Monday, January 9, 2012

So, Anwar Has Just Been Acquitted....

So, Anwar Ibrahim has just been acquitted this morning on the charge of sodomising his one-time aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Anwar Ibrahim Blog Profile Pic From Anwar Ibrahim Blog
Many Malaysians had expected him to be convicted on the charge which many saw as a political ploy to remove Anwar as a threat to UMNO's and the ruling Barisan coalition's hegemony in Malaysian politics and government and to finish off Anwar's political career once and for all.

Many are surprised that the Najib administration has opted for acquittal indeed of a conviction. They are wondering whether the Najib administration has chickened out from making a martyr of Anwar that a conviction would surely occasion or whether the Najib administration thought that an acquittal would give the latter the bragging rights to claim that the Malaysian judiciary and judges are independent and that the government really cannot influence court decisions.

And indeed, the government were quick to claim that Anwar's acquittal shows that Malaysian judges and the Malaysian judiciary are independent and cannot be influenced in their decisions.

Of course, all this is supposing that the Malaysian judiciary and judges can be easily influenced or bought. Yours truly is not saying anything except that since the emasculation of the Malaysian judiciary with the infamous sacking of Lord President Tun Salleh Abbas and several senior judges in 1988, public confidence in the integrity of the Malaysian judiciary and judges has plummeted and does not seem to have recovered.

In fact, many Malaysians feel that the sodomy charge should not have been brought against Anwar in the first place as being clearly unsustainable and looking very much like a frame-up.

There were many factors that did not tie up with the claim of sodomy. In the first place, the doctor that the alleged victim went to see first, a doctor from Pusrawi Hospital, had noted that examination did not show penetration nor any sign like a tear, pus, blood or even bruises.

Although the victim was a nobody, so to speak, he had managed to meet with the then deputy PM, now  PM Najib himself, before the former lodged a police report. Najib himself at first denied that he had met with the alleged victim but subsequently owned up to it when pictures showing the alleged victim with Najib's aide surfaced, although Najib said the meeting had nothing to do the sodomy claim.

All this sounded very suspicious. Why did Najib have to deny meeting Saiful in the first place?

Further it seemed that Saiful himself had also met with a senior police officer before finally lodging a police report 4 days after the alleged sodomy!

This all seemed highly irregular. Nobody goes to see a senior police officer or meets the PM himself before lodging a police report on sodomy. At least none that Malaysians can remember.

So, now that Anwar has been acquitted, does it mean the end of the matter?  I am not too optimistic about it. The prosecution has 14 days to appeal the decision and I do anticipate that they will.

Anwar might yet be convicted on appeal. Who knows? I just hope not.

6 comments:

  1. I wondered why a helicopter was circling the area where I live early this morning and had to go to Google to find out the reason! Shame on me for not keeping abreast of current affairs in MY. Shall strive to do better :)

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  2. Never mind, sometimes it is better not to keep abreast of current affairs in MY as these are often not so savoury one lah. Thanks for your comment though, Irish Nomad.

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  3. So far so good for Malaysia's democracy. You had demonstration in July last year, and then laws against demonstration in November. But maybe the ruling party looked the protests around the world and decided to back off, and now the opposition party has Ibrahim as its leader in the upcoming election. Let the best party for Malaysia win.
    For me, as long as the M-Girls have a new happy song every new year, life is good ..:)

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Giora, not quite. Democracy in Malaysia is superficial. It is what the ruling coalition esp UMNO want it to be, in their image. Laws are very often enforced subjectively. For example, UMNO or UMNO friendly demonstrations are treated with kid gloves and often no police permits needed. For the opposition demonstrations all kinds of obstacles are put in their part. M-Girls are doing fine, and new happy song every new year should be no problem when change comes.

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  5. You know by far better than me what's going on in Malaysia, but Yahoo article about the news had a positive tone. Ibrahim said that given free and fair election, he expect the opposition party to win. He also said, however, that the ruling party will get some points for showing that they don't control the courts (all the time at least) and that Najib can claim now that he follows on his pledge for reform.
    All in all, It doesn't make sense to go with an appeal now. And this is the opposition party to go for the win, by going mainly to the country side (where you said that people suport the ruling government because they don't know better). Good luck to your party to win. I like the M-Girls new Year Song from 2004 very much and listen to it occasionally. But I see in the new vidoes from 2011 that they changed the group and have a male singer.

    ReplyDelete
  6. That's the caveat -if given free and fair election! Did Anwar really say that the ruling party will get some points for showing that they don't control the courts? Really? Then that must be said tongue in cheek. Few in Malaysia, excepting of course UMNO and Barisan followers, subscribe to such optimism. We have a word here called "sandiwara" or opera show. And Anwar's acquittal is not the end yet. The prosecution has 14 days to appeal and if past experience is anything to go by, they are likely to so and Anwar may yet be convicted. See, this way, the Najib administation can claim that the courts are impartial. Didn't the High Court acquit Anwar in the first place? If Anwar were convicted at the initial stage that would appear bad for the Najib
    administration. Let wait and see.

    ReplyDelete

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