KUALA LUMPUR: A CLOSE acquaintance of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has given a damning assessment of the de facto Parti Keadilan Rakyat leader -- Anwar is not fit to lead the country.
Academician and former International Islamic University Malaysia deputy rector Prof Datuk Dr Sidek Baba, who has known Anwar for more than 30 years, said Anwar lacked the credibility to be the country's prime minister.
"I did my own research for three years and met 28 people who were close allies of Anwar and finally saw who he really was," he said after a closed-door meeting with former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at Yayasan Al-Bukhary yesterday.
Sidek said Anwar did not have the standing of a leader with integrity and credibility.
"I am not a politician, I am an academician.
"Based on a thorough research and guided by an Islamic approach, I have decided to keep my distance from him."
Sidek said he had discussed with Dr Mahathir issues related to Anwar to get a clearer picture of who the former deputy prime minister really was.
"My views on Anwar were not simply made up. I took careful steps before making my own conclusions. Some people may wonder why I choose to reveal this now and may speculate that I was 'bought' by Umno.
"I have my reasons. I have the data and facts to show for it. Those who have doubts can meet me for clarification."
Sidek believed there were many who knew the truth about Anwar but did not have the courage to voice it out.
On Barisan Nasional (BN) as the ruling government, Sidek was candid in his assessment and said that any government had its strengths and weaknesses.
"We are only human and we are not perfect.
"However, under BN, we have seen growth in the nation's economy and our children have reaped the benefits.
"If we want everything to be given free, how are we to become a competitive and ambitious country?"