Anwar eyes polls, says not worried about sodomy appeal

January 27, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 27 — The 13th general election and not the Attorney-General’s appeal against his acquittal from a sodomy charge is what is occupying Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s mind in the aftermath of Sodomy II.

The de facto chief of the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) pact told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) in an interview published today that he was not worried about public prosecutors appealing the High Court’s decision to acquit him of a sodomy charge as the judgment was “very strong” and “difficult to appeal”.

Trial judge Datuk Zabidin Mohd Diah, in announcing his decision to acquit Anwar, said the DNA evidence had been compromised.

Anwar (picture) said the appeal process would take at least six months, which meant it could outlast the campaign for national polls that the PKR leader has confidently said will propel his PR bloc to Putrajaya.

The A-G filed a formal appeal on January 20 but the Court of Appeal is still waiting for the judge to send in his written grounds of judgment. Zabidin has eight weeks or roughly two months to do so.

The influential international paper observed today that post-Sodomy II, Anwar has been shifting from defence to offence in his bid to form the next federal government.

In the article, the 64-year-old pushed his series of economic reform policies to promote transparency and accountability, especially in the award of government contracts and end widespread corruption under the current Barisan Nasional (BN) government led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Anwar told the WSJ that he was not just “anti-Umno” but wanted to ensure that Malaysia would emerge on top as it competed with neighbouring countries like Indonesia and Vietnam that was pulling in foreign investments.

“We must always compare Malaysia to Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan,” he told the WSJ.

He told the daily that he would push for more privatisation programmes and free up the markets to run business more efficiently.

Malaysia, once among the top economic magnets in Asia, has been criticised for continuing with economic policies that benefit only one race to get in the way of trade and investments.

Anwar also said he would quicken the dismantling of racial quotas in higher education and aid for lower-income groups instead of solely aiding ethnic Malays.

The married grandfather, who has been attacked for his statements on homosexual rights, told the WSJ he denied supporting gay marriages as he “believes in and supports the sanctity of marriage between men and women.”

“It is not my business to attack people or arrest people based on their sexual orientation,” he told the paper.

Anwar, who has been projecting himself a Muslim liberal leader to the West, had labelled Malaysia’s sodomy laws as “archaic”.

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