Friday, July 31, 2015

Cameron concerned about Anwar, says Azmin

9:21PM Jul 30, 2015
By Zikri Kamarulzaman
British Prime Minister David Cameron has expressed concern over the well-being of jailed former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali told reporters that Cameron had relayed this and other concerns to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

"Cameron told me that he had raised certain issues with Najib during their meeting today.

"This includes concerns about Anwar, and Cameron said he must be given medical treatment, access to books, and fair treatment," he said.

He said Cameron did not divulge what his other concerns were.

Azmin (photo) was speaking to reporters after attending a British investment event at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre Symphony Park's Lake Suite tonight.

It was here that Cameron held a private meeting with Azmin.

"Actually I had a programme in Shah Alam tonight, but the (British) High Commissioner (Victoria Marguerite Treadell) conveyed the message that there is a need for a meeting with Cameron," the menteri besar said.

Civil society's concerns

Besides meeting Azmin, Cameron had also met with Bar Council President Steven Thiru, his predecessor Ambiga Sreenevasan, G25 spokesperson Noor Farida Ariffin, Sisters in Islam founding member Zainah Anwar, and writer Niki Cheong.

This meeting took place earlier in the day at the British High Commissioner's residence.

Met after the Lake Suite event, Ambiga (photo) and Zainah said besides talking about Anwar, the civil society representatives had also raised their concerns about 1MDB, the perceived lack of moderation, and other concerns.

Both Azmin and the civil society leaders wanted Cameron to extend his message of combating corruption to Malaysia.

"We welcomed his speech in Singapore about dirty money and eradicating corruption, and hoped he would pass the message to our prime minister," Ambiga said.

On Tuesday, in a speech in Singapore, the British prime minister warned that corrupt officials can no longer launder their money in London’s luxury property market as he announced a major review of ownership rules.

'Strong message to Najib'

Malaysia is Cameron's last stop in a four-day trade mission to four Southeast Asian nations.

Several groups had written to him telling him to call off his trip to Malaysia to protest against Najib and his administration's handling of political dissent and human rights.

Azmin claimed that Cameron's colleagues had relayed the same message.

"I expressed concern about his visit - that he should have cancelled it - and (Cameron) admitted these were also concerns of some of his friends in the UK.

"But I personally believe that the visit is also important to him, to send a strong message to Najib and Putrajaya that certain things need to be addressed," he said.
~ Malaysiakini

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