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MALAYSIA: ANWAR FREE

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    MALAYSIA REBEL POLITICIAN ANWAR FREE, URGES REFORM Jalil Hamid and Barani Krishnan, Reuters, 9/2/04 http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 4, 2004
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      MALAYSIA REBEL POLITICIAN ANWAR FREE, URGES REFORM
      Jalil Hamid and Barani Krishnan, Reuters, 9/2/04
      http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?
      type=worldNews&storyID=6133727

      PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia,- Malaysia's highest court freed rebel politician
      Anwar Ibrahim from almost six years in jail on Thursday, overturning
      his conviction for sodomy in a shock ruling expected to win support
      for the new prime minister.

      The former deputy prime minister, confined to a wheelchair because of
      a back complaint, used his first few minutes of freedom to urge the
      country's recently installed prime minister to drive harder on
      reform.

      Wearing a broad smile over his neck brace, Anwar held an impromptu
      news conference inside the domed Islamic-style courthouse, as
      hundreds of supporters rallied outside, raising his old battle cry
      of "Reformasi" -- the reform movement he led before his 1999 jailing.

      "Thank you, may God bless you," Anwar, 57, told the judges after the
      decision. His lawyers shouted "Allahu akbar" -- God is greatest --
      after the court adjourned, closing a chapter in one of the nation's
      most extraordinary political sagas.

      "Thank God it's over," Anwar added, turning to address reporters. "I
      have to give credit to the new prime minister for not interfering
      with the judiciary ... I appeal to Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi to
      make the necessary reforms."

      Before his jailing, Anwar was a lightning rod for disaffected Malays,
      the country's majority ethnic grouping that dominates politics, and
      turned against the then prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, who was
      instrumental in both his rise and fall.

      The decision could be a defining moment for the leadership of
      Abdullah, who succeeded Mahathir a year ago and won a landslide
      election victory in March on an agenda of tolerance and a pledge to
      clean up corruption -- an echo of Anwar's own agenda...

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