Monitor: All the News of the World

Anwar Ibrahim's appearance before a Malaysian court
WHATEVER THE truth of the charges brought against Anwar, the treatment of the man who was previously seen as Dr Mahathir's natural successor cannot be justified. The latest turn of events means that Malaysia appears to have joined the ranks of countries where governments beat up political opponents in prison. That can only increase its isolation from the international community which, whatever the excesses of the hedge funds, cannot be in Malaysia's longer-term interests. Dr Mahathir must believe that pro-Anwar protests can be contained by heavy policing and political muscle. But his former deputy's tour through the country this month showed the extent of latent opposition, and the protest movement demonstrated at the weekend that it had not been quelled. As a result, the prime minister may now end up facing the challenge of an accomplished politician who has been turned into a martyr - while he sees his own regime sliding beyond the pale.

South China Morning Post

WITH THE charismatic Mr Anwar locked away and Malaysia's government- controlled media broadcasting and publishing anti-Anwar vitriol, Dr Mahathir appears likely to retain power, at least until the November Apec leaders' meeting, which he is scheduled to chair. This makes it still more important for Australia's political leadership to continue to lead the international condemnation of Dr Mahathir's increasingly dangerous behaviour.

The Age, Australia

THEY SAY that there is a new political consciousness among people, a long-dormant consciousness pricked by what people see as injustice against Datuk Seri Anwar. Many remain unconvinced about the barrage of charges - ranging from sodomy to corruption - levelled against him, helped no doubt by the paucity of evidence so far and the absence of formal charges. The various groups and individuals that have aligned themselves to the former deputy prime minister also identify with his demands for greater accountability, independence of the judiciary, and an end to corruption and more freedom.

The Straits Times, Singapore