Anwar walks out a free man


  • Nation
  • Sunday, 05 Sep 2004

Compiled by Shantini Suntharajah (Aug 28 to Sept 3) 

ANWAR FREED: (Sept 2) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was wheeled out of the Palace of Justice a free man after the Federal Court acquitted him of the charge of sodomising his former family driver. 

The three-person Federal Court bench reached a 2-1 majority decision when they allowed the former deputy prime minister’s appeal and overturned the conviction and nine-year jail term – exactly six years after his sacking as deputy prime minister. 

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim obtained his new international passport within an hour at the Immigration Department in Pusat Bandar Damansara. He left for Munich, Germany, to seek treatment for his back yesterday. 

 

BN WINS: (Aug 28) Barisan Nasional retained the Kuala Berang state seat with a 2,059 majority – 364 votes higher than its victory in the March general election. 

Barisan candidate Mohd Zawawi Ismail, 45, obtained 6,051 votes compared to PAS candidate Muhyiddin Abdul Rashid, 43, who obtained 3,992 votes. There were 103 spoilt votes.  

THOUSANDS CELEBRATE: (Aug 30) Tens of thousands of Malaysians throughout the country joined in celebrations to usher in the country's 47th National Day. 

 

SHARED SERVICES: (Sept 1) The Government will implement wide-ranging measures to boost Malaysia’s competitiveness in the shared services and outsourcing industry, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. 

The effort would be focused on enhancing the attractiveness of the Multimedia Super Corridor as a preferred location for these activities. The global shared services and outsourcing industry is expected to be worth US$500bil (RM1.9tril) by 2008.  

 

FRESH APPROACH: (Aug 28) Agro-based cottage industries, especially those making traditional Malay kuih, should use modern technology to commercialise their products, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said. 

He said the use of modern technology and equipment could save manpower and time, as well as ensure that the products are made hygienically. 

 

POLLUTANTS: (Sept 1) Housing projects and land-clearing activities near the Klang River have been the major cause of the alarmingly low river water quality. 

Although the water quality index rating had improved slightly over the past two years, suspended solids discharged from land development projects upstream have played a major part in the river’s current polluted state, said Federal Territory Department of Environment director Wan Ramlah Wan Ibrahim.  

 

COPTER CRASH: (Sept 3) A third helicopter crash in two months killed all four on board a Hornbill Skyways Bell 206 Long Ranger, including the private secretary to Sarawak's deputy chief minister. 

The fleet of Hornbill Skyways helicopters have been grounded pending investigations. 

 

NO INCREASE: (Aug 28) Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shafie Apdal said the Government had no plans to increase petrol prices although the price of crude oil in the international market had gone up.  

 

SAVING FIREFLIES: (Aug 30) Motorised fishing boats will be banned from plying the 10km stretch of Sungai Selangor, which harbours the world-famous firefly colony. 

Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo has ordered the Kuala Selangor District Council to impose this ban as an immediate measure to save the dwindling population of fireflies.  

TERROR IN RUSSIA: (Sept 1) Heavily armed gunmen, some wearing suicide-bomb belts, seized a school in a Russian region bordering Chechnya and were holding hundreds of hostages, reportedly including 200 children. 

The gunmen have threatened to kill 50 children for every one of their group who was killed, a senior local official said.  

A day later, the militants released 31 women and children after mediation by Ruslan Aushev, a veteran of the Soviet Union's Afghan war and former president of the neighbouring Ingushetia republic. 

 

150 KILLED: (Sept 3) Russia's hostage crisis erupted into explosions, gunfire and screams of fleeing children as commandos stormed the school where militants strapped with bombs had held as many as 1,200 people hostage. 

More than 150 people were dead and 646 injured, and officials said the toll would rise significantly. 

A bomb taped to a ceiling inside the school accidentally fell, setting off an explosion and prompting Russian troops to storm the building, a girl inside told Russian television.  

 

TERRORISTS STRIKE: (Aug 28) Russian officials investigating two passenger plane crashes discovered the remains of two Chechen women thought to be “Black Widows” – suicide bombers given that name because many have lost husbands in the war with Russia. 

Officials have also found traces of explosive in the wreckage of at least one of the planes, all but confirming the theory that the jet crashes, which killed 90, were the work of terrorists.  

TERROR WARNING: (Aug 30) Prime Minister John Howard's government warned that Australia could become a terrorist target during a six-week election campaign that kicked off with the war on terror and the nation's troop deployment in Iraq already taking centrestage.  

 

KATHMANDU CURFEW: (Sept 1) Nepali authorities clamped an indefinite curfew in Kathmandu and warned that violators would be shot after furious mobs attacked a mosque and went on the rampage to protest against the killing of 12 Nepalis in Iraq. 

Protesters stormed inside the city's main mosque and set furniture and carpets on fire, but were driven out by police. 

 

NO MORE BUSH: (Aug 30) Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators carrying colourful banners and shouting “no more Bush” took to the streets of New York, a day before the Republican convention, to decry the US-led war in Iraq and President George W. Bush's policies.  

Police declined to estimate the size of the crowd, but it stretched out more than 1.6km along two main avenues in central Manhattan.  

 

SHI'ITE-US CLASH: (Aug 29) Shi'ite militants and US forces battled throughout the Baghdad slum of Sadr City, and a mortar barrage slammed into a busy neighbourhood in the capital in a new wave of violence that killed at least 12 people and wounded over 100 others.  

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