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Jul 18, 2008

US senator urges KL to 'drop this political attack' on Anwar

malaysianinsider | United States Senator Joseph Biden Jr today called on Kuala Lumpur not to repeat the mistakes of the past in prosecuting opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, urging the Prime Minister "to drop this political attack on a respected opposition figure".

Biden, who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is the latest American official to voice concern over Anwar's arrest in connection with a sodomy complaint filed by a former male aide last month. This is the second such accusation against the 60-year-old father of six in a decade.

"The charges against Mr Anwar closely mirror those levied against him in 1998: then, too, politically-motivated allegations were made against Mr. Anwar at the precise moment when he seemed poised to challenge a sitting Prime Minister," Biden said in a statement issued by Anwar's Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

He said the spectacle of Anwar's "mistreatment and imprisonment on transparently political grounds greatly discredited Malaysia in the eyes of the world community" a decade ago and tarnished the reputation of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

"I certainly hope that the current Prime Minister, Abdullah Badawi, does not repeat the mistakes of the past. I urge him to drop this political attack on a respected opposition figure, and commit himself to rule of law and good governance in Malaysia," Biden said.


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