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