Malaysia’s Ibrahim vows to topple Badawi government

July 22nd, 2008 - 12:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, July 22 (IANS) Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has again threatened to topple Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s government, saying he is “on track”, despite being haunted by a sodomy charge. He told media Monday that he would succeed despite attempts to “demonise and intimidate” him through the charge filed by a political aide last month that he said was meant to stop him in his track to bring the government down by mid-September.

“We are on track to take over the government. We want to pursue this agenda for reform,” a smiling Ibrahim said, adding: “Clearly, I am a political threat”.

He refused last week to to provide a blood sample for a DNA test, alleging that the sample could be tampered with. He was arrested for a night and then bailed out.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian cabinet has directed the home ministry to “put on fast track” the proposed DNA Identification Bill, but says it is not directed against Ibrahim.

The ministry has been told that the bill should be readied in time for the next session of parliament beginning Aug 18. Deputy Home Minister Chor Chee Heung has confirmed this, Nanyang Siang Pau newspaper said Tuesday.

It, however, said the police wanted the bill last year so that a DNA data bank can be set up to enhance their ability to solve cases. This was before l’affaire Ibrahim.

Earlier, reports said the bill would only be presented to the parliament in December.

Ibrahim has been dogged by an aide, Mohammed Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 23, who last month complained that Ibrahim had sexually assaulted him at a condominium in a posh Kuala Lumpur locality.

The same charge, coupled with corruption, levelled against him ten years back cost Ibrahim the post of deputy prime minister. He suffered prolonged imprisonment and trial.

The sex conviction was later overturned but a corruption court barred him from public office until April.

Ibrahim says the new campaign is a conspiracy meant to keep him away from contesting a by-election to parliament where his wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, heading a 82-strong opposition appliance, is the leader of the opposition.

But moves on various fronts hold Ibrahim down.

On Monday, his alleged victim’s father Azlan Mohammad Lazim said his son was “ready to swear at any time … in a mosque … that he was sodomised as reported to the police, once the investigations are over”.

Malaysia’s police chief Musa Hassan filed a defamation suit against Ibrahim for alleging that he (Musa) fabricated evidence in the 1998 case.

Prime Minister Badawi, assuring transparent investigation, has barred Hasan, as also Attorney General Gani Patail, from being part of any proceedings against Ibrahim.

The Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) which is probing Ibrahim’s charge against the two top officials Monday said it would wrap up the investigation shortly, the New Straits times said.

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