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I never promised to free anyone from court cases: Malaysia PM Anwar – CNA

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim delivering a speech at an event with Muslim scholars at the Seri Perdana Complex in Putrajaya on Dec 11, 2022. (Photo: Facebook/Anwar Ibrahim)
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said that he had never given any guarantee to anyone that he would help with their court cases. 
“I have never given a guarantee to anyone stating they will be released from punishment, unless decided by a judge who is free and fair,” he said at an event at his official residence on Sunday (Dec 11).  
Mr Anwar said that enforcement agencies in the country will have the full freedom to carry out their duties.
He added that he would ensure entities such as the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) are always transparent in carrying out their duties, apart from the fact that no one can escape the punishment meted out by the court.
Mr Anwar also expressed his confidence that he can free the country of corruption. He warned his Cabinet ministers that anyone involved in bribery or misuse of power will be booted out immediately. 
“I have informed the Cabinet ministers whom I have chosen, that first and foremost, there should be no corruption.
“I have also informed all component party leaders that if any minister is involved in corruption, I will seek their mandate to sack them immediately,” he said, adding that the reminder was not a political gimmick but rather his confidence in freeing the country of corruption.
Mr Anwar said that he would not compromise on such culture in the unity government that he leads. He did not name anyone during his speech.
Previously, local media reported that Mr Anwar was faced with criticism after appointing United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as the deputy prime minister due to his ongoing court cases. 
Ahmad Zahid is on trial over 47 charges of abuse, corruption and money laundering. A verdict will likely be reached in the next few months.
Separately, Mr Anwar said he will review approved projects to ensure there are no leakages as the national debt has exceeded RM1 trillion (USD226 billion).
“I’ve worked hard to scrutinise the files and we will delay several projects to be re-examined or cancelled. 
“If we want to spend, we must be thorough. This is a matter of governance,” the Tambun MP said. 
As such, he said that the management of the country must be done by following the right order and rules.
“Look at the spontaneous approval of flood mitigation projects. There are some unanswered questions and I ask that they be postponed and re-examined,” he said, according to Bernama. 
Last Tuesday, Mr Anwar, who is also the Finance Minister, had ordered a review of RM7 billion worth of approvals under the RM15 billion flood mitigation project that were conducted through direct negotiation instead of a tender process.
Mr Anwar previously announced that approval for government procurement can no longer be given without a tender process to prevent financial leakages and corruption.
In his speech on Sunday, Mr Anwar also stated that although a motion of confidence is not legally required, it will allow him to lead the country with a clear mandate based on the majority support of MPs. 
“I would like to lead the country with a clear mandate, with the support of the majority of MPs. I am confident of obtaining it. If I can’t, then I will accept the will of the people,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama. 
The vote of confidence will be held during the next parliament session next Monday to end the question of the legitimacy of the unity government led by Mr Anwar.
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