Monday, April 8, 2013

Bersih – Anwar’s Global Fundraising ‘Vehicle’?

Former Transparency International president Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim said he was the first choice to head US-funded Malaysian election watchdog for free and fair polls. 

April 8, 2013 (Athi Shankar-FMT) - Election watchdog, Bersih, is a vehicle created by Pakatan Rakyat de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim to obtain foreign funding for his political activities, alleged Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim, the former president of Transparency International Malaysia TI-M today.

Tunku Aziz suggested that Bersih co-chairpersons S Ambiga and A Samad Said could have been wittingly or unwittingly engaged by Anwar, to conceal his international funding network.

“Anwar makes good use of his international networking to get these funds. I don’t know whether Bersih leaders knew it or not.

“But Bersih is Anwar’s vehicle to receive international funds under the guise of democracy and free and fair elections.

“Bersih is not a non-partisan independent organisation.

“It’s Anwar’s baby,” Tunku Aziz, the former DAP vice-chairman and senator, told FMT.

He said he knew about Bersih’s foreign funding when he was invited for talks by Anwar’s daughter Nurul Izzah a few years ago on the possibility of heading then an unnamed election watchdog.

At the time, Tunku Aziz was still involved in TI-M. He had not joined the DAP.

He said Nurul Izzah, certain PKR leaders, Anwar’s aides and two Americans were present when he attended the meeting at the Sheraton Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

International funding
Tunku Aziz said he understood that the two Americans were heading different US-based foundations.
He said during their discussions, it was the foreigners who were calling the shots and outlining the functions and operations of the imminent watchdog.

“In the meeting, I was offered to head the watchdog because they said I have the credentials, integrity and credibility for the post.
“They told me that the movement was to ensure free and fair elections in the country,” said Tunku Aziz, disclosing that he was offered some US$4,000 monthly plus other perks and allowances for his position.
He said his suspicions about the agenda grew throughout the meeting and was confirmed when told that the movement would be about (obtaining) international funding after he enquired about it.

He said he immediately excused himself from the meeting, reasoning that he needed time to think about the offer.

And that was the last he heard from those who invited him for the meeting.

He reasoned that they may have sensed his disagreement with foreign funding.

Tunku Aziz said he had always resisted overseas funding for local organisations because it compromised national integrity and dignity.

“Local organisations should justify their existence to Malaysians, not to foreigners.

“Local organisations should not owe their existence and allegiance to foreigners,” he stressed.