31 JULY 2015
I wish to thank British Prime Minister David Cameron for giving me the opportunity to exchange views and share the concerns expressed by the civil society and concerned groups in Malaysia. I appreciate his willingness to spare time with me which indicates his recognition on the role of the opposition in a democracy.
On behalf of what I considered to be the concern shared collectively by the people of Malaysia, I said that at this point in time coinciding with his visit, the overriding and most pressing issue was the question of accountability of leaders in respect of the management of public finances. In view of the various issues surrounding the use of billions of ringgit of the state coffers, there has been a startling lack of transparency, and the people are demanding answers to the allegations of financial improprieties raised.
I told Prime Minister Cameron that apart from issues of corruption at high places, there was also the linkage with questions of money laundering, a problem which the United Kingdom as well as other EU countries are also battling. I said that whatever may be the underlying purpose of such activities, the net effect would be damaging to the country’s socio-economic well-being. And where there is the appearance of collusion at high places, it would spell disaster for the nation, politically, in the long run.
I also apprised Prime Minister Cameron of the situation of Opposition Leader Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is languishing in prison on account of the politically motivated sodomy prosecution against him.
Miscarriage of justice to Anwar must be rectified and he must be released to continue leading the opposition. I also raised Anwar Ibrahim’s health problem and his treatment in prison as a political prisoner.
Prime Minister Cameron told me he would bring up these matters with Prime Minister Najib when he meets him later. He also said he would open a channel of communication with civil society groups with regard to current and important matters.
Finally, as Chief Minister of Selangor, I welcome the initiative by Prime Minister Cameron to enhance trade and investment ties with Malaysia and look forward to further investments from the United Kingdom in Selangor.
MOHAMED AZMIN ALI
31st July 2015
Mohamed Azmin Ali is the Chief Minister of Selangor and the Deputy President of People’s Justice Party. His blog can be accessed at azminali.com