Pakatan vows Reformasi 2.0 street protests against Anwar’s sodomy conviction


Musliza Mustafa, TMI

Angry Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders have declared they will take to the streets to protest against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s second guilty verdict for sodomy in front of thousands who flooded Kajang town last night where the opposition leader was due to contest in a March 23 by-election.

Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim also said Barisan Nasional’s (BN) National Reconciliation Plan would not work as long as the opposition leader was convicted on the sodomy charge, the second in 15 years.

PKR deputy president Azmin Ali said at a Kajang by-election campaign in Sungai Sekamat there would be Reformasi 2.0 soon.

told the crowd which cheered wildly.

“We will decide on this tomorrow,” he said, referring to a presidential meeting this morning.

Anwar was sentenced to five years in jail after the Court of Appeal overturned his acquittal at the High Court and found him guilty of sodomising his former aide Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Saiful, 28, had accused Anwar of sodomising him in 2008 shortly after the 12thgeneral election and even swore on the Quran that he was telling the truth.

Azmin said he needed the people’s help to make the protests happen. The PKR deputy president was among the activists who organised weekly street protests after Anwar was fired as deputy prime minister in September 1998 on charges of sodomy and power abuse.

“From my stand, this is not the time to talk but time for us to rise and fight Umno. The people will not stay quiet. This is a political move.

“So the solution is also through political means. We have to take this to the street,” he said to more than 1,000 supporters who crowded the campaign site.

Azmin said the way the court handled the case had raised many eyebrows.

“Only yesterday, the case was heard then the lawyer was pressured until the sentence was announced today.

“Lawyer Karpal Singh said this was the first time the court proceedings lasted four hours.”

Azmin said he would not allow Anwar to spend even one day in jail over the second conviction. Anwar had spent nearly six years in jail for the first sodomy case.

The opposition leader was released in 2004, months after Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi took over as prime minister from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who was seen as Anwar’s political mentor until they had a falling out.

“I announced that there will be Reformasi 2.0. Only the rakyat can save this country. So here in Kajang, let’s make sure Umno lose their deposit with bigger majority,” Azmin told the crowd.

Azmin told reporters later that the court decision against Anwar would not bring their spirits down.

“We saw a huge change after the 1999 Reformasi. It was a new wave. This time, we hope it will be catapulted into another new wave to fight for truth and justice. We have yet to decide on how we are going to do it.”