Government has failed to incarcerate his mind and spirit after a year in prison, says PAS man.
PETALING JAYA: The government may have succeeded in locking up former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, but it has failed to incarcerate his mind and spirit, says Mahfuz Omar of PAS.
Marking the first anniversary of Anwar’s imprisonment with an open letter, Mahfuz expressed not sympathy, but empowerment by Anwar’s captivity, which he said was politically motivated.
Anwar is serving a five-year jail term on a charge of sodomy with his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
Mahfuz, who is MP for Pokok Sena, said Anwar had changed the political landscape with a “huge sacrifice” by “choosing the tougher route of incarceration” to allow the rise of a fight for the country’s freedom and independence.
“I believe Anwar could have chosen the safety of abandoning his political struggle to live a happy life with his family. But he chose the prison instead,” wrote Mahfuz in his open letter.
“His life behind bars was meant to be a message that fuels the rakyat in their fight to free the country from the current Umno and BN leaders’ political greed and abuse of power. Thank you Anwar for allowing yourself to burn for the nation and the country’s future. I pray for Allah to bless you and your family with strength, perseverance and patience.”
Anwar led the now defunct opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat to a major show of strength in the 2013 general election which saw a major shift in the public support with the opposition winning 50.3 per cent of the popular vote.
Anwar’s family, friends and political supporters will hold a 365 gathering in front of Sungai Buloh prison, where he is being held, to mark the first anniversary by releasing 12 birds for the 12 months and 52 balloons for the 52 weeks he has been away.