Friday, July 16, 2010

Did Anwar lie on Foundation of the Future (FFF)?

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin today alleged that Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim had lied about the funding from the US for the Anwar-led Foundation for the Future (FFF).
Khairy said a report released by a US whistleblower organisation, Government Accountability Programme (GAP), revealed that the US Congress approved and contributed USD21.3 million to the FFF.

"Anwar had blatantly lied when he said in a statement on May 20, 2007 that US had not contributed to the foundation. When I brought up the issue on March 17, he repeated the same statement," he said.

According to Khairy, GAP is a leading accountability organisation that monitors the spending of the US government and the said report (released on July 8) was based on 267 documents over the period of 33 months.

FFF is a non-profit organisation tasked with promoting democracy and reform in the Broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA) region.

Khairy said the report also concluded that in order to get funds for FFF, Anwar had misled the US Congress on the spendings of other countries towards the foundation.

“The FFF management, including Anwar's good friend, Paul Wolfowitz, had misled the US Internal Revenue Service," he added.

One of the conditions for US' contribution is for a matching grant - meaning that for every dollar US spends, it must get matching contributions from other countries.

FFF's own reports show that less than USD6.4 million of the USD22.26 million in “matching funds” listed by the State Department in its communications with the US Congress as pledged had materialised.

"On July 18, when the foundation signed an agreement with the State Department regarding this funding, Anwar, the then chairman and acting president of FFF, had agreed that FFF had received the commitment from government sources other than US, for example, Qatar, Middle East, to at least match any funds provided," said Khairy.

"This is serious... that the opposition leader had misled the US government... to get funds for his foundation. Anwar had given an inaccurate explanation saying he never got money from US, it is all documented. I hope Anwar can explain this," he added.

'Be clear about your stand'
Also speaking at the same press conference, Kota Belud MP Abdul Rahman Dahlan said Anwar needs to be clear on his stand and Pakatan Rakyat's policies.

"Anwar wants to be prime minister. He needs to clear the air on the policies of Pakatan Rakyat if he wants to form government. That is why they must form a shadow cabinet. We want to know what is their economic, social and foreign policies. But they are unable to do this," he said.

Claiming to be in the dark about FFF's activities, Abdul Rahman said it is improper for Anwar to be associated with something that advances foreign interests.

"We hope that Anwar shows a firm foreign policy... to have a consistent stand on things. We have seen a lot of examples where he shifts his stand easily," he added.
(The above article appeared in FreeMalaysiaToday. Please click on the title to go to original posting. Tq - DARD)

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