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Beleaguered opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim claimed today the federal government is pulling out all the stops in its charge to crush the fledgling Pakatan Rakyat alliance, but vows not to cave in. “We’re going to make it very difficult for them. We’re going to fight at every stage,” he told reporters grimly after an afternoon in the High Court here, where he faces a second sodomy charge in a decade. The former deputy prime minister expressed his disgust at what he claims is Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s attempts to “intimidate” the opposition. He (Anwar) had earlier failed to get the court to postpone hearing his bid for evidence he claims the prosecution is purposely withholding from him, effectively denying him a fair trial.

Anwar’s lead lawyer Sulaiman Abdullah had pulled out last night due to poor health. The PKR leader wanted the judge to give him more time to appoint a new counsel but was turned down. A disgruntled Anwar told reporters the “system still perpetrated injustice”. “We need to change the system,” he stressed. He pointed out that Najib’s administration had abused public institutions such as the judiciary and the national anti-corruption body MACC, whose setting up he had supported. “I supported in 1997 to give the Anti-Corruption Agency more power even though my colleagues in the Cabinet and Umno did not support this. “But now it’s being used as a tool by the Umno-Barisan Nasional,” he said.

Anwar alleged that the authorities had failed to take action against reports of massive corruption by government officials, including the Attorney General and the Inspector General of Police despite strong evidence in their direction. Instead, they use the powers to “harass” opposition leaders on the flimsiest of excuses, he added, referring to the latest MACC raid on two DAP lawmakers in Selangor today. “Your right to expect a fair trial, your right to be defended against gangsters and Ah Longs, what about PKFZ? Where’s the investigation there? “You think you can silence the opposition by intimidating and harassing me like this? You think harassing Anwar like this, he will behave himself?” he charged. “On the contrary, we will exercise our rights to speak up for the people,” he swore.


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