By Debra Chong – Malaysian Insider
SHAH ALAM, July 2 – Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been stepping up his pace of engagement since being hit by a second sodomy charge late last week. And if last night’s rally is any indicator, it is now at fever pitch.
Earlier in the day, the unofficial head of PKR held several rounds of one-to-one interviews with members of the foreign media at the Quality Hotel in Shah Alam.
In the afternoon, he made a trip to the nearby Selangor Police Contingent Headquarters to lodge a report against the present Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan and Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail for fabricating evidence at his trial a decade ago.
And from there, it was a rush to PKR’s new headquarters in Petaling Jaya for a press conference with the local media.
At night, it was back to Shah Alam to meet with supporters in the hastily-arranged ceramah to update them on what’s really been going on since Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan’s sodomy allegation bombshell.
Sungai Petani MP Johari Abdul, who was also the emcee for the event, gave a slice of what was in store when he stepped up to the podium at 9pm.
“The drums of war have already sounded. This time, it’s not their field but ours. We will tell the rakyat what really happened, who’s really involved…things you won’t read about in the local papers.”
Other PKR leaders – vice-presidents R. Sivarasa and Azmin Ali – expounded at length on that topic. And when Anwar entered the arena an hour later, the crowd, which numbered roughly 2,000 in the beginning but later swelled close to 7,000, was fully roused and ready to do battle.
Anwar told them how he had planned to announce his political comeback in office through a by-election this very week, but is deferring to a later date because the “information was leaked from his office”, thanks to Saiful, whom he said also had ties to the AG.
He told them about why he sought refuge at the Turkish embassy – that it was not his choice to but because his wife and children and Pakatan Rakyat compatriots were worried for his physical safety.
He told them about the death threats; about the report he had lodged with the police against their chief and the AG; about the web of lies the duo had concocted 10 years ago when he was thrown into jail, humiliated and physically abused then and how he was not going to stand for it a second time around.
He clarified for them his relationship with his current accuser, Saiful, who was not a personal aide as painted by the media but a mere volunteer staff during the election campaigning.
He fed them the same information he had given the media at the press conference earlier. But he also gave them extra. Before, he had only alluded to their names, but last night, he made it clear who the conspirators were behind the allegations of sodomy against him.
“I have proof that a volunteer staff of mine had a personal relationship with the wife of the deputy prime minister and his office,” cried Anwar.
He showed them a picture – by now widely circulated – of the 23-year-old posing with Khairil Anas Yusof, an aide to the DPM outside his office, which was projected onto a giant screen above the stage.
The masses, outraged, responded with fervour, calling out words too derogatory to be repeated.
“Datuk Najib wants to become prime minister. He should cleanse his name first. Rosmah wants to become the prime minister’s wife…” he announced further but was drowned out by the roar of fury from the floor.
“I’ve said the involvement of the deputy prime minister, his wife and his aide…The person involved, in the picture, Khairil Anas, he should be careful,” Anwar added.
And then he issued his challenge.
“There is no turning back…I will fight! I will fight morning, I will fight noon, I will fight evening, I will fight night! I will not stand for all this fitnah and such rotten things!” Anwar thundered.
“This is not a question of Anwar, but a question of saving Malaysia. The government mechanism should not be used to oppress the people…but to protect the interest of the people,” he thundered when he entered the arena at 10pm.
And though he went on at length about a great many things, Anwar has got one thing right, if nothing else.
“The issue now is about national governance. Other issues…are mere distractions.”
For Anwar, the cloak-and-dagger games are over.