Troops surround Anwar's family
Wednesday 23 September 1998
A day after invoking a draconian security law to detain Mr Anwar and 11 leading supporters, police accused his wife, Azizah Ismail, of inciting hostility against them by suggesting that her husband would be forcibly injected with the HIV virus in an effort to prove that he is a promiscuous bisexual.
"We have news that maybe Anwar's life is in danger," she was reported to have told the American television channel CNBC. "He may be given some injection of the HIV virus to prove whatever allegations ... that is why I am afraid for my husband's life." Last night a police helicopter hovered above the house in suburban Kuala Lumpur and police and troops cleared away stands selling posters of Mr Anwar and tapes of his speeches.
There was no repeat of the mass demonstrations of the previous day and of Sunday when tens of thousands of Malaysians rallied in the centre of the city calling for the resignation of Mahathir Mohamad, the Prime Minister.
Dr Mahathir sacked Mr Anwar as deputy leader and finance minister after police affidavits saying he engaged in promiscuous sex with men and women. But three weeks later, no charges have been brought against him. Instead he and the 11 supporters are being held under the Internal Security Act (ISA) which allows indefinite detention without trial.
"I will not discount the possibility that more people will be picked up under the ISA as our investigations progress," Yaacob Amin of the Malaysian CID told The Star newspaper. At least 40 other demonstrators were dragged off the streets on Monday by plain-clothes police, and the risk of arrest, as well as the heavy police presence, appeared to have broken the momentum of the protest movement. Opponents of Dr Mahathir said they believed the movement would continue but that they feared a broader crackdown, possibly after the departure of the Queen, whose official visit ends today.
"There is an overall climate of fear," said Param Cumaraswamy, a lawyer and former president of the Malaysian Bar Association. "For decades we were sacrificing a great deal of social and political rights just to promote growth. We don't have an independent judiciary, we don't have a free place, police powers have increased, there's no place for independent, critical non-governmental organisations. Suddenly people wake up and find that the economy has gone down and that we are not allowed to speak up."
Professor Chandra Muzaffar of the University of Malaya, a civil rights campaigner who spent two months in jail under the ISA during Dr Mahathir's last crackdown 11 years ago, said: "It's a movement which takes its strength from two parts of society - the expanding middle class and the Islamic movement, and I don't think it's ging to evaporate."
Dr Mahathir insisted the situation was stable. "There are a few thousand people following him [Anwar] but the majority of people are quite happy," he said.
- 2 Argentina may change its capital city from Buenos Aires, says president
- 3 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 4 The 3D-printed key that can unlock anything
- 5 Lady al-Qa’ida: On the trail of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the world’s most wanted prisoner
Keira Knightley topless: Conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
Sir Paul McCartney makes his stance on Scottish independence known
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
- < Previous
- Next >
£30000 - £33000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior SQL DBA...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Web Develop...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...
Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - This is a very unusual law c...