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                     Anwar Ibrahim
                     Sg Buloh Prison
                     3 November 1998

                     I am now incarcerated at Sungai Buloh prison after being released from
                     the clutches of Mahathir's henchmen at Bukit Aman. Much as he
                     wanted to, Mahathir could not keep me detained without trial
                     indefinitely because of my habeas corpus application, which he had to
                     avoid at all costs. The hearing of the application, if properly
                     conducted, would have brought to light his role in the conspiracy
                     against me. He just does not have the guts to face me in open court
                     or anywhere else for that matter.

                     Mahathir is determined to keep me behind bars for at least four years.
                     His original plan was to keep me incarcerated indefinitely under the
                     draconian Internal Security Act (ISA), but the pressure against this
                     has proven too great. My habeas corpus application, coupled with the
                     international condemnation of the detention without trial, and the
                     massive show of public support for me forced the tyrant's hand. But
                     still he would not take any chances. Hence, bail has been denied and I
                     am still behind bars.

                     The tranquility of the prison environment is a far cry from the
                     notorious police lock-up at Bukit Aman or, worse, solitary confinement
                     under the Special Branch's supervision. My whereabouts before this
                     was unknown to me because I was moved about blindfolded and

                     What a relief! Now at least I can see the blue sky and the green oil
                     palm trees. I can devour my books and spend time in contemplation
                     without being constantly harassed. With prayers, reading and regular
                     exercise, I am able to avoid the uneasy indolence of prison life. The
                     prison staff and other inmates are friendly and supportive, leaving me
                     quite reassured and heartened. Still, jail is jail; it is no bed of roses.
                     And prison authorities are themselves baffled by Mahathir's misleading
                     statement that I am accorded VIP treatment.

                     Although I must acknowledge the general sympathy of policemen who
                     did not hide their disdain of Mahathir and police top brass, the three
                     weeks I spent under police custody was pure hell. I was humiliated,
                     tortured, stripped, denied any reading and fed meagrely with food
                     wrapped in old newspapers or plastic.

                     The ordeal began about ten minutes after I was brought to the Bukit
                     Aman lock-up, blindfolded and handcuffed. I was severely beaten on
                     the right side of the head, the left part of the forehead, the left eye
                     and the neck. Blood oozed from my nose and mouth. The intention,
                     obviously, was to cause irreparable internal damage, since the blows
                     were concentrated on my head and neck. As dozens of police officers
                     and subordinate personnel have repeatedly told me, the torture could
                     not have been carried out without the involvement of the highest
                     authority in the police force and the blessing of the minister
                     responsible. This issue is being investigated and, as usual, assurances
                     of fairness are given for public and international consumption. I have
                     every reason to doubt the outcome. I am aware of the instructions to
                     police personnel not to record the appearance of prominent public
                     figures at my lock-up. And Mahathir, in a typical outburst, has even
                     suggested that my wounds were self-inflicted. I would not be
                     surprised if it turns out that it was Mahathir's chief hoodlum, Rahim
                     Noor the IGP, who beat me to a pulp under direct orders from his
                     master. I admire the resolve of the police investigating team, but they
                     will have to grapple with the known malice and bias of their top brass
                     and the Attorney General's office. Both quarters are under Mahathir's

                     Recollecting the episode always sends a chill down my spine. Firstly, I
                     regained consciousness only in the morning. I kept inquiring later from
                     policemen on duty whether there were others who had entered my
                     lock-up and applied anything to me. Secondly, why was I denied
                     medical treatment for five days?

                     When I was asked to strip, I was extremely reluctant. I felt
                     embarrassed, but they were adamant, saying they had to obey
                     instructions. Police officers were noticeably focusing on my pubic area
                     and buttocks. I was suspicious due to the fabricated charges against
                     me; descriptions of my private parts could be given to others to help
                     them further incriminate me.

