Friday, December 23, 2011

Jan 9 2012: D-day For Anwar

January 9 2012 is D-day for Anwar Ibrahim. It is the day he will know whether he is found guilty of the charge of sodomising his one time aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in what has come to be known as Sodomy 2 trial.

But many Malaysians already feel that he will be convicted. Not because they believe Anwar did sodomise his aide but because they feel that the charge against Anwar was a ploy to finish off his political career once and for all so that he will not continue to be a threat to the status quo of Barisan's and especially UMNO's hegemony in Malaysian politics.

And also because Malaysians have long lost confidence in the independence of the Malaysian judiciary since the infamous dismissal of the former Lord President Tun Salleh Abas and several seniors judges in 1988 during Tun Dr Mahathir's tenure as the PM.

I remember that in the original Sodomy 1 trial when Anwar was charged for sodomising his wife's driver, a prosecution witness, a government doctor, had testified that there were no evidence of penetration. This was embarrassing for the prosecution as evidence of penetration was crucial evidence. Further, the alleged victim himself had at one point in the trial given evidence in court that Anwar had not sodomised him but was rebuked by the trial judge instead.

This, more then anything else made me very cynical. For a background to the first and second sodomy charges against Anwar see wikipedia

Anwar's conviction for sodomy was eventually overturned by the Federal Court in 2004.

Anwar is a charismatic leader who is well known for his fiery oratorical skills. He is able to pull in the crowds wherever he speaks.


He is largely if not singularly the one person who is able to galvanise the opposition into a coalition - Pakatan - that was able for the first time in Malaysian history to deny the ruling Barisan coalition a 2/3 Parliamentary majority in 2008 in the 12th General Election when the opposition Pakatan also managed to wrest five states from the Barisan coalition in the process.

If Anwar is convicted and sent to jail on the charge of sodomising Saiful this time around, as many people believe he will be, would Pakatan be unable to challenge Barisan in the much anticipated coming 13th  General Election which, many believe, PM Najib will call for soon?

This is what the Barisan coalition surely hope will be the case.

However, I am not too sure about this. The Pakatan coalition has come a long way since and with the experience they have gained from running four states (Perak state was wrested back by the Barisan in what many have called a political coup involving some shenanigans) so well especially Penang and Selangor, I do not think that it will come loose just because their defacto leader Anwar is jailed.

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