Malaysia FM criticizes opposition leader

(AP) Malaysia's foreign minister on Thursday lashed out at the country's opposition leader, accusing Anwar Ibrahim of trying to ruin Malaysia's image abroad and entice legislators to join the opposition party.

After meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Foreign Minister Anifah Aman told reporters that Anwar, a former deputy prime minister scheduled to go on trial in July on a charge of sodomizing a male former aide, "more or less, what he has said, especially overseas, most of the things are untrue."

He added: "We have the utmost faith in our judicial system."

Anwar, who leads the opposition three-party alliance, has accused the government of cracking down on the resurgent opposition. He also has denied the allegations against him.

Clinton, asked if she had raised U.S. criticism over the charges against Anwar, said: "We raised rule of law issues and the larger questions concerning the institutional reforms that Malaysia has been pursuing. We're on record as to our opinion as to that particular case, and I think that speaks for itself."

Anifah also said Ibrahim had tried "to buy" legislative members so that they would join the opposition.

"He was trying to entice members of parliament, and I was personally offered to jump into the opposition and offered a very lucrative position," he said.

Read interview at: Remarks by Secretary Clinton: May 2009