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Tuesday, November 02, 2004

BBC > Malaysia's Anwar is welcomed home

By Jonathan Kent
BBC News correspondent in Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia's former deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has returned to Malaysia after two months abroad.
He was met by hundreds of supporters outside his house in the capital.
The opposition leader left the country in September to undergo back surgery and made a pilgrimage to Mecca, shortly after being freed from jail.
Mr Anwar was released when the country's highest court overturned a conviction for sodomy for which he had served six years in prison.
Opposition speakers
Three police roadblocks prevented some of Mr Anwar's supporters from meeting him at the airport.
Instead, they gathered in their hundreds at his house in the affluent Kuala Lumpur neighbourhood of Damansara Heights.
Speaker after speaker from all three of Malaysia's main opposition parties addressed the crowds.
The deputy leader of the opposition, Karpal Singh, said he hoped Mr Anwar would soon join him in parliament.
He is currently banned from standing for office as a result of a corruption conviction.
Finally, Mr Anwar spoke.
He wants to meet with Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi he said, to add his own ideas to the current moves towards reform.
That offer may well be declined.
Mr Anwar also said he intends to tour the country to reconnect with the people after six years in jail.
Finally, he left no-one in any doubt that he intends to pursue his stated agenda of improving Malaysia's democracy, increasing transparency and stamping out corruption.
Story from BBC NEWS: /pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia -pacific/3969029.stm

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