Opposition alliance will survive

(Malaysian Mirror) – Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who faces trial this month on sodomy charges, said his Pakatan Rakyat alliance would survive even if he is convicted and jailed.Anwar rejected allegations levelled by a 23-year-old former aide as a conspiracy to derail his plan to topple the government.

He was found guilty of separate sodomy and corruption charges a decade ago in a case widely seen as politically motivated. In 2004 the sodomy conviction was overturned, allowing Anwar to go free after six years in jail.

Pakatan Rakyat will survive

"There is no question of the Pakatan Rakyat continuing, surviving. It will continue to defend the rights of the people and challenge the government, gaining strength from any conviction made against me," Anwar told AFP. "In fact I think a conviction against me will enrage a lot of people," he said after a political rally late Tuesday.

"I am ready for all eventualities and prepared to face attacks — expect the best and prepare for the worst." Anwar addressed a crowd of more than 2,000 supporters in a stadium outside the capital in a three-hour rally organised by his opposition alliance to show their solidarity for him.

Anwar's Keadilan party joined forces with the conservative Islamic party PAS and the Chinese-based Democratic Action Party in an alliance which gained unprecedented ground against the ruling coalition in national polls a year ago.

After seizing control of a third of seats in parliament, it is now vowing to unseat the Barisan Nasional coalition — which ruled Malaysia for half a century — in the next general elections.

Under the Penal Code and Syariah

However, Anwar's political success story has faced a formidable challenge with fresh sodomy allegations that could see him jailed for 20 years. The sex act, even between consenting adults, is illegal in predominantly Muslim Malaysia. Anwar's trial will begin on July 8 and he has already said he fears he will not get fair treatment.

Anwar served as deputy prime minister for the Barisan Nasional until he was sacked in 1998 and jailed for sodomy and corruption.