Last edited: November 06, 2004

Anwar: Malay Colleagues Corrupt

Associated Press, October 22, 1999

By Alvin Ung

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - In his first statements at his sodomy trial, Anwar Ibrahim on Friday accused Cabinet ministers of maneuvering to oust him from Malaysia's second most powerful office.

The former deputy prime minister charged that Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin and Consumer Affairs Minister Megat Junid Megat Ayub plotted his downfall because he tried to expose their misdeeds.

Anwar is serving a six-year prison term for corruption. He is being tried for sodomy, a crime in this predominantly Muslim Southeast Asian nation.

He denies all the charges against him, saying they are part of a political plot to quash his challenge to Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Anwar also accused the two of corruption, claiming Daim pocketed $158 million from a group of businessmen and that Megat Junid gambled and once acted as an accomplice to a murder.

Daim's and Megat Junid's offices said the two ministers could not be immediately reached for comment. Anwar said he would continue his testimony next week with more details of alleged corruption.

Mahathir declined to act against these and other officials, he said. Instead, Anwar's former mentor turned on him after he persisted with his complaints. "To my knowledge, there has been no investigations" of those accusations, Anwar told the court. "No action was taken."

Anwar said Daim had warned him last year that if he did not resign he could be charged with sexual misconduct.

Eighteen days after Anwar was fired as deputy prime minister on Sept. 2, 1998, he was taken to jail by police and charged with 10 counts of sodomy and corruption.

Prosecutors say he sodomized his former family driver, Azizan Abu Bakar. Also charged in the case is Anwar's adopted brother, Sukma Dermawan, who is accused by prosecutors of participating in the 1993 homosexual act.

The court has subpoenaed Mahathir to testify in court next week as a defense witness. The defense began calling witnesses - starting with Anwar - on Friday.

[Home] [World] [Malaysia]