                     Throughout the three weeks of ISA detention, the total time taken in
                     serious interrogation was less than two hours. There were questions
                     relating to Reformasi and suggestions that I should have been patient
                     a while longer until I became prime minister before trying to initiate
                     changes. I discussed corruption, abuse of power and the amassing of
                     wealth by Mahathir and his close associates for their families and
                     cronies. I told them to note Attorney General Mohtar Abdullah's
                     enthusiasm in pursuing a technical corruption case against me.
                     Obviously, he is acting under Mahathir's instruction and has chosen to
                     be blind to the fact that Mahathir and his cronies have siphoned off
                     billions. Mohtar cannot plead ignorance to this; he had, on a number
                     of occasions, discussed with me this very crime involving Mahathir,
                     Daim Zainuddin, Rahim Tamby Chik and some ministers. My
                     interrogators generally stopped these serious discussions by calling for
                     banana fritters and noodles, and we would then proceed with friendly

                     Later, 14 Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officers took turns
                     to obtain statements from me under sections 112 and 113 of the
                     Criminal Procedure Code for possible offences, including corruption,
                     sodomy and sexual misconduct with six women. The cases involving
                     women have been temporarily shelved because it is more politically
                     expedient to confine the sexual accusations to sodomy. There were
                     also attempts to incriminate my wife Azizah over her remarks of
                     concern for my safety under police custody and the possibility of my
                     being injected with the HIV virus. I told them that after the
                     Gestapo-like attack by the police, I did not preclude that possibility. I
                     could not hide my contempt for this charade; I asked a very senior
                     CID officer what other heinous charges they were going to throw at
                     me. Treason? Selling state secrets? Murder?

                     The CID officers kept harassing me for hair samples, including pubic
                     hair, and inspections of my private parts. I suggested that they
                     consult my lawyers, who later advised me not to proceed. However,
                     two forensic doctors from the General Hospital did take my blood to
                     test for HIV. I had no choice but to concede when they invoked
                     Section 7 of the Dangerous Drugs Act. I was later told by counsel that
                     I should not have complied because I was not charged under that act.

                     After this three-week ordeal, on the eve of my release from ISA
                     detention and my departure for prison, I was treated to a sumptuous
                     lunch in private. I was not aware that this was a great police public
                     relations exercise to bluff the world into believing that treatment
                     under their custody was humane. What a cheap way of placating their
                     political masters!

                     Naturally, I think of Azizah and the family, especially my ailing mother.
                     And now Azizah and my daughter, Nurul Izzah, are being threatened
                     with arrest. The ISA is being invoked to protect Mahathir and his
                     cronies. Popular dissent and criticism of rampant corruption and abuse
                     of power are construed as anti-national and a threat to national
                     security. No one is spared the threat of harassment, interrogation or
                     arrest--UMNO and opposition leaders, NGOs, Muslim activists, my
                     personal staff and particularly supporters of Reformasi. There is a
                     nationwide crackdown against all known supporters of reform. It is a
                     final desperate attempt by a despised dictator to cling to power.
                     Instead of trying to win popular and legitimate support, he is
                     instituting a culture of fear.

                     The public is outraged over the continued repressive acts of the
                     government to stifle dissent. There is a deliberate attempt to provoke
                     peaceful demonstrators, who are portrayed as a mob trying to
                     frustrate the functioning of a purportedly legitimate, democratic
                     government. Every violent incident so far has been started by the
                     police. And the arrests continue -- ISA for the leaders and the Police
                     Act and whatever other laws they can use for their supporters.

                     Mahathir continues to rave like a grumpy, recalcitrant old man. He has
                     become increasingly contemptible as he gives vent to his anger,
                     venom and egoism. His intransigence is due to his blinkered and
                     intractably condescending view of the general public as ignorant and

                     Absolute and arbitrary powers are used to trample upon people's rights
                     in order to serve the cause of personal vendettas, not national
                     interest. Mahathir is becoming increasingly obstinate and perverse,
                     turning politics into a sordid occupation and politicians into a bunch of
                     immoral sycophants. Even his most ludicrous ideas must be
                     enthusiastically echoed and publicised by the government-controlled
                     media because he must appear infallible at all times. And his capacity
                     for remorse is zero. Even UMNO is not spared. Party officials are
                     directed to convene special sessions to denounce me and other
                     so-called traitors. In this incessant witch-hunt, even defunct and
                     bankrupt politicians are employed, along with the usual scandalous

