Anwar furnishes proof on APCO, demands explanation from Najib

Anwar holds up the Israeli gov't contract that names APCO
Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

UPDATED A day after he was denied the right to defend himself and slapped with a six-months suspension from Parliament, Malaysian Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim furnished proof that a controversial U.S. communications firm with clear Zionist links, APCO, was involved in the design of Prime Minister Najib Razak's prized 1 Malaysia platform.

Anwar also exposed the hand of Omar Mustapha Ong, who is widely known to be one of Najib's advisers focusing on the oil-and-gas and media sectors. Omar had last year stirred a ruckus when top Petronas staff objected to his appointment to its Board of Directors.

"For decades, I was tagged as a Jewish agent by the Umno leaders. Now when I provide documents showing the connection between APCO and members of the Israeli secret services like Shin Bet, I am kicked out of Parliament," Anwar told a press conference on Friday.

"Altogether, four Malaysian MPs have been suspended and kept out of Parliament because of APCO. I think both APCO and the Malaysian government owe an explanation to the Malaysian people."

Anwar showed reporters a copy of a letter from international consultung firm GCI addressed to the Israeli government that specifically named APCO as being on the panel of firms that would participate in the contract to conceptualize former Israeli premier Ehud Barack's OneIsrael in the late 1990s.

APCO and Nazri lied

The BN-controlled Malaysian Parliament had suspended Anwar, who is also the Permatang Pauh MP, his colleagues Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh, Gombak MP Azmin Ali and Subang MP Sivarasa Rasiah for 6 months each. The three men had jumped to Anwar's defense during parliamentaryinterractions.

Siva, Karpal, Anwar and Mahfuz
It is against Malaysia's foreign policy to have any dealings with Israel and the appointment of APCO has deeply angered the sensitivites of the Muslims in the country, who wanted Najib to terminate the contract. Najib has however refused to do so and has instead entered into a fresh contract with APCO worth hundereds of millions.

Sivarasa, who was also at the press conference, slammed APCO for lying that it was not involved in OneIsrael. He did not spare Minister in the Prime Minister's office Nazri Aziz either.

"APCO has been proven to have clearly lied. It denied its involvement and later when a copy of contract was produced, it kept silent. Nazri was even worse," Siva told Malaysia Chronicle at the sidelines of the press conference.

"In June, Anwar was given 7 days to explain himself. Then on the day of the hearing, when APCO was also present together with Nazri, the meeting was suddenly postponed. Now months later, out of the blue, the Rights Committeee digs out the case again but APCO officials are no longer required to be present. Just one letter from the firm is enough to nail the 4 of us, while Anwar's defense is not allowed. It appears Umno doesn't want Anwar to be heard - why? Is it to protect APCO or Najib or both? And how come Nazri doesn't remember this? He was there in Parliament with the APCO representative when the meeting was suddenly cancelled."

Afraid of APCO's powerful Jewish connections

Indeed Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor have been accused of benefitting from the APCO contract. During recent visits to New York, they were lavishly entertained and feted. The firm also scored a meeting with President Obama for Najib.

Street protests against APCO
The Najib administration is now APCO's single biggest client, according to industry information. But pundits doubt it is a matter as simple as perks and junkets that has made Najib and Umno defend APCO so fiercely to the extent that they were willing to lock out 4 Malaysian lawmakers.

They suspect the hidden hand of powerful Jewish brokers, who dictate much of what happens in the global arena with their huge financial resources.

"This is one issue where even the international press will be careful not to show support for Anwar. They have their Jewish investors to mind. So I think Najib knows this but what is most worrisome is, has he and Umno cut some sort of deal with these power brokers and how will Malaysia be impacted," PKR vice president Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.

Malaysia is part of the bustling ASEAN market of 500 million people. Her closest neighbour is Singapore, which despite its pro-U.S. stance actively chokes off any form of political opposition on its shores. If Anwar's Pakatan topples Najib's ruling Umno party, the regional power equation is bound to change.

"From the beginning, I have made it clear. I am not anti-Jewish. In fact, I was even accused of being a Jewish agent by Umno. And this is not about discriminating against Jewish firms and banning contracts with them. This is about hypocrisy - the hypocrisy of the Najib administration, the lies of Umno and sadly APCO as well," Anwar said.

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