Anwar packs Kajang with ‘Reformasi 2.0’ card ahead of poll


(The Malay Mail) – A monster crowd thronged the launch of “Reformasi 2.0” here last night as Pakatan Rakyat (PR) picked up its pace as national attention — displaced by the unexplained disappearance of Flight MH370 — returned to the Sunday by-election.

Pumped up PR leaders told an energetic audience that the rally was to showcase the people’s strength and support for Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim should the country’s highest court uphold a contentious sodomy conviction.

The Court of Appeal had on March 7 reversed the High Court’s acquittal ruling on the 66-year-old Anwar, which was decided after a lengthy three-year trial where he was charged with sodomising a former male aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2009.

“Do you think the people will just idly stand as you oppress them? They will rise and fight to the end,” Anwar told an appreciative audience that roared their support.

PKR deputy president Azmin Ali said, who spoke on the stage before Anwar, noted the thousands packing the 5,000-seater Kajang Stadium.

“Look at the numbers, this will be the end of Barisan Nasional. We are ready to fight to the end,” Azmin said, prompting more raucous calls.

In 1998, Anwar led the first reformasi movement against the Barisan Nasional (BN) government after he was sacked as deputy prime minister and convicted on twin charges of sodomy and corruption, which he claimed were trumped up by his former boss, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The incident triggered angry response from a large number of the country’s Malays who took the streets to protest the government’s treatment of Anwar and pushed the ruling coalition into a leadership crisis.

The sodomy conviction was later overturned by the Federal Court in 2003.