                     Superman and King
                     Before my sacking, colleagues had advised me to exercise restraint
                     and patience, to continue to support Mahathir in order not to
                     jeopardise my political career. During my detention at the police
                     lock-up, curious Special Branch officers asked what went wrong with
                     my relationship with Mahathir. I admit that initially the relationship was
                     cordial and comfortable. But in the last few years, egged on by his
                     children and close political and business associates, he had become
                     increasingly dictatorial and tyrannical, wanting a formidable historical
                     imprint of his legacy. Since he tolerates no dissent or criticism
                     whatsoever, he spews his venom on NGOs and the media. He uses the
                     police, the AG and the judiciary to ensure his invincibility. Indeed,
                     having out-manoeuvred virtually every challenge, he thinks of himself
                     as Superman and a maestro at the divide-and-rule strategy vis-a-vis
                     the party, the country, and international relations. He relishes recalling
                     his success at amending the constitution to reduce the Malay Rulers'
                     powers and even gloats over his sacking of Tun Salleh Abas. Of course
                     we supported him in the constitutional amendment issue, thinking
                     rather naively that the powers taken from the Rulers would revert to
                     the people and not go to him alone. How blind we were then not to
                     see through his vile plan to eventually overthrow the traditional Malay
                     Rulers and install himself as the supreme feudal lord of the Malays.
                     Sure, my sacking required the signature of the King, but as far as
                     Mahathir was concerned, he was the de facto King.

                     Frankly, it was rather embarrassing to see how he would swell up
                     whenever praises were lavished on him to feed his ego, especially
                     during UMNO general assemblies, when he was spoken of as the "the
                     greatest PM, spokesman of the Third World, a leader for the world to
                     emulate, architect of modern Malaysia," and so on, ad nauseum.

                     Driven by a self-induced frenzy to pursue his megalomaniacal
                     fantasies, he became increasingly divorced from the real world. He
                     could not differentiate the wants and needs of the people from his
                     own egotistical desires. In the last few years, he has become
                     increasingly isolated as he got impatient to get things done so that
                     they would serve as monuments to his majestic rule. Surrounded by
                     sycophantic courtiers, he failed to realise that his ideas were getting
                     obsolete and irrelevant. He has delusions of grandeur and cannot but
                     associate his rule with mega projects and superlatives -- the longest
                     bridge, the tallest building, the grandest airport, the most awesome
                     dam. To accommodate his ego, even his official residence must be
                     nothing less than fabulous. The statement in Parliament that the cost
                     would come to RM17 million is false. I know how the figure was
                     manipulated. The building will be the biggest and most sophisticated
                     palace in the country. It is designed personally by Mahathir.
                     Everything about it is French. And the cost is RM200 million. I thank
                     my lucky stars that the plan to build a new official residence for the
                     Deputy Prime Minister was eventually abandoned. Initially, the cost
                     was estimated at RM40 million. I was reluctant to accept the opulent
                     design, but even after the architects had scaled down the project, it
                     was to me still too ostentatious. Finally, with Azizah's agreement, I
                     decided not to approve it at all.

                     As a high-ranking member of the administration, I often had to
                     articulate and implement key policies. And when these were policies
                     that I was personally unhappy with, I did so with great reluctance.
                     But I took every opportunity to emphasise poverty eradication,
                     low-cost housing, rural development, and small and medium-scale
                     industries instead of mega projects. And whenever the opportunity to
                     be bold presented itself, I criticised bailouts and the avarice of big
                     tycoons and I called for greater commitment to democratic practices
                     and the development of civil society. I even openly opposed
                     Mahathir's attempt to initiate a no-contest rule in UMNO divisional
                     elections, which was his way of pre-empting a possible challenge for
                     the presidency.

                     Corruption, Nepotism and Mirzan
                     On a number of issues, I maintained my silence and concealed my
                     revulsion against his intransigence and hypocrisy, which extended to
                     condoning corruption and other excesses. But in the two months that
                     I served as Acting PM, I had the opportunity to effectively assert
                     some of my beliefs. I presided over the drafting of a new and tougher
                     anti-corruption law in the face of objections by some Cabinet
                     colleagues, particularly over provisions allowing prosecution even after
                     a public official leaves office. Mohtar the AG had strong reservations
                     for reasons best known to himself, but the then Director-General of
                     the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) Shafie Yahya was with me and we
                     prevailed. This episode probably confirmed to some of Mahathir's close
                     associates their suspicion that I could not be relied upon to protect
                     their interests if ever I took over as Prime Minister.

                     My decision to proceed with the Perwaja investigations, including
                     probes into Eric Chia's affairs, and my statement in Parliament on the
                     issue must also have been irksome to a few people, including Mahathir
                     himself, for he had always been protective of Chia and he even, at
                     one point, cautioned me against continued investigations. And my
                     reference to V.K. Lingam being exorbitantly paid, as mentioned in the
                     Price Waterhouse report, unsettled a number of people. But how could
                     I, with a clear conscience, ignore the Perwaja scandal? It had cost
                     the government more than 5 billion ringgit in losses and the initial ACA
                     report had identified irregularities.

