Ten years after being forced from power by charges of sexual misconduct, Anwar Ibrahim was sworn in as the leader of the Malaysian opposition today and repeated his promise to drive out the government of the prime minister, Abdullah Badawi.
“I am glad to be back after a decade. I really feel vindicated. I feel great,” Mr Anwar said after being sworn in as a member of parliament and immediately elected as leader by the three party opposition coalition. “Clearly the prime minister has lost the mandate of the country and the nation.”
Mr Anwar won a convincing victory in a by-election on Tuesday in the state of Penang, just four months after the expiry of a ban on standing for public office. It was in 1998 that he was precipitated from the job of deputy prime minister after being accused of corruption and sodomy with his male driver, a grave crime in Malaysia.
He always insisted that the charge had been trumped up by the ruling United Malay National Organisation (Umno), because of the challenge which Mr Anwar, the deputy prime minister, was planning against his boss, the then prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad