The appointment of a former senior police officer as Malaysia’s new facilitator for peace talks in southern Thailand has been strongly opposed by Nurul Izzah Anwar, a prominent politician and daughter of former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim.
Taking to Twitter, she described him as a “brutal assaulter of an innocent man”.
Abdul Rahim Mohd Noor was inspector general of Malaysian police in 1998 when he was widely linked to the “black eye” incident where Anwar was beaten while in police custody after being detained on sodomy and corruption charges. Abdul Rahim was eventually charged for the assault and was given a two-month prison sentence and fined RM2,000 (about 16,000 baht).
Malaysian news agency Bernama has reported that Abdul Rahim replaced Datuk Seri Ahmad Zamzamin Hashim as Malaysia’s facilitator for the peace talks between the Thai Government and members of separatist movements in southern Thailand. Zamzamin was picked for the role by the former Barisan Nasional led government.
“I unequivocally oppose this appointment of a brutal assaulter of an innocent man, as he lay there blindfolded & handcuffed – left w/out medical attn for days. This being then lied 2 d whole world as to d victim’s whereabouts & well being. Shame on those who executed this travesty,” she tweeted on Monday.
Nurul Izzah is an MP and daughter of Anwar Ibrahim, a former deputy prime minister and now leader of PKR, a major component in the current coalition government led by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed.
Commenting on Nurul Izzah’s reaction, Abdul Rahim said it is “irrelevant” to link his appointment to facilitate peace talks in southern Thailand to the black-eye incident.
Saying that “what is past, is past”, he believed the government had chosen him based on his role in the peace talks with the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) in 1989.
The peace talks saw CPM sign a peace deal with Malaysia and the Thai government known as the Hat Yai Treaty, after more than 40 years of insurgency.