PETALING JAYA: The arrest of PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is to thwart the Opposition’s takeover of the country, party deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali said.
He said the arrest came less than 15 hours after “an overwhelming majority of Malaysians expressed their support” for Anwar following his live appearance on television on Tuesday night.
In the debate with Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Anwar expressed his intention to stand for election and to lower the petrol price by 50 sen per litre once the Pakatan Rakyat formed the new government.
He also believed the police had arrested Anwar to “force” evidence out of him.
Dr Syed Husin said party president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail was providing strong leadership and was assisted by a group of capable leaders.
He also warned supporters of possible agent provocateurs capitalising on Anwar’s arrest not to create public unrest and pin the blame on the party.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the party strongly criticised the police move.
“Is there any need for such action when Anwar had complied fully with the law and shown willingness to co-operate fully with the investigation?” he said in a statement yesterday.
PAS secretary-general Datuk Kamaruddin Jaafar said the arrest was unexpected. He appealed for the public to remain calm.
A group of Anwar’s supporters gathered for a vigil outside the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters around 8pm and lit candles.
Several PKR leaders turned up to speak to the supporters periodically and told them to remain calm. One woman was detained after failing to comply with police orders.
At midnight, police ordered the group to disperse and were prepared to make more arrests.
Federal Reserve Unit personnel were bought on standby with two water-cannon vehicles.
At 12.20am, PKR Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin urged the crowd to disperse. No further arrests were made.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that Wan Azizah and her daughter Nurul Hana were stuck in a lift at the police headquarters when going to visit and deliver some personal items to Anwar.
The incident happened at 11.50pm when Wan Azizah pressed the button to go to the floor where her husband Anwar was kept.
Crew from the nearby Hang Tuah fire station rushed to the scene at 12.08am after receiving a call, and managed to get the duo out at 12.25am.
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