                     I must admit my naivete in believing that Mahathir would act if I
                     complained about corrupt practices I had uncovered, such as when I
                     told him of reports that Daim had taken out of the country cash
                     amounting to something between RM700 million and RM1 billion. I
                     realized I had committed a blunder as soon as I mentioned this
                     particular case. Mahathir was actually aware of it and my complaint
                     had alarmed him though he tried not to show it. I also reported Daim's
                     attempt to abscond with RM800 million worth of UMNO shares. He said
                     he would deal personally with Daim, but as far as I know the funds
                     have not been put in UMNO's account.

                     Our disagreements were particularly severe over amounts to be paid
                     as compensation for the shelving of the Bakun Dam project and in the
                     bailout of Mirzan Mahathir. It annoyed him that I insisted on the
                     amount approved by Price Waterhouse for Ting Pek Khing's
                     compensation. He wanted to give the RM1.6 billion which Ting
                     demanded, which was about double the amount approved by the
                     auditing company. In Mirzan's case, Petronas eventually paid RM1.7
                     billion for his Konsortium Perkapalan/Diperdana, although Mahathir
                     thought his son should get the 2.2 billion he wanted. Petronas and I
                     had insisted that the amount be decided by an international shipping
                     valuer. Mahathir probably never forgave me for this. This time he made
                     no bones about showing his displeasure. He kept sniping that his son
                     had lost money in the deal.

                     I also had to exercise great forbearance and patience in the face of
                     indignation and contempt for my relatively liberal ideas, particularly
                     after the publication of The Asian Renaissance. While I promoted civil
                     society, he disparaged it. International recognition and positive
                     reports in the international media did not help either. He would brook
                     no criticism, no matter how mild and reasonable. No one is too sacred
                     to escape his outbursts -- the environmentalists, opposition parties,
                     NGOs and human rights groups, intellectuals and Muslim religious
                     scholars and, of course, the media. It would not be out of character
                     for him to deny even literary and artistic freedom. The attacks against
                     me began well over two years ago. Everyone knows that the "Et tu,
                     Brute?" speech at the UMNO General Assembly was aimed at me.

                     The financial convulsions that have hit the region have also served to
                     widen our differences. I am accused of being supportive of the
                     International Monetary Fund (IMF), as if that is naturally a bad thing.
                     The truth is that I accept only some of the IMF's prescriptions and I
                     have consistently called for a new global financial architecture. I make
                     no apologies for concurring with the IMF on the issue of corruption
                     and bailouts. I insist that assistance must be transparent and not
                     biased towards children and cronies.

                     Mahathir has adamantly refused to acknowledge the cracks and flaws
                     in our economic system. Instead of addressing the corruption in our
                     midst, he has accused other countries, especially those in the West,
                     of being corrupt.

                     Mahathir's Paranoia
                     I suspect Mahathir's decision to remove me had been resolved by
                     December 1997, although I did not sense it until February. But even
                     then, I did not anticipate that Mahathir, after years of working closely
                     with me, would act in such a despicable and shameless manner. I
                     proceeded with government and party work and made a conscious
                     decision to largely ignore the many warnings from my friends that
                     Mahathir's apparatchiks had been working round the clock to vilify and
                     malign me.

                     As the UMNO general assembly approached, Mahathir got more and
                     more paranoid. He had sleepless nights over the possibility of a
                     no-confidence vote being taken against him. He feared even the
                     appearance of any organised sign of discontent such as a banner
                     calling for his resignation or even just jeering from members of UMNO
                     youth. I told him I knew of no such plan, but he was adamant that
                     someone was out to topple him.

                     He was furious when Zahid Hamidi spoke on corruption, cronyism and
                     nepotism. He retaliated by releasing the privatisation list to prove that
                     his family and associates were not the only ones benefiting from UMNO
                     cronyism. This was a cheap trick. No differentiation was made
                     between projects worth a few million ringgit and those worth billions.

                     The main objective of the revelation, however, was to show that I
                     was not as clean as I claimed. But it wasn't explained that I had no
                     part in approving those projects given to members of my family or that
                     I was in fact unaware of some of them.

                     On the first day of the assembly, that calumnious book, 50 Dalil, was
                     freely distributed among the delegates despite my having obtained a
                     court injunction against it. Any intelligent observer would have seen
                     then that a campaign to completely sideline me had begun in earnest.

