Malaysia: Anwar Rally Against Charges

Updated On: Jul 11, 2008

Large crowds of some 12,000 rallied in Shah Alam Kuala Lumpur on 1 July to support opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim after a police report accused Mr Anwar of sexually assaulting a party worker.
Mr Anwar told his cheering supporters that he was the victim of a plot aimed at preventing him from taking power. He earlier said he had evidence to prove his innocence and has filed a police report against the attorney-general and police chief, accusing them of fabricating evidence in a 1998 sodomy trial against him. His conviction on that charge was later overturned.
Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi yesterday sought to counter the image being built up of a government conspiracy. He pledged a full and thorough investigation even as he rejected Mr Anwar's charges of bias.
Mr Abdullah also lashed out at the USA who had said it hoped there was no 'pattern' in the new accusations against Mr Anwar.
The Prime Minister had earlier in the day met Mr Anwar's wife Wan Azizah Ismail, who sought his personal guarantee of her husband's safety. Mr Abdullah gave an assurance to both Mr Anwar and his accuser.
Political temperatures are rising in the Malaysian capital on the third day after by 23-year-old opposition party worker Saiful Bukhari Azlan, lodged a police report accusing Mr Anwar of assaulting him.
In the days ahead, Mr Anwar plans to soon file a statutory declaration on the close links between Mr Saiful and an aide to Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Sources: Big Turnout in Stadium, The Star, 2 July08 Turmoil in KL
The Straits Times, 2 July 08

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