ANWAR'S SUPPORTERS: Supporters of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim hold placards outside the police headquarters where Anwar is being held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Wednesday. (AP/Vincent Thian)
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was arrested outside his home in Kuala Lumpur at 1.05 p.m. Wednesday, according to his office.
Anwar Ibrahim was arrested upon returning home from the Anti Corruption Agency, after giving a statement in relation to a police report regarding the suppression of material facts in a case involving him in 1998, his office said in a statement made available to The Jakarta Post.
"As he entered the neighborhood of his home, a contingent of ten police cars, half unmarked and half patrol, forced the two cars in Anwar Ibrahim's entourage to stop," the statement said.
"An officer approached Anwar Ibrahim and demanded that he accompany the police in an unmarked vehicle to the Kuala Lumpur Police Headquarters."
His lawyers were not permitted to travel with him to the police station.
His lawyer Sankara Nair told Malaysian The Star online service, that the police had told Anwar that he was being arrested for investigations for alleged "carnal intercourse against the order
The Star reported that Anwar arrived at the city police headquarters in a white Pajero at 1.15 p.m. Wednesday after being arrested in front of his house in Bukit Segambut.
The arrest took place less than 15 hours after Anwar Ibrahim appeared live on Malaysian television for the first time since 1998, to announce to millions of viewers his intention to stand
for election. He also promised that upon the formation of a new government, he would lower the domestic price of fuel by 50 sen.
"These events are deeply disturbing to us and indicate that this entire episode is a repeat of the actions taken against Anwar Ibrahim in 1998," the statement said.
On June 28, his 23-year-old former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan lodged a police report alleging that Anwar had sodomized him.
Anwar was due to issue a statement at Kuala Lumpur Police Contingent Headquarters (IPK KL) at 2.00 p.m based on an agreement reached with the police on Tuesday.
The statement also said that during the last few weeks the government-owned media had demonized and vilified the former deputy prime minister.
"His staff have been harassed and we see a conspiracy being hatched to thwart the political change that is imminent in Malaysia.
"Under no circumstance will the people of Malaysia and the international community tolerate any harm to Anwar Ibrahim. We remind Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi of the promise he made to ensure Anwar Ibrahim's protection."(**)