Nothing against reformasi in 'Zahid-Anwar audio clip', says ex-senator

Alyaa Alhadjri
·2-min read
Nothing against reformasi in 'Zahid-Anwar audio clip', says ex-senator
Nothing against reformasi in 'Zahid-Anwar audio clip', says ex-senator

There was nothing in the audio clip purportedly between PKR president Anwar Ibrahim and Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi which could compromise the "reformasi" spirit that gave birth to PKR.

This was the view of former senator Ezam Mohd Nor (above), who now leads a loose movement dubbed Gerak 98.

"To us (Gerak 98), it is not an issue that can ruin reforms, if it (the audio clip) was true.

"If true, what was said by Zahid did not in any way tarnish the reformasi movement.

"He (Zahid) acknowledged Anwar as his teacher, that he learnt from Anwar," said Ezam after a flashmob by Gerak 98 and Otai Reformis in Kuala Lumpur today.

"Similarly, in our view, Anwar's response does not compromise the strength of reformasi," he added.

Ezam, who left Umno as a youth leader to be among PKR's founding members, described Gerak 98 as a loose movement of sympathisers supportive of Anwar's early reform calls.

He left PKR in 2008 to rejoin Umno, before his second exit in 2016, following a two-year stint as the Finance Ministry's communications director under former premier Najib Abdul Razak's administration.

On Pakatan Harapan's decision to once again name Anwar as the coalition's prime minister's candidate for the next general election, Ezam said it was a positive and needed move, and urged for the decision to be respected by all.

"Because what happened in the past was that Harapan named Anwar as its leader, but still gave room to former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, even for him to attack Anwar," he noted.

Separately, Dewan Negara speaker Rais Yatim said it would take more than denials by Anwar and Zahid to convince the people that the recorded conversation did not take place.

"Both their voices are very well known... to deny it, their denial must be substantive.

"This substantive denial must be proven through a forensic test. So I hope there will be actions from experts in the audio field," said the Jelebu Bersatu division chief to reporters when met after an event in Kuala Lumpur.

Rais added that failure to bring closure to the issue would be a thorn in the government's side, as well as negatively affect the state of Malay politics as a whole.

Following his initial denial, Zahid on Thursday urged Umno members to fight back on social media, seeking their loyalty against the alleged slander.

Anwar earlier today questioned even if the audio clip was found to be authentic, has a crime been committed?