Anwar's release a good omen
Anwar Ibrahim's family members and Pakatan Rakyat leaders are in a jovial mood after he was released on a personal bond after being charged with a sodomy offence this morning.
There was anxiety and fear initially that Anwar would not be granted a bail or bond, and would be held in lock-up until the trial kicks off.
"I am very relieved," said an elated Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Anwar's wife and PKR president. The couple's three, out of six, children were also present in court today.
Their fears were justified as Anwar was denied bail 10 years ago when he was charged with a similar sodomy offence, on grounds that he could tamper with witnesses.
This morning, Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court judge SM Komathy Suppiah granted a personal bond of RM20,000 without surety to Anwar after ruling out the possibility of him absconding.
Anwar has pleaded not guilty to the charge of allegedly sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 23, on June 26 this year.
Meanwhile, Pakatan leaders were glad Anwar could take part in all the activities leading up to the Permatang Pauh by-election on August 26.
Below are their comments:
Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, wife and PKR president
I am very relieved. That was one of the things I was afraid of, that he was going to spend time in jail in remand even before (the trial starts). The judge is doing what is just, she has done great.
Lim Guan Eng, Penang chief minister and DAP sec-gen
We are here to support Anwar, we want to express our solidarity (with him). We believe this is politically motivated. We hope there will be a fair trial and truth shall be known. Those responsible and behind (this alleged political conspiracy) will be exposed.
Dr Syed Husin Ali, PKR deputy president
This decision is a positive sign for the by-election. In other words, he can campaign and that will ensure our victory. All Pakatan (leaders) will be able to go all out (to campaign) without anything weighing on their minds.
Lim Kit Siang, DAP supremo and Ipoh Timor MP
The charge shouldn't have been preferred in the first place. I call on the Attorney-General's Chambers to reconsider the whole matter with the view to dropping the prosecution as it does the country no good. It will put the country in the dock (in the international eyes) - it's not just Anwar in the dock.