Malaysia's Anwar Ibrahim draws sympathy with grandson's photo before sodomy appeal

KUALA LUMPUR - Ahead of his sodomy appeal at a Malaysian court on Tuesday and Wednesday, where he could be sentenced to another jail term, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has posted on his Facebook a picture of him playing with his grandson.

The picture was captioned in Bahasa Malaysia "Will I see my grandchildren grow up?".

The picture of him with his grandson Harith, a move to tug at the heartstrings, has drawn more than 1,000 comments showering support for him.

Datuk Seri Anwar, 67, has four daughters and one son from his marriage to Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, president of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR). The couple has five grandchildren.

Mr Anwar has a date with the Federal Court, the country's apex court, to appeal against a conviction of sodomising a former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, who is now 30.

Mr Anwar had served a six-year sentence for corruption from 1999, while his conviction for an earlier sodomy case was overturned in 2004, leading to his release.

If the court decided to allow the guilty verdict on the second sodomy case to stand, Mr Anwar is likely to be jailed again which could end his political career, analysts and the Malaysian media have said.

And with him behind bars, the latent tensions in the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) alliance could cause its breakup. Multiracial PKR along with Chinese-based Democratic Action party (DAP) and conservative Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) are members of PR, which was formed in 2008.

The DAP and PAS have been at loggerheads with the push by the Islamic party for more Islamic issues, and a section of PAS is sore with PKR and DAP over the way the recent change of the chief minister of Selangor state - controlled by PR - was engineered.