Malaysian police warn against Anwar rally -papers

Malaysian police have threatened stern action against participants in a rally marking the end of a ban that prevented opposition figure Anwar Ibrahim from running for political office, newspapers said on Monday.

Malaysian police warn against Anwar rally -papers
Police said Internet messages had urged Anwar's supporters to gather in the Malaysian capital in a show of support on Monday night, the Star newspaper said.

Malaysia's ruling coalition, which suffered the worst election setback in its history at polls in March, used tear gas and water cannon last year to disperse two large anti-government protests in the capital.

Anwar's Keadilan party is part of an opposition coalition that rules five of Malaysia's 13 states, but he himself can only run for office again on April 15, after the official ban, imposed following an earlier conviction for corruption, expires.

"We have not issued a permit for the gathering and neither was a permit requested, so I advise all those planning a gathering not to do so as they will be severely dealt with," the Star quoted Muhammad Sabtu Osman, the capital's police chief, as saying.

Anwar, who was in the political wilderness after being dumped in 1998 by his former mentor, ex-prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, has seen his political fortunes revived after the opposition pulled off a surprisingly big victory in last month's poll. For the first time in 40 years, the opposition denied the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition a two-thirds parliamentary majority and seized control of five states.

Barisan's poor showing has sparked some calls for Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to resign, although Abdullah has insisted he will not step down.

Anwar has said he is in no hurry to contest a by-election, preferring instead to focus on building an effective and credible opposition, media reported last week.
Last Mod: 14 Nisan 2008, 14:06
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