Another blogger, Raja Petra Kamaruddin, was detained last week. An opposition blogger has been arrested for allegedly displaying a national flag upside down on his website, as the government comes under more pressure.
Syed Azidi Syed Aziz, better known as Kickdefella, is the second blogger to be arrested in a week.
The Malaysian opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, is demanding a vote of no confidence in the government.
Mr Anwar says he now has the support of enough MPs to bring down Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi.
Mr Syed Aziz, picked up late on Wednesday, is being held under the Sedition Act.
He is known as a supporter of the conservative Islamic PAS party, a component in the coalition seeking to topple the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi.
Mr Syed Aziz’s website had recently advocated that people fly the Malaysian flag upside down as a protest against the current political upheaval.
Mr Abdullah reportedly called the protest “a malicious act” and police were told to investigate the campaign.
“We were informed that the police were looking for us on Tuesday and waited for them but they didn’t show up,” his Mr Sayed Aziz’s wife Bariah Ishak told the Star daily newspaper.
“We thought the worst was over but they came looking for him and so he surrendered,” she added.
Posted in Arrest, Censorship, Harassment, Police, Politics
Tagged Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Anwar Ibrahim, Kickdefella, PAS, Police, Raja Petra Kamaruddin, Sayed Aziz, Sedition Act
By David Chance and Soo Ai Peng
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia’s leading opposition figure, Anwar Ibrahim, cleared a major hurdle in his race to win power when an Islamist party endorsed him on Wednesday as leader of an anti-government alliance.
The move by Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) came after Anwar’s convincing win in a by-election and was made despite reservations among some sections of the Islamic party about the “rainbow alliance” of which they are a part.
However, political analysts say that Anwar may struggle to hold his coalition together, let along find the 30 defectors from the ranks of government MPs he needs to join him to win power.
The government has been on the back foot since losing its two-thirds majority in an election in March and there were calls on Wednesday for Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to quit. [more]
The Star On Line
By JOCELINE TAN
The silence on the ground among the Malay fence-sitters in the Permatang Pauh by-election has both sides worried about which way the swing votes will go.
DATUK Seri Anwar Ibrahim is once again looking like the average Penang Malay bloke.
Days of campaigning under the sun have turned his skin several shades more tanned and dark sunspots have formed on his cheeks. And the last time he was this slim was when he was in prison.
The campaign toll has also been tough for Datuk Arif Shah Omar. He told people he has shed 5kg since the day he was picked as the Barisan Nasional candidate.
But when he stopped by at a wedding luncheon in the PAS stronghold of Guar Perahu yesterday, he ate so heartily his friend teased him: “You said you lost weight but the rice on your plate looks like a small hill.” [more]
Star on line
IPOH: PAS said Friday it will back Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in the Permatang Pauh by-election but refused to say if it will endorse him to be prime minister if Pakatan Rakyat comes to power.
The remark indicates that Anwar faces big hurdles in his goal to take the top job despite stitching together a formidable alliance to produce spectacular gains during the March 8 general election.
PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said at the party’s muktamar here they “will give full support” to Anwar during the by-election campaign. [more]
The New Straits Times
IPOH: The Pas leadership came under attack yesterday for putting Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and its Pakatan Rakyat partners above the party’s own interests.
Several delegates at the 238-member Pas youth assembly did not mince their words when they blamed the party leadership for paying too much attention to Anwar and his political agenda.
They accused party leaders of championing Anwar’s cause for political mileage and to boost their own popularity with the masses.
Terengganu delegate Wan Khairy Wan Abdullah set the ball rolling when he questioned why Pas leaders were obsessed with Anwar.
He then delivered a short history lesson, reminding party members that it was Pas which had been supportive of his activist agenda before his entry into politics.
“But what did he do in the end? He dumped us and joined Umno,” he said to restless murmurings from the floor.
