Troops surround Anwar's family

SUPPORTERS OF the imprisoned Malaysian opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, were struggling to keep his movement for reform alive yesterday, as soldiers and riot police surrounded his home and threatened to arrest his wife.

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.

Suggested Topics
News
people
News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
News
news

Lincoln MP Karl McCartney 'denied all knowledge' of the Twitter activity

News
The author PD James, who died on 27 November 2014
people

Detective novelist who wrote Death comes to Pemberley passed away peacefully at her home, aged 94

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Life and Style
tech
News
people
Life and Style
tech Manband spurn Spotify to stream album exclusively with Google
News
Irradiated turkey and freeze dried mash potato will be on the menu this thanksgiving
video
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Visitor Centre - Attraction Manager

£50000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: For the first time in its 1,000...

Recruitment Genius: Air Conditioning Service and / or Installation Engineers

£27400 - £33500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time air conditioning, ven...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Web Developer

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of web an...

Recruitment Genius: Class 1 Driver

£12 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Our Client has been the leader in the events...

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?