                     Not long after the assembly, Johan Jaafar, Editor of Utusan Malaysia,
                     resigned abruptly. Johan, like Ahmad Nazri Abdullah of Berita Harian
                     and Yunus Said of TV3, who were also forced to resign, were among
                     prominent journalists known to be close to me. The ground was now
                     being prepared for the notorious trial-by-media blitz that was to come
                     after my removal from government and party.

                     During the same period, Mahathir went on a nationwide tour and spoke
                     of "shocking measures" that the government might institute to solve
                     the economic problem. He was preparing the people psychologically
                     not only for the currency controls, but also for my persecution. During
                     this time, too, the Inspector-General of Police Rahim Noor was making
                     regular visits to Mahathir's office.

                     And then, in early August, Datuk S. Nallakarupan was arrested. "We
                     found bullets in his house," Rahim Noor told me when I inquired. "That
                     fellow was born in Madras. Rags to riches man. Very suspicious." I
                     appealed to him to do justice. He was to be charged under the ISA
                     and, if found guilty, would be hanged. I learnt later that the CID
                     presented him with prepared documents and asked him to sign them in
                     exchange for charges carrying lesser penalties. These statements
                     were in fact confessions to the effect that he had given me RM60
                     million, abetted me in treason and procured women for my sexual
                     pleasure. These charges and their obscene details, implicating me in a
                     variety of crimes ranging from treason to sexual misconduct, were
                     widely publicised by the media when, after my sacking, the police and
                     Mohtar the AG presented their affidavits against Nalla.

                     I knew that the game had been orchestrated from the very top
                     political leadership. I appealed to Mahathir to put a stop to it, but he
                     was evasive. Meanwhile, police were questioning my adopted brother
                     Sukma Darmawan and several of my friends. And Mahathir, Mohtar the
                     AG and Rahim Noor the IGP were insisting that I take a DNA test to
                     prove that I had not fathered an illegitimate child, as alleged in the
                     book 50 Dalil.

                     On August 12, Daim approached me just before a Cabinet meeting to
                     tell me that Mohtar the AG had informed him on the previous evening
                     that I would, that very morning, be charged for sexual misconduct,
                     offences under the OSA and possibly treason. I stormed into
                     Mahathir's office and demanded an explanation. During the altercation,
                     he admitted that Mohtar had asked for his clearance before charging
                     Nalla and 50 Dalil author Khalid Jafri. (Khalid had been charged with
                     publishing false news for lying about my fathering an illegitimate child.)
                     After listening to me a while, he called Mohtar on the phone and said,
                     "Wait for my clearance," referring to charges against me. We argued
                     for one hour. I asked what the charges were so that I could defend
                     myself before him. "I don't know the details," he said. "But you can
                     write an explanation." I asked why Daim was involved in this; he and
                     the AG seemed to be discussing the case on a regular basis. "I need
                     to consult someone," Mahathir protested.

                     On August 25 and 28, I wrote to Mahathir about the conspiracy to
                     shame me and destroy my political career. We had a number of
                     meetings at his office and residence and I could sense his animosity. I
                     challenged him to state his stand on morality. He had never been
                     known to be too concerned about the moral conduct of officials and
                     had even tolerated those bringing in women in private jets and
                     bypassing immigration. And he has yet to respond to Marina Yusoff's
                     allegation of sexual impropriety involving himself and his colleagues.
                     Marina, who used to serve in the UMNO Supreme Council, made this
                     allegation in a speech before thousands at my house after my sacking.
                     Not only is he tolerant of sexual immorality, he has even prevented
                     the prosecution of ministers against whom the ACA had evidence of
                     serious corruption. And in his Cabinet, there is even a suspected
                     accomplice to a murder.

                     I asked him: "You mean to say that a person is not qualified to
                     become PM because of sexual misconduct?" He didn't miss the
                     sarcasm and dared not answer. And then he said: "But you are
                     different, more religious. I cannot allow you to inherit this post and
                     responsibility." I said: "Enough of this hypocrisy. I accept the
                     conditions (for inheriting his office). But don't fabricate lies." Then I
                     asked: "What is the real issue?" He would not answer.

                     Meanwhile, Rahim Noor the IGP, Mohtar the AG and Chief Justice
                     Eusoff Chin were seen several times going to his office and residence.
                     And here we have Mahathir suddenly singing praises about how
                     independent our judiciary is. What business had the Chief Justice in
                     making regular visits to Mahathir's residence?

