Anwar to lead even if jailed, says Guan Eng

By Clara Chooi | May 18, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng declared today that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will remain as Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) opposition Leader in Parliament even if he is jailed for sodomy.

Lim said the PR leadership have agreed that Anwar will hold on to the post “as long as he is still an MP” and until all legal avenues are exhausted.

“There is no replacement of opposition leader. Definitely no replacement. As long as he is an MP, he will not be replaced,” he told reporters after attending the launch of the George Town Festival 2011 at the Lot 10 shopping centre here this morning.

Lim pointed out that even if Anwar is jailed for sodomy, the PKR de facto leader would still have the opportunity to appeal his conviction.

“He does not necessarily lose his MP seat just because he is jailed. Like me, when I went to jail, I was still an MP. I was an MP until my pardon was resolved.

“So even if you go to jail, you can still appeal and then request for a pardon. I was an MP for six to nine months while in jail until my request for pardon was exhausted,” he said.

Lim claimed this has already been agreed on by the PR leadership.

“You can take it from me… read my lips. It is also from everyone in PR; that, I can announce, I can state this. Anything else, I cannot,” he said.

Lim refused to respond when asked if the PR leadership had any contingency plans for the pact should Anwar fail to win his appeal.

“We will announce when the time comes,” he said, and declined to say if the pact’s leaders had ever discussed the possibility.

The Penang chief minister, however, stressed that the pact will remain strong, even if Anwar is incarcerated.

“We will not break up. Whether the outcome is positive or negative,” he said.

Any rumours of a possible split in the pact, he claimed, were merely the result of “fallacies” promoted by Barisan Nasional-owned media.

“PR’s relationship will remain strong and we will continue to persevere in our efforts to bring reforms to Malaysia,” he said.

Anwar is presently facing a possible conviction for sodomy, the second in his political career, after he was called on Monday to enter his defence on a charge of sodomising former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan three years ago.

This is the second time in 13 years the former deputy prime minister has to defend against a sodomy charge.

He is charged under section 377B of the Penal Code and can be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years’ jail and whipping upon conviction.

He has denied the charge, describing it as “evil, frivolous lies by those in power”, when it was read out to him. The trial began 18 months after Anwar was charged in court in August 2008.

In 1998, he had been charged with sodomy and corruption after being sacked from the Cabinet, and was later convicted and jailed for both offences.

He was freed in September 2004 and later resurrected his political career by winning back his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat in a by-election in 2008, which had been held in the interim by his wife.

He earlier led the loose pact of PKR, the DAP and PAS to a historic sweep of five states and 82 parliamentary seats in Election 2008.

  1. #1 by rahmanwang on Wednesday, 18 May 2011 - 3:05 pm

    Yes Saudara Guan Eng,
    UMNO want to break up PR because they kn ow they will lose GE13.So the plan is put Anwar in jail then break PR.
    They do not know that putting Anwar in prison will only make the Malays angry.
    1stly charge Anwar for playing the rear end then now womanising.
    What is this.UMNO thinks the Malays bodoh.Now no more hoodwinking anymore.

  2. #2 by the reds on Wednesday, 18 May 2011 - 4:24 pm

    If Anwar happens to be jailed, the dream to capture Putrajaya is as good as over!

  3. #3 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 18 May 2011 - 4:46 pm

    In first place, will Anwar be sent to Jail? They just want the Sodomy II trial to tarnish his moral standing. The real trial is Court of Public Opinion – not the Court. If large segment of Public Opinion remains unconvinced of his guilt, then a conviction, and sending him to jail only turns Anwar into a martyr & icon against oppression that’s only going to work against the ruling government. In best case scenario for PR, and worst case for BN, a conviction sending Anwar to jail might galvanise the reform movement that has been flagging since 308 tsunami! The ruling elites are surely not unaware whats happening in large swathes of Middle East and the impact of sending a Muslim leader like AI to jail when public opinion is not otherwise convinced.

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 18 May 2011 - 4:46 pm

    Neither can they convict him & yet don’t send him to jail. So the dilemma is more on the part those who seek to destroy him politically via sodomy II. LGE is merely preempting by his statement more to spare AI & Family the hassle of conviction. It might not deal a lethal blow to PR if its leaders do not scramble form positions with Anwar’s conviction. Political leadership has nothing to do with positions MP or no MP. Paramount Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping had no official position. Cuba Fidel Castro led uprising from the Isle of Pines prison; so did Nelson Mandela from Robben Island prison. While in jail, his reputation grew and he became widely known as the most significant black leader in South Africa.

  5. #5 by wanderer on Wednesday, 18 May 2011 - 5:25 pm

    Absolutely!…Anwar is the man and he deserve the honor to lead the Opposition. Good on you LGE, nip the bud before it blooms…meaning, before the UMNO
    creeps start their malicious and unfounded rumors
    on the Opposition leadership.

  6. #6 by Loh on Wednesday, 18 May 2011 - 10:17 pm

    There is more than one way sperms can get into the anus of the ful-of-sai. Unless somebody else has seen the act of introducing the sperms, sodomy is just one possibility, and there is always doubts as to how it was done. The statement of the ful-of-sai cannot be the sole evidence since he was the one making the police report, and he is spared punishment when both parties are subject to punishment if they did in fact had consensual sodomy. When the evidence ful-of-sai is with the sole purpose of convicting Anwar. If the judge did not weigh this simple evidence, then the outcome of the trial is known. It says that people in Malaysia have to be careful about the disposal of his sperms, or else anyone can be jailed for charge of sodomy.

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