Choice of for­mer po­lice chief as fa­cil­i­ta­tor of peace talks dis­pleases Wan Az­izah

The Nation - - ASEANPLUS -

MALAYSIA’S Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Dr Wan Az­izah Wan Is­mail has ad­mit­ted that she is dis­pleased with the ap­point­ment of for­mer in­spec­tor gen­eral of po­lice Ab­dul Rahim Mohd Noor as the fa­cil­i­ta­tor for the south­ern Thai­land peace talks.

How­ever, she said, it was Prime Min­is­ter Dr Ma­hathir Mo­hamad’s pre­rog­a­tive.

“He men­tioned to me that he thought Rahim had ex­pe­ri­ence dur­ing the in­sur­gency and ter­ror­ism ac­tiv­i­ties. So I leave it to him, but I did ex­plain to him why my daugh­ter had reser­va­tions,” she said in a ra­dio in­ter­view yes­ter­day morn­ing.

Wan Az­izah said it was im­por­tant for the coun­try to re­solve the prob­lem, and who­ever was cho­sen for the role of fa­cil­i­ta­tor had to de­liver.

In 1998, her hus­band An­war Ibrahim had ap­peared in court with a black eye. All this oc­curred dur­ing Dr Ma­hathir’s first ten­ure as prime min­is­ter.

When asked if it was harder to for­give Rahim Noor com­pared to Dr Ma­hathir, Dr Wan Az­izah said that it was easy for her to for­give.

“You know we have done well. There are many things to be grate­ful for, and I’ve al­ways been syukur pada Al­lah [thank­ful to God].

“I feel that I can live with it. We are hu­mans, we have our ups and downs but over­all I think we have done well, es­pe­cially my chil­dren. My hus­band too,” she said.

Wan Az­izah’s daugh­ter, Nu­rul Iz­zah An­war, tweeted on Mon­day ve­he­mently op­pos­ing the ap­point­ment of the man, who was widely linked to the 1998 “black eye” in­ci­dent.

In that year, her fa­ther and new PKR pres­i­dent-elect An­war, was al­legedly punched by Ab­dul Rahim while un­der de­ten­tion and af­ter be­ing fired as the deputy prime min­is­ter. It re­sulted in An­war ap­pear­ing in court with a black eye.

“I un­equiv­o­cally op­pose this ap­point­ment of a bru­tal at­tacker of an in­no­cent man as he lay there blind­folded and hand­cuffed – left without med­i­cal at­ten­tion for days. This be­ing then lied to the whole world as to the vic­tim’s where­abouts and well­be­ing. Shame on those who ex­e­cuted this trav­esty,” she tweeted.

It added that Kuala Lumpur had been host­ing sev­eral rounds of talks be­tween rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Thai­land and groups rep­re­sented by Mara Patani (Ma­jlis Syura Patani) to seek a peace­ful res­o­lu­tion to years of armed con­flicts in the South of Thai­land.

About 7,000 peo­ple were killed as a re­sult of armed con­flicts there since 2004.


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