Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Friday, 27 January 2006

Malaysia - Anwar Ibrahim sues Mahathir Mohamed

Former Deputy PM of Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim is suing former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed.

This case dates back to 1998 when Mahathir Mohamed, then Prime Minister, sacked his then Deputy PM Anwar Ibrahim on charges of sodomy and corruption. Anwar Ibrahim was later jailed after convictions of sodomy and corruption were upheld.

However, after demonstrations in January 2004 (dispersed by police) against new PM Abdullah Badawi by Anwar Ibrahim supporters protesting at his continuing incarceration, despite promises from the new Leader that he would aim to foster Malaysian democracy, Anwar Ibrahim was released from prison the following September after the sodomy conviction was overtuned by the country's highest court. At this stage, and still today, the corruption conviction remains so preventing Anwar Ibrahim from running for elected office until 2008.

Mahathir Mohamed has other bees in his bonnet, for example his outburst against Jews at a major Islamic conference in 2003, an incident that earned him a welcome rebuke from US President George W Bush.

Anwar Ibrahim and his supporters have contended throughout the whole sorry period since 1998 that all the charges against him were fabricated by Mahathir Mohamed solely because he viewed Anwar Ibrahim as a political rival and resorted to the dirtiest of tactics to malign and destroy him. I have a great deal of sympathy with this interpretation - it so happens I have met Mahathir Mohamed and have to say that I found him a most unpleasant and bigotted individual (not because of my sexuality, but because of my nationality - he doesn't care for white people either). I hope Anwar Ibrahim is successful in his case against Mahathir Mohamed.

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