Anwar decries burning of Japanese flag but won't apologise for supporters' unruly behaviour

KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has refused to apologise for his supporters' act of stomping on and burning the Japanese flag.

While stressing that he disagreed with the act of desecrating a national flag, Anwar said there was no reason for him to apologise for his supporters' unruly behaviour.

"The action of desecrating flags must stop," he told a press conference after the Pakatan Rakyat presidential council meeting here Wednesday.

On the fuss over being denied entry into Japan, Anwar said he did not wish to pursue the matter further because the Japanese authorities were investigating the matter.

"The Japanese authorities have asked my office when we made the enquiries (to get clearance to enter Japan)," he said.

On his 1999 corruption conviction, Anwar claimed it was political persecution.

Article 5.1 of the Japanese Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act does not cover political conviction.

"The international community agrees that it (his 1999 corruption conviction) was a political conviction,"he claimed.

"I have no problem entering Canada, Australia and America," he added.

Some 30 PKR Youth members staged a protest outside the Japanese embassy here Tuesday after Anwar was barred from entering the country and subsequently deported on Sunday.

An embassy senior official said Anwar was denied entry because the recent visa abolition for Malaysians was not applicable to former convicts.

As Anwar had been convicted in 1999, he should have applied for a visa or filed an appeal for special permission to enter Japan upon arrival at the airport, said official said.

Anwar, he said, had neither applied for a visa, nor exercised his other option of filing an appeal at the airport.

Government , politics , Anwar Ibrahim , Japan , PKR