He said despite this, party leaders obviously had not learnt their lesson. Wan Khairy said Pas now had to take a backseat when it came to ties within Pakatan Rakyat. [more]
The spiritual leader of Malaysia’s Islamic Party, PAS has pledged to support Anwar Ibrahim’s campaign to return to front-line politics despite looming charges of sexual misconduct.
Campaigning is underway for the seat of Permatang Pauh in the North of Penang State. Anwar Ibrahim’s attempt to return to parliament has been plagued by a charge relating to sodomy. [more]
By BARADAN KUPPUSAMY
PAS fears that in an Anwar-led government, concessions made on his way up would mean Islam and Malays being relegated to the backseat.
NOT by piety alone has Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat risen up the ranks of PAS to become the powerful Murshid’ul Am or spiritual leader of the party which has a membership now of over one million.
Splendid political footwork and a willingness to fell his detractors are key elements of his success – a talent that he hides well behind his piousness and charming demeanour.
The way he undermined the PAS-Umno talks and offset PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and his deputy Nasaruddin Mat Isa, then gained the upper hand, is a classic example of how the crafty leader has survived this long in a party given to constant ideological battles.
It is hard to imagine that this 77-year-old veteran started as a part-time adult class teacher with Kemas in 1960 at a time when he was just one of the many Al-Azhar graduates crowding Kota Baru and not yet the Tok Guru he later grew into. [more]
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The Star Online, By BARADAN KUPPUSAMY
BY MOST accounts Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is set to win handsomely in Permatang Pauh but with the sodomy accusation hanging over him like a dagger and his failure to engineer a mass defection, his plans to topple the government and become prime minister remain a dream
Nevertheless at a prayer session in his house late Thursday night, Anwar kept that dream alive telling die-hard supporters, “victory in Permatang Pauh is assured, after that we march to Putrajaya.”
Faced with imminent arrest over sodomy charges and his fragile Pakatan Rakyat opposition coalition showing cracks, Anwar pre-empted his political enemies with the stunning move, “asking” his wife and PKR President Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to vacate the Permatang Pauh seat for him to contest.
But with the situation as it is now, he will be fighting with his back to the wall, not only in the by-election but also to revive the momentum of his sterling March 8 comeback that is losing steam rapidly. When Anwar and Dr Wan Azizah made their announcement the only Pakatan Rakyat leader beside them was Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai who although a veteran DAP MP, is not a national leader like DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang or chairman Karpal Singh.
More significantly no PAS leaders were present especially when the entire PAS leadership was in the city the same day to discuss the future of the Umno-PAS “Malay unity” talks.
“Their absence is sickening,” said a senior PKR leader who requested anonymity. “What is the Pakatan without Anwar. Who brought them all the non-Muslim votes?”
With PAS and Umno in an “unholy embrace” the extent of PAS support for Anwar’s leadership of the opposition and his candidacy in the by-election, is being questioned. [more]
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Patrick Sennyah, New Straits Times online
Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) de facto leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is confident that Pas would not turn its back on Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to accept any offer made by Umno to jointly form the state government in Perak.
He said PR which consists of PKR, Pas and DAP which currently forms the state government led by Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin from Pas would remain in control and would not be shaken as it had received the mandate from the people in the recent general election. [more]
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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s main Islamic party will remain loyal to an opposition alliance despite holding secret talks with the prime minister, de facto opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said yesterday.
Anwar is leading a loose alliance of three opposition parties, including Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS), to try to seize power from the government by mid-September. But it was feared that plan could hit snags after Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and PAS leaders said at the weekend that they had held a series of “unity talks”.
Anwar said there was no question of PAS abandoning the opposition bloc. “For now, I have no reason to question the intention of the PAS leadership,” Anwar, who is also under pressure over a sodomy allegation, told a news conference.
“They have given an assurance to me that the collaboration with the opposition remains and is unchanged.” Anwar said the opposition plan to take over power by its self-imposed deadline of September 16 remained on track.
“It is not a question of toppling the government but to ensure that the people win. I have said that I am the prime minister in waiting,” Anwar said.
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