Monday, June 30, 2008

Anwar fears for his safety if he surrenders

July 1, 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: The opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who has taken refuge at the Turkish embassy amid threats and sodomy accusations, has vowed to remain there until the Malaysian Government guarantees his safety.

"I need categorical assurance on my safety. You know I have previously been assaulted to near death," Dr Anwar said, referring to a beating he received after being sacked as deputy premier and being hit with sex and corruption charges in 1998.

"Sure, if they give me an assurance for my safety today, I will leave the embassy today," he said in a phone interview from the mission in the capital's centre.

But Malaysia's Foreign Minister, Rais Yatim, after meeting the Turkish ambassador, Barlas Ozener, said Turkey would ask Dr Anwar to leave its embassy as soon as possible.

Dr Anwar fled there on Sunday at the invitation of the ambassador, saying he had been threatened and feared a government assassination plot after facing "fabricated" accusations that he sodomised a male aide.

"There's two reasons why I decided to come to the embassy. It's not just for my personal safety; it's also for the stability of the nation," he said, referring to likely protests if he was arrested.

Dr Anwar said the allegations were aimed at derailing his spectacular political comeback as the figurehead of an opposition that made big gains in elections in March, and came just as he was about to re-enter parliament.

"This is their intention. You know we will announce a by-election this week. I will contest [it]; the police knew that," he said.

After he was sacked in 1998, a watershed event in Malaysian politics, Dr Anwar was convicted on sodomy and corruption charges and spent six years in jail.

He was released in 2004 when the sex charge was overturned, but the corruption conviction stands, and prevented him from holding public office until mid-April.

He is now eligible to stand for parliament, and one of the lawmakers in his Keadilan party is expected to stand aside for him.

Dr Anwar, who maintains he has the numbers to form a new government with the help of defecting legislators from the ruling coalition, said he was still on track to seize power.
"It has never been so good; they know that," he said of the UMNO party government of the Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Dr Anwar said he now had no faith in the due process of law in the country.
He said that elements in the police who were involved in the original investigation were now acting to sideline him because they feared revenge if he becomes prime minister.
"If you want to fight a political battle, do it cleanly," he said.

Yesterday he filed a defamation suit against the male aide who accused him of sodomy. Filed in the High Court in Kuala Lumpur, it seeks unspecified compensation from the aide.
Agence France-Presse,Associated Press. Source :

BERITADARIGUNUNG: After a while people get tired of Anwar. He got the pleasure of Lingam tape recently and now the rest can take the back seat, and continuing watching the unfinished story of "the wicked apartments". This is the sequel to "Trivoli" published 10 years ago.