                     The resignation of Bank Negara's Governor and Deputy Governor
                     further infuriated him although I don't believe this contributed to my

                     Mahathir Loses His Marbles
                     Mahathir chose to wait until after he had announced the new financial
                     controls before giving me the ultimatum to resign or be sacked. On
                     September 1, he called the Mentris Besar (State Chief Ministers) for a
                     meeting, where he lied through his teeth about my alleged sexual
                     indiscretions. And he used indirect threats against them to ensure
                     their support. The next day, at 12.45 in the afternoon, he told me:
                     "Resign or be sacked with grave consequences." My retort was
                     unhesitating. "I'm innocent and I'll have to expose your conspiracy," I
                     said. "You are the investigator, prosecutor, judge. You fabricate lies
                     for your own political agenda. It's going to be messy, I can assure
                     you. I will not resign. But I will still consult Azizah."

                     Mahathir had been sure that I would resign for fear of retribution,
                     arrest and the shame of facing such gross charges in court.
                     Furthermore, according to his perverted understanding of Asian
                     values, "a loyal subject should die rather than disobey the emperor."

                     My decision to face dismissal instead of resigning was according to the
                     dictates of my conscience and my tenacity of purpose. I was aware of
                     a conspiracy at the highest level to protect the corrupt and conceal
                     abuses. It was good that I did anticipate Mahathir's ultimatum, but
                     the unfolding of events was turbulent and traumatic, and beyond my
                     worst expectations. We are dealing with an old wounded lion who is
                     desperate to keep his hold on power. The man has lost all his scruples
                     and, indeed, his very sanity.

                     At 5.30 p.m. I received the letter of dismissal. That night, before a
                     large crowd that had gathered at my house, I gave a speech outlining
                     the events leading to my sacking and anticipating further fabrications.

                     Mahathir struck quickly. On the morning of September 3, four
                     affidavits containing wild, scandalous, unsubstantiated allegations
                     against me, who was in no way related to the criminal proceedings in
                     hand, were served on Datuk Nallakaruppan (who was charged with a
                     death penalty offence under the draconian Internal Security Act.) The
                     affidavits were produced in court by the prosecution at about 9.35
                     am. Nalla's lawyers opposed the affidavits on the ground that their
                     contents were irrelevant to the offence. The judge, Wahab Patail,
                     who is the brother of Abdul Ghani Patail, the Chief Deputy Public
                     Prosecutor handling the 10 charges against me, adjourned the hearing
                     to 2.00 o'clock that afternoon in order to hear and rule on the
                     objection. Nalla's counsel applied to have the affidavits embargoed
                     pending the judge's ruling but the judge refused, saying the affidavits
                     "had been filed and had, therefore, become public documents." This is
                     indeed a startling decision, because every lawyer worth his salt knows
                     that an affidavit does not become a "public document" unless and until
                     it has been read in court. To publish the contents of the document
                     before it is read in court constitutes a serious contempt of court. (NB:
                     This same judge was the one who dismissed as "scandalous" the
                     averments in my wife's affidavit supporting my habeus corpus
                     application on October 28. In fact, my counsel objected to his hearing
                     the case on account of the obvious fact his own brother was the
                     chief prosecutor.)

                     Consider how farcical this entire episode was. On the one hand Wahab
                     Patail deemed it necessary to adjourn the hearing to consider the
                     admissibility of the affidavits. On the other hand, he ruled that the
                     affidavits were public documents and could be made available to the
                     Press for immediate publication. Indeed, the Malay Mail, an afternoon
                     daily, published the affidavits in a special edition, undoubtedly
                     designed to inflict maximum damage to my character. The next day,
                     the normally staid and squeamish Malaysian press went to town in an
                     orgy of slander against me. Nalla's own affidavit, alleging police
                     brutality while he was under ISA detention and their futile attempts to
                     make him sign statements incriminating me, was virtually obliterated.

                     Daim and Other Sycophants
                     I am not surprised by the ferocity and viciousness of the media
                     campaign to vilify me. After all it is masterminded by no less than Daim
                     himself, through his side-kick Ahmad Sebi, a businessman and former
                     journalist who had tried many times in the past to persuade me to
                     mount a challenge against Mahathir from within UMNO. And now he
                     turns out to be one of Mahathir's chief sycophants, although in front
                     of me, he always spoke of Mahathir and Daim in the most
                     contemptuous and dismissive terms. Interestingly enough, Ahmad Sebi
                     was among the most vociferous and vicious in disparaging and
                     ridiculing Kadir Jasin, the Editor-in-Chief of the New Straits Times
                     Group. I gather Kadir has now to eat humble pie daily and take
                     instructions from Sebi, who once told me that Kadir "could not write a
                     decent sentence in English if his life depended on it."

