By Debra Chong
KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 – After a decade and a half of friendship, Datuk Shazryl Eskay Abdullah proclaimed Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim a changed man — from being the second most powerful man in Malaysia into a weak leader and tool for others.
Shazryl said the PKR advisor was a far different person now than when they had first met in 1996 when Anwar was deputy prime minister.
“As an old friend, I know him well. He has changed lately especially after being charged for sodomy against his former personal aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008,” Shazryl (picture) told Umno’s Utusan Malaysia in an exclusive interview published today.
“Unfortunately, his emotional status appears unstable and his priority and agenda suddenly changed. He has become a weak leader apart from being currently used and manipulated by a few parties to achieve their own agenda,” he was reported saying in the Malay broadsheet.
The businessman is one of the “Datuk T” implicating Anwar in a public sex scandal. They screened a video which they insist features Anwar having sex with an unknown woman in February, seriously jeopardising the latter’s chances of becoming prime minister.
Anwar has vehemently denied the allegation.
In the half-page article titled “Anwar sudah berubah – Eskay” (“Anwar has changed – Eskay”) the former honorary Thai consul painted the grandfather of two a man who befriends others only if they benefitted him.
He said Anwar often asked for favours when visiting Thailand alone.
“Our relationship was as ordinary friends. I did not need anything from him but he needed me for certain purposes. While in Thailand, many things happened and many of those things that happened I disagreed with,” Shazryl said.
He did not elaborate on the supposed favours.
Shazryl distanced himself as a close buddy to Anwar when asked, saying his reasons for abandoning their friendship was the same as others who were in the latter’s inner circle previous, citing Chandra Muzaffar and Senator Ezam Mohd Nor among others.