim has it”.
Ezam also openly chided Anwar and his wife for having gone overboard (melampau) for accusing Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for conspiring against Anwar in the sodomy II case.
He revealed that in those days, Azizah had begged Abdullah for help when Anwar was in prison, and it was he who arranged a meeting between Azizah and Abdullah.
At that time, Azizah asked for 3 things:
1. Release Anwar and let him seek medical treatement in the hospital;
2. Seek medical treatment overseas and
3. Do not interfere in the court process.
“Pak Lah kept to his commitment. He did not interfere in the court process and Anwar was finally freed”.
“Pak Lah had even said he was a Muslim, and he had never been cruel to anyone, what more to Anwar and Azizah”.
Ezam sang Abdullah’s praises through out his speech. According to him, no leader had ever been so committed to fighting corruption as Pak Lah.
Then he ended his speech by asking Permatang Pauh folks to vote for BN/UMNO or Arif Shah (image), who was also present at the ceramah.
Truth is, at the end of the speech, I wonder if Ezam had managed to convince himself.