                     Mahathir, Eusoff Chin and the Emasculation of the Judiciary
                     The Mahathir-controlled local media has played its role as
                     scandal-mongerer to the hilt in this case, insulting the intelligence of
                     their subscribers in the process. They have even questioned the
                     propriety of my support of Lim Guan Eng, another obvious victim of a
                     conspiracy between Mahathir, Mohtar the AG and Eusoff Chin the CJ.
                     My stand on the Guan Eng case was clear even before I was sacked.
                     Asked by a Malaysian student in London to comment on it, I said the
                     government may need to study and undertake reforms of the
                     country's law which punishes a person who exposes alleged
                     wrongdoings but takes no action against the person accused of such
                     wrongdoings. Any right-thinking person would find difficulty in
                     reconciling in his mind the fact that someone championing the cause
                     of a rape victim is in jail, while the rapist goes off scot-free. And now
                     this criminal has been hand-picked by Mahathir to be among his chief
                     spokesmen, to tell the public that I am "morally unfit" to become Prime

                     Undoubtedly, the independence of the judiciary is of paramount
                     importance in ensuring the separation of powers, which is a cardinal
                     principle of any civilised democracy. Alas, instead of acting as a
                     fortress against gross abuse of power by the executive, the judiciary
                     under the rule of Mahathir has displayed a record of collusion, bringing
                     the administration of justice into disrepute. Beginning with the sacking
                     of Lord President Tun Salleh Abas in 1988, and the consequential
                     suspension of five Supreme Court judges who refused to bow to
                     Mahathir's wishes, this dictator has ensured that the judiciary remains
                     subservient to his caprice. Two of those judges were eventually
                     dismissed by a kangaroo tribunal. In what is now notoriously known as
                     the Ayer Molek case, where the plaintiff is controlled by one of
                     Mahathir's chief cronies, Vincent Tan, the Federal Court under Eusoff
                     Chin went overboard in criticising the Court of Appeal, which had the
                     moral courage to assert judicial independence by dealing with the case
                     on its merits and principles of justice. N.H. Chan's judgment
                     denouncing collusion between unethical lawyers working hand in glove
                     with corrupt judges would have been a classic instance of impartial
                     justice according to law and conscience and not justice dictated by
                     vengeance and greed. I took it upon myself to circulate the Appeal
                     Court's judgment at a Cabinet meeting, only to find out later that this
                     was seen as an attack against the Chief Justice, ipso facto Mahathir.

                     Likewise, my speeches on the rule of law in international conferences
                     did not sit well with the powers that be. In one speech, I said that
                     corporations are not known to be coy about exercising their power to
                     influence judgments in their favour. I also said there are only two
                     types of lawyers-those who know the law and those who know the
                     judge. I was told that in that particular instance Eusoff Chin the CJ,
                     who was at the conference, felt edgy and subsequently had sleepless
                     nights, pondering whether the statements were directed at him.

                     The current delay in the appointment of certain Federal Court
                     nominees by the Rulers' Conference is seen to be the result of yet
                     another attempt on my part to frustrate Mahathir's plan to stack the
                     court with judges who are prepared to do his bidding. I am not saying
                     this as a generalised attack on all members of the judiciary because
                     there are still many incorruptible and morally upright judges, but they
                     have already been penalised for doing their job without fear or favour.
                     To them I say: Be patient, for the truth shall prevail.

                     On the evening of September 4, the UMNO Supreme Council convened
                     a meeting which began with Mahathir saying, "Anwar has to be sacked
                     from the party for sexual misconduct." Before coming for the meeting,
                     the members of the council had already received faxed copies of the
                     police affidavits against Nalla, as if the day's media assault was not
                     enough. I also knew that for weeks Mahathir had had secret meetings
                     with UMNO Mentris Besar to psyche them for my eventual ouster.
                     Significantly, on September 1, the night before my sacking, Mahathir
                     summoned all the UMNO Mentris Besar for a meeting which in effect
                     was nothing but a trial in my absence. I was later informed that
                     Mahathir, acting as both judge and prosecutor, had found me guilty of
                     a number of sexual offences.

                     Nevertheless, contrary to reports quoting Mahathir, the council's
                     decision to sack me from UMNO was far from unanimous. The only
                     ones who clearly supported the dismissal were Megat Joned, Rafidah
                     Aziz, Sanusi Junid, Abdul Hamid Pawanteh and Tajol Rosli, who said:
                     "My philosophy in politics is, the boss is always right." A few voiced
                     support for me, but the majority wanted me to take leave pending trial
                     although, at that time, I had not yet been charged.

