Malaysia’s turbulent politics took another twist on Sunday when Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was accused of sodomy by a 23-year-old aide.
The accusations revived memories of a similar accusation a decade ago that led to Anwar's imprisonment and ouster as deputy prime minister, even though a court later exonerated him. Anwar accused the government Sunday of a conspiracy to thwart his rising political clout.
He has denied the accusations and took refuge in the Turkish Embassy on Sunday, saying he feared a government plot to assassinate him. Anwar's party said that he was not seeking political asylum but that the Turkish ambassador had offered him protection. Anwar is known to be a close friend of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Since the ruling parties’ poor showing in the General Elections in March, Anwar has since been vying to unseat the government, saying he is in a position to engineer enough defections to take over government.
Anwar's wife, Azizah Ismail, described the sodomy accusation as an attempt at "political murder." At a news conference, she displayed a Blackberry showing a photograph of the accuser apparently with one of Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak's aides at Najib's office. Some blogs also carried pictures of the accuser with three government ministers at various events.
Anwar's supporters say this is evidence that the accuser was well-known to the government before he came to work for Anwar in March. They say this indicates a possible conspiracy to frame Anwar.
But Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi insisted the government was not responsible for the accusation.
The Star, Monday June 30, 2008, Anwar takes up refuge offer from Turkish embassy
IHT , Sunday, June 29, 2008, Malaysian opposition leader Anwar accused of sodomy