Gerakan Reformasi Press Release

Jakarta, Monday, October 19, 1998

Last night, I read closely the statement that Anwar Ibrahim issued (through his wife) from the Sungai Buluh prison. I understand his meaning well and I would ask all Malaysian citizens, including UMNO members and officials, to read it with an attentive mind and a sincere heart.

The statement is in fact a command from a top leader of Gerakan Reformasi who has been separated from his people by a high barb-wired wall. It is a directive to those active in pursuing reform as well as all citizens who love truth, justice and freedom to strengthen the ranks and to burnish their resolve and courage in order to bring about the end of the senile regime of the cruel and corrupt Mahathir Mohamad.

The seed of reform which Anwar Ibrahim planted before he was taken away has now produced its blooms. The people are becoming braver. I congratulate the more-than- 50,000 Malaysians who marched to the National Palace to demand Mahathir's honourable retreat and to ask His Highness the King to intervene and help end Malaysia's political and economic crises, which are the handiwork of pretenders who stick out like sore thumbs among real leaders.

I would advise Mahathir, who is now in Japan, not to return to Malaysia. He is no longer needed in Malaysia. While in Japan, he and Mother Siti Hasmah would do well to consult a map of the world to look for some small island that is suitable as a home where they could live out the final dregs of their lives.

I have said before that Mahathir was a liability to Malaysia. Some of my colleagues and I have traveled in ASEAN countries and met their leaders, including their chief executives. We have yet to meet anyone who supports Mahathir's leadership. It has become clearer than ever that Mahathir is isolated as a head of government; he is out of place among true leaders. Mahathir is a disgrace to ASEAN. Everyone is ashamed and would find it disgraceful to sit at the same table with him.

I take this opportunity to mention that last night I saw the face of that cowardly thug, Abdul Rahim Noor, on TV. I repeat that Abdul Rahim Noor is the one responsible in the beating of Anwar, causing him to pass out and sustain a black left eye. Malaysians must realize that Anwar's black eye was the result of a criminal act that cannot be forgiven. Of this crime, my colleagues and I have informed all the ASEAN leaders we have met, including presidents Habibie and Estrada.

Mahathir actually wants to cover up the coward's crime by appointing an investigation team made up of police personnel. Unfortunately, until now the result of that investigation has not been announced to the people. I believe Mahathir and Rahim have so far not been able to find a policeman in a subordinate position who could be forced to falsely state that Anwar beat himself up.

I challenge Mahathir to appoint a panel of international investigators under the supervision of the United Nations to investigate the torture of Anwar, other Internal Security Act detainees and Sukma Darmawan and Dr Munawar Anees.

On behalf of Anwar, other fighters for reform and all who love Anwar, justice, truth and freedom, I thank the policemen who wiped off the blood that issued from his nose and lips and massaged his body after he was clobbered and beaten by Rahim Noor.

Again I call on Malaysians to rise against a regime defiled by graft, nepotism, cronyism, cruelty and injustice. Leaders in UMNO must rise up before it is too late. The clock is ticking and the end of the Mahathir era is at hand. The fate of our beloved motherland is in the hand of the people; it is no longer in the hand of Mahathir bin Mohamad

Mohamad Ezam Mohd Noor
Foreign Relations Secretary of Gerakan Reformasi and
Political Secretary to Anwar Ibrahim