Make your own free website on Tripod.com








Monday, Sept 14
Malaysia's Anwar to extend nationwide tour
By Reme Ahmad

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Sacked Malaysian finance minister Anwar Ibrahim was due to address a rally in the southern Malacca state on Sunday as he tours the country giving his side of an alleged sex and treason scandal.

Anwar arrived at his suburban residence in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday afternoon after a whirlwind tour of two northern states and was due to head south in the evening.

He was expected to speak in an assembly hall in Air Keroh in central Malacca state at around 9 p.m. (0100 GMT), an aide said.

The planned rally would be the first for the politician in a proper meeting hall since his sacking by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad last week.

Anwar's previous public speeches were made from his Kuala Lumpur residence, his family home in northern Penang state and at a secluded religious school in the northern Kedah, Mahathir's home state.

The premier said on Saturday that the government would not take action over Anwar's ''road show'' meetings as long as they were peaceful.

''If it disrupts public order, we will take action. But if it is peaceful, we will not take any action,'' Mahathir was quoted as saying by the New Sunday Times newspaper.

There has been minimal police presence so far at his meetings, which have passed without incident.

Mahathir sacked Anwar from the posts of deputy prime minister and finance minister last week after accusing him of being ''morally'' unfit to be a leader.

Anwar was also sacked from the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party, the linchpin of the ruling National Front coalition lead by Mahathir.

No formal charges have been brought against Anwar, but he is being investigated for alleged sexual misconduct, treason and other crimes.

In Kedah on Saturday the former minister drew the largest crowd since his sacking as he reiterated that his dismissal was a conspiracy by top politicians worried by his fast ascendancy in UMNO.

Police said more than 20,000 people had turned out to hear Anwar, causing a huge traffic jam in a sleepy village near Pokok Sena in Kedah.

The small two-lane road leading to the Pondok Derang religious school was jammed with vehicles for miles and took several hours to untangle.

An Anwar aide said at least 80,000 people attended the meeting, which finished well after midnight as the heavy traffic had delayed Anwar's arrival.

Earlier on Saturday the ex-minister addressed a crowd of some 5,000 at his family home in Cherok Tok Kun in northern Penang state, the constituency he represents in parliament.

As at other meetings held by Anwar, his followers distributed flyers and sold cassette tapes and videos of his past speeches.