Najib never signed pre-polls peace deal, reveals Anwar

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BY CLARA CHOOI
ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR

PETALING JAYA, May 27 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim revealed today that Datuk Seri Najib Razak never signed the peace deal brokered by former Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla before Election 2013, and only offered a verbal agreement to play fair and respect the polls results.

He said that unlike himself, the prime minister had “no courage” to sign the deal, which was physically inked shortly before Nomination Day on April 20.

“Well, Najib said he agreed, that he is a man of honour but he dare not,” Anwar told a press conference here.

“As usual, the prime minister has no courage even to sign what he agreed.”

Anwar added that the absence of Najib’s signature on the deal automatically freed him from its bounds, even if opposition leader maintained that it was his opponent who reneged on his commitment.

“Of course I’m not (legally bound). Firstly, there was no contract. Secondly, the parameters (of the contract) were never executed.

“And now you (Najib) want to say, ‘you’ve lost the elections, please accept, ya,’” Anwar said.

He explained that the agreement had first been verbal but upon his insistence, Jusuf crafted a written deal to formalise the matter.

Anwar said he had asked to sign the deal as he had not wanted “to be like Najib” by offering assurances that he would not honour later.

“If I agree on ethical standards, I will sign it. If I agree on free and fair elections, I will sign it. I agree on peaceful transition and also, no malice (post-polls) in the spirit of reconciliation.

“I was prepared to sign it and I signed it. Alone. Because Najib did not,” he said.

According to Anwar, Najib had said “No” to signing the deal that Jusuf put forth for unconfirmed reasons.

“He said people may think this and that... whatever. I said, no. To me, if you talk about ethical standards and free elections, I am prepared to sign it... and I did,” he said.

Digital magazine The Edge Review first broke the story of meetings between Jusuf and both Najib and Anwar on April 19, saying in its report that the Indonesian leader had advised both men to ensure the polls process is peaceful.

Details of the agreement brokered by Jusuf were revealed by the Wall Street Journal last Saturday in a report quoting the leader as accusing Anwar of reneging on the pre-polls peace treaty.

According to the WSJ, the deal had stipulated that both sides accept the outcome of the polls peacefully without contest, regardless of who wins.

But insisting on the inaccuracy of the claim here, Anwar reminded that the agreement to accept the polls results had been contingent on several key prerequisites, including a promise to ensure ethical standards during campaigning and fair access to the media.

None of these had been adhered to by Najib’s Barisan Nasional (BN) during the polls, the Permatang Pauh MP said, leading to his and Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) refusal to accept defeat.

“Number one... unless someone here can tell me that the media was free and fair, and ethical standards were observed?

“Number two, that the process was free and fair?

“The entire discourse now is about fraud and mass rigging,” Anwar said. “So why then, do you say about reneging the agreement?”.

Election 2013 saw the ruling BN returned to power with 133 federal seats to PR’s 89 seats despite losing the popular vote by scoring just 48 per cent to PR’s 51 per cent.

PR leaders have maintained that Election 2013 was fraught with irregularities, starting from the use of an indelible ink that was not indelible to discrepancies in the voter roll and outright cheating on polling day itself through the alleged use of phantom voters and electricity blackouts.

Speaking during a youth rally in Putrajaya, Najib appeared to label Anwar “unprincipled” for allegedly failing to keep to his end of the agreement brokered by Jusuf simply because the polls results had not been to his favour.

“He reneged on a promise,” he said. “This is not our way, we must have principles... in any matter, we must have principles, follow the rules.”

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