                     Reformasi Begins
                     The gathering at my house on the evening of Sept. 3 turned out to be
                     the spontaneous beginning of the Reformasi movement. Night after
                     night, thousands would turn up to show their support of my cause and
                     their disdain and contempt of Mahathir and his clique of corrupt

                     The authorities, unnerved by this unexpected wave of dissent, soon
                     began calling in my friends and members of my staff for questioning
                     and arresting some of them.

                     Sukma and Dr. Munawar Anees were arrested, incarcerated and
                     tortured into falsely admitting that they allowed me to sexually molest
                     them. Throughout their detention pending trial, they were denied
                     access to their lawyers. When they appeared in court, no one but the
                     blind could have failed to notice the evidence of physical and mental
                     torture on their persons. The trials, held in separate courtrooms, were
                     exceedingly speedy. They both made their admissions and were
                     sentenced to six-months' jail.

                     I am touched by the support of family, friends and others who believe
                     in me and the struggle for reform. It is indeed gratifying to see that in
                     spite of the use of the formidable state apparatus to assassinate my
                     character, the support gets bigger and more vociferous with every
                     new attempt by the Mahathir forces to justify my persecution.

                     I must thank my loyal friends in UMNO, including party chiefs -- except
                     those in high positions -- who have voiced support for me in spite of
                     threats by Mahathir's office and the police. The Special Branch has
                     indeed become the Party President's personal tool for stifling dissent. I
                     acknowledge too the role of NGOs, Muslim scholars, religious groups,
                     professionals and, particularly, people in the middle and low income
                     groups in making the Reformasi movement a force that must be
                     reckoned with.

                     I knew there would be support for me, but I certainly did not expect it
                     to be so overwhelming in terms of both numbers of people and
                     intensity of feeling. Every strata of society and all age groups are
                     represented in this people's movement to press for reform, although
                     the most visible are youths from both urban and rural areas. Malaysia
                     is undergoing a radical change, and I am confident that it is for the
                     better. The people can no longer stomach unjust policies and
                     practices; they want the freedom to speak and their rightful say in
                     the running of the country. The tide is irreversible.

                     Mahathir Desperate
                     The fervor of the Reformasi movement surprised Mahathir too. And as
                     his fear grew, he became more repressive. He has repeatedly said he
                     would leave once he receives a "signal" that he is no longer wanted.
                     The weekly demonstrations by thousands and the mass resignations
                     from UMNO are more than a signal; they are a deafening roar telling
                     him that he must go. He survives only because he is able to use the
                     instruments of government to create a climate of fear. Eventually, in a
                     desperate bid to remain in power, he will declare a state of
                     emergency. The hints are already there. A few of his unofficial
                     spokesmen, such as Rais Yatim, have begun to sound out this
                     possibility. After the APEC meeting, Cabinet ministers and other
                     officials will make direct calls for a state of emergency so that he can
                     say he has no choice but to declare it.

                     It was gratifying to see Malaysians of all racial and social backgrounds
                     rallying to the call for reform. Although the government-controlled
                     media downplayed, completely ignored or tried to discredit the
                     gatherings at my house, the crowds grew larger by the day and
                     shouts of "Reformasi" and "Mahathir resign" grew louder. Finally, after
                     a week, I had to accede to requests for a "road show" for the benefit
                     of supporters who could not make the trip to Kuala Lumpur to listen to
                     speeches by Reformasi leaders.

                     The nationwide tour proved to be a resounding success not merely
                     because of the huge turnout but more so because of the
                     unprecedented show of opposition to Mahathir. The anger came to a
                     climax at the Dataran Merdeka gathering, where Malaysians from all
                     walks of life, of all ages, and transcending ethnic and religious
                     differences gathered to denounce Mahathir and demand his
                     resignation. This has since been followed by repeated and massive
                     demonstrations, a collective clamor of the people which Mahathir has
                     chosen to describe as mob-rule, hiding his shameless cowardice under
                     the mask of his usual arrogance. He continues to be utterly
                     contemptuous and dismissive of the voice of the people.

                     The push for reform must continue. Why should the people continue to
                     be beaten up by the police, or locked up for exercising their
                     constitutional right to assemble and express their loathing of the
                     Mahathir regime? Are the people expected to continue indefinitely to
                     endure the ranting and raving of a senile, power-drunk tyrant? Long
                     live Reformasi.