Anwar broke electoral peace deal with Najib, reveals newspaper

Anwar broke electoral peace deal with Najib, reveals newspaper
KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been accused of reneging on a secret peace deal with Prime Minister Najib Razak to respect the outcome of the 13th General Election.

This pact, revealed by The Wall Street Journal(WSJ) today, was allegedly brokered by former Indonesian vice-president Jusuf Kalla in April, a month before the election in May.

The international newspaper had obtained confirmation from both Anwar and people within Najib’s camp on the secret deal which was first revealed to the paper by Jusuf.

Jusuf, who has a history of brokering peace agreements including in Thailand and Sri Lanka, was quoted as saying: “We had a commitment... On Monday (May 6), I asked Anwar to accept it and look at reality. But they said ‘No, no, no, no’,”

Pakatan Rakyat has been holding a number of public rallies, dubbed "Black505", protesting against what Anwar claimed was widespread vote fraud and cheating which returned Barisan Nasional to power.
Anwar also claimed that Pakatan had won on polling day on May 5, saying that victory was “stolen” from the opposition coalition by the incumbent. The opposition has also announced plans to challenge the results of 29 constituencies via electoral petitions in court.

In the WSJ report, Jusuf revealed that the written agreement between the two leaders was to “refrain from personal attacks during the campaign and to accept the outcome”

Jusuf, who said both leaders were ‘considered friends going back decades' claimed that the deal was first proposed by Anwar. But this was rebutted by Anwar, who said that it was Jusuf, and not him, who first proposed it.

Anwar admitted he had made the pact with Najib, with Jusuf as mediator, but BN had “rendered it void by the way it ran its campaign”.

“How can you talk reconciliation when you demonise your opponent in this manner?” Anwar was quoted as saying.

The report said that people within Najib’s camp had confirmed the agreement was made but rejected Anwar’s view that it was nullified by the campaign.

"Mr. Anwar sought Jusuf Kalla's assistance to secure a mutual agreement between BN [Barisan Nasional] and [Pakatan Rakyat] stating that both sides agreed to accept the results of the general election, even in the event of a slim majority by either side,'' an adviser to Mr. Najib told WSJ.

"The prime minister reiterated privately to Jusuf and in public before the election that BN would respect the will of the people and accept the election results, even if the opposition wins," the advisor was further quoted.

The report also said that both Anwar and Najib had apparently rejected a clause in the pact that the winner was to offer the loser a role in a “reconciliation government”. Najib had spoken about national reconciliation on the night he announced BN’s victory.

Jusuf said that Anwar had approached him about the agreement two months ago and they met at his Jakarta home. Anwar, according to Jusuf, had asked reach out to his opponent and secure his commitment for a peaceful election outcome.

Jusuf also said he felt both sides had met their commitment to refrain from personal attacks during the campaign.

WSJ also quoted Jusuf as saying that he fears that the longer the dispute between the two political leaders goes on, the divisions in Malaysia—among factions in the majority Malay Muslim group and between Malays and the ethnic Chinese minority—will harden and perhaps lead to violence.