The FAC’s campaign to bring the truth of the Anwar Ibrahim sham trials to the attention of the world and get Dr Mahathir isolated and shunned by the International community is beginning to make Malaysian Embassies worldwide run round in circles.
In the first incident, the Malaysian Ambassador to the United States tried to meet the seven US Congressmen and woman who sponsored a Resolution in support of Anwar Ibrahim. However, before the meeting could even take place, Bernama, the Malaysian news agency, announced to the world that the Ambassador "had already met the seven US Congressmen to explain the truth behind the Anwar trials and that the seven US Congressmen went back satisfied".
Congressman Christopher H. Smith, the Chairman of the Subcommittee for International Operations and Human Rights, rebutted this on 18 December 2001 in a letter to the FAC.
(Copy of the letter can be read on our Website).
Then the Malaysian Embassy in the US circulated a ten-page document to all Malaysians in the US explaining in detail the Malaysian Government’s version of the Anwar trials. Understandably, the Malaysian Government’s version is contrary to what the FAC is saying.
In between all this, the Malaysian government has been sending its ministers and senior officials to meet Malaysian students overseas to brief them on the political situation in Malaysia. At times the Malaysian Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister themselves met these students.
Of course, the purpose of these meetings were not so much to explain the political situation back home but to run down Anwar Ibrahim and "reveal" how "immoral" he is.
The opposition, though, has not been complacent and they too have made their own overseas trips to meet these students and set the record straight. From the feedback received, it seems the majority of the students are inclined to believe the opposition leaders more than the government leaders.
After successfully setting up base in the US, UK and Australia, the FAC has now expanded to Japan, Taiwan, Holland, Germany, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. The FAC is also working with its representatives there to prepare for "Black 14" – 14 April 2001 - the second anniversary of Anwar’s sentencing.
In some of these places demonstrations will be organised in front of the Malaysian Embassies. In the more conservative places where demonstrations are not part of the local culture, other means of getting the message through will be adopted.
A document explaining the truth behind the Anwar saga and the current state of his health has already been circulated to the FAC representatives all over the world. This will be distributed to politicians, government leaders, community and religious leaders, NGOs, human rights organisations, and newspapers in these various countries.
Letters and feature articles or opinion pieces will also be sent to the editors of all the major newspapers in key cities.
These next six weeks leading to 14 April 2001 will see an active campaign to bring the message of Anwar to the attention of the whole world. And already the Malaysian government is worried and taking preemptive measures.
In Australia, the Malaysian government has assembled the students there to talk to them and warn them about getting involved in "anti-government" activities – as if opposing Mahathir means opposing the government.
Hardly has two weeks gone by since FAC Indonesia was set up and already our representative there has received a visit from Mukhtar, a journalist with the Berita Harian, a Malaysian government controlled newspaper.
Mukhtar told our Indonesian representative, A. M. Furqan, not to write anything that is anti-Mahathir lest it affect Malaysia’s economic and political stability. Furqan told Mukhtar if Malaysia wants the anti-Mahathir campaign in Indonesia to stop then release Anwar from jail.
In the United Arab Emirates the same thing happened. Fudzail, FAC’s representative there, was told "not to act beyond permissible limits" or else the Malaysian government will make sure he "cannot remain in the UAE".
Not only is the Malaysian government trying to intimidate Anwar’s supporters in Malaysia, but they are also trying to do the same thing in the other countries as well.
However, let the Malaysian government be warned. The FAC representatives cannot easily be intimidated. Even the prospect of arrest does not frighten them. In fact, it just spurs them to fight harder. After all, should one be frightened of telling the truth? And this is exactly what the FAC is doing.
Khalid Jaafar, the Kuala Lumpur based representative of the FAC, has this message to give FAC representatives all over the world, "Lawan tetap lawan – lawan sampai menang". This is the REFORMASI battle cry that means, "For sure we shall fight – we shall fight till we win"; the Malaysian way of saying "no quarters asked and none given".
Director, Free Anwar Campaign