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July 19, 2008

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Filed under: Ko Yem Binjai, Malaysia, Republic of Malaysia — Tags: — Nun Ha Alliance @ 10:50 pm

Previous Anwar Ibrahim

Source | Credit to : David Portnoy



Present Anwar Ibrahim 2008

Agence France-Presse – 7/17/2008 7:52 AM GMT

Malaysia opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim speaks during a press conference at his residence in Kuala Lumpur on July 17. Anwar was released on bail after spending a night in custody over sodomy allegations that threaten to destroy his ambitions of seizing power.

Malaysia’s Anwar says victim of ‘vendetta’

Entry: vendetta

Speech: noun
Synonyms: dispute, feud, fight, gripe, quarrel

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said Thursday he was the victim of a “vendetta”, after being held overnight on sodomy accusations levelled by a young male aide. Anwar, who was released on bail, said he was treated like a “major criminal” and needed medical treatment after a night in a bare cell at Kuala Lumpur police headquarters which aggravated a back injury. “Dumped in a cell to sleep on a cold cement floor with nothing… that has exacerbated the pain,” said Anwar, who was arrested Wednesday by a team of police commandos.”I don’t deserve this — no Malaysian deserves this. Why treat me like a major criminal?” he told a press conference, adding that he was subjected to an examination which included the measuring of his genitals.”They have seen all my private parts. Of course I refused to be photographed, it could be on YouTube very soon! You mean I can trust the system?”Anwar rejected the allegations levelled by 23-year-old aide Mohamad Saiful Bukhari Azlan as another conspiracy, following the events of 1998 when he was sacked as deputy premier and jailed on sodomy and corruption counts.”It appears that the events of the last few days, the nature of my unwarranted arrest, my overnight incarceration which was actually absolutely unnecessary, were an act of personal vengeance against me,” he said.”They should not use this as a personal vendetta against me.”Anwar said he was being targeted because of allegations he has made against the attorney-general and chief of police over his treatment during his original trial.He has lodged a police report accusing them of manipulating evidence in an investigation into the severe beating he received when he was in police custody at the time.The 60-year-old opposition leader defended his decision not to give a DNA sample during Wednesday’s examination, saying he had no faith in the system after fabricated DNA evidence was used against him in his trial a decade ago.”My decision to refuse a DNA test is taken through advice of my lawyers and DNA experts,” he said.And he criticized the decision to arrest him, when he had agreed to face police interrogation at a meeting scheduled just an hour after he was picked up by police.

“I am disappointed with the way the police have handled this whole situation,” he said.

Anwar Ibrahim, 16th July

Anwar Ibrahim has always been a controversial figure

Anwar Ibrahim is well aware of the perils and pitfalls of Malaysian political life.

Once tipped for the country’s highest office, he fell out with top leaders and was beaten, jailed and disgraced.
Released from prison, he emerged as the de facto leader of a newly-invigorated opposition and appeared poised to challenge the ruling coalition’s 50-year hold on power.
Then new – yet familiar – claims against him were made, setting the stage for fresh political turmoil.

Convicted and jailed

Massive street demonstrations took place in 1999 when Mr Anwar was jailed for abuse of power.
Just a year earlier, his star had appeared to be in the ascendant. He was widely expected to succeed then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad, and take over the leadership of Malaysia.

Anwar's wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail

Anwar’s wife has supported him throughout the accusations

But there were growing tensions between the two leaders, particularly over economic policy and, in September 1998, Mr Anwar found himself sacked and arrested over allegations of sexual misconduct.The trial which followed led to a six-year jail term for corruption. In 2000 he was found guilty on a second charge, of sodomy, and jailed for a further nine years, to be served concurrently with his other sentence.
Mr Anwar opposed both convictions, supported by his wife – politician Wan Azizah Wan Ismail – and a hard core of supporters. In late 2004 Malaysia’s Supreme Court overturned the sodomy conviction, freeing him from jail.
Although banned from politics until April 2008, Mr Anwar emerged as the de facto opposition leader – acting as a unifying figure for Malaysia’s diverse political groups.

And as Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi’s popularity plummeted over ethnic tensions, inflation and corruption gripes, the opposition forces began to look like more of a credible force.
Elections in March 2008 confirmed the shift. The ruling coalition saw its worst results in 50 years, while the opposition made unprecedented gains. The government had never looked weaker – or the opposition forces stronger.
Mr Anwar said he had enough lawmakers to topple the government and that he was waiting for the right moment.
Then new allegations emerged against him. A 23-year-old former aide accused him of sodomy, and he was arrested.
Anwar Ibrahim denies the claims.
“There is no basis for this whole fabrication and malicious attacks. It is just a repeat of the 1998 script. You can see the pattern,” he said.

Divisive figure

Allegations notwithstanding, he cuts a controversial figure.
To his backers, and supporters in the international community like the US government, he is the leading force for reform in Malaysia.
The cries of “reformasi” on the streets of Kuala Lumpur following his first arrest, and his courting of the international media during his time as Mahathir’s deputy, led many in the West to portray Mr Anwar as an Asian renaissance man, leading the charge against a corrupt “ancien regime”.
But many Malaysians, particularly non-Muslims, see it quite differently, pointing to Mr Anwar’s political roots in radical Islam.
He made his name as a student leader, defacing English language signs at the University of Malaya and founding Malaysia’s Islamic youth movement, ABIM.
Many local Chinese people, who make up the largest ethnic group after the Muslim Malays, doubt that Mr Anwar has left his radical Islamic roots far behind.
Mr Anwar maintains that he is a unifying figure, not a divisive one.
But the fresh allegations against him could well have a disturbing effect on Malaysia’s political stage.

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