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Dr M: Up to Anwar to sue over 'gay' remark
Published on: Thursday, September 22, 2005

Kuala Lumpur: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said it was up to his former deputy, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, whether to sue him or not for having accused the latter of being gay."If he wants to do it (sue), he can do so. He can sue me or whatever, that's his right," he said when asked to comment on reports that Anwar threatened to sue him for making the accusation.

On Tuesday, a foreign wire reported that Anwar had instructed his lawyer to initiate legal action against Dr Mahathir following his remarks on Sept 9 that described him as gay.

According to the report, Anwar's lawyer, Sankara Nair, had said that he would ask Dr Mahathir this week to withdraw the remarks or face a civil defamation suit seeking damages of RM100 million because Anwar had been vindicated (of sodomy charges) by the High Court and the Federal Court as well.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference after delivering a keynote address at a seminar on Success Mindset: Transforming Impossible To Reality here Wednesday, Dr Mahathir said he had yet to ascertain the motive behind Anwar's threat to sue him.

Dr Mahathir also stressed that the "decision by Umno's Supreme Council to expel Anwar (as deputy president of Umno) was based on the evidence available before the council and not the book entitled "50 Dalil Kenapa Anwar Tidak Boleh Jadi PM".

He was asked to comment on a recent report quoting Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, as saying the recent ruling by the court that the book was an attempt to smear and maligned Anwar's character and thrown out of Umno called into question the Supreme Council's decision.

"We did not take that book into consideration at all," he said.

A composed Dr Mahathir explained how the Umno Supreme Council came to its decision in 1998.

"This is not the case of whether the court has decided or not. This was our decision. We are and were convinced and we acted on the information that we have," he said.

"Umno Supreme Council took that decision (to sack Anwar). He was there in the Supreme Council meeting and was given an opportunity to explain.

All the others heard him and they gave their views and their decision was he was no longer fit to be in the (party's) Supreme Council," he said. - Bernama



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