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LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE ABOUT ANWAR IBRAHIM (int'l edition)

I wish to put some facts straight concerning a letter from M. Bakri Musa (Readers Report, Nov. 30). In today's corporate world, there is no rule that, when there is a disagreement between the chief executive and the No. 2, it is the latter who should go. If there is a stalemate, it is up to the shareholders to decide. In the feud between Mahathir and Anwar, the voters should be given the chance to voice their opinion, not only at the ballot box but also through the media and open forums.

Second, the West admires Anwar's tolerance and liberal views, unlike Mahathir, who has been putting out anti-Western rhetoric since he came to power in 1981. Mahathir has also made anti-Jewish remarks, targeting the Jewish currency traders on Wall Street. He blames everyone for Malaysia's economic turmoil except himself. Is this a leader whom the West should admire?

Third, the accusation that Anwar's vision of Islam is of the Iranian variety is absurd. Has he ever condoned terrorism? Has he passed fatwas on dissenting voices? Anwar has promoted moderate Islamic views; he tried to promote Islamic studies to the non-Muslims at the same time as he promoted Confucianism to the Muslims. Finally, Anwar issued a directive to all federal agencies and state governments in early 1977 not to entertain any tender application from his family.

Zafer Hashim
London


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