Isnin, 9 Februari 2015

Charles Santiago

Charles Santiago

Anwar: One Free Man

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 12:10 AM PST


















Anwar Federal Court Pre Verdict


Malaysia's Opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, is set to give a thunderous speech later this evening. Many tout it to be a farewell speech as a guilty verdict from the country's top court will seal Anwar's political career.


After more than three years, the political high drama of Anwar's sodomy trial will be over tomorrow. And clearly that's what it has been – a political persecution, spiced with weak evidence and the involvement of top political figures.


It has been brought to my attention that only seven such cases have been ever heard in the country, with two being Anwar's.


We hardly hear the police going after anyone for homosexuality, a so-called crime whch needs to be decriminalised in the first place.


But the government, from former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to current premier Najib Razak, is obsessed with smearing Anwar's name with allegations of sexual misconduct. And this has been shamelessly going on for years.


This trial was brought upon by a police report lodged by Anwar's former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhairy Azlan, after a stunning performance by the Opposition at the 2008 general election, that denied the ruling coalition its two third majority in Parliament. Anwar was largely seen as the person who made this feat possible.


The Opposition won the popular vote in 2013, dealing another severe blow to Barisan Nasional. Pakatan Rakyat was however kept from taking power because of the gerrymandering of districts.


It, therefore, does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that Anwar is seen as a threat to the continuous corrupt rule of the Barisan Nasional pact.


Saiful first said he was raped but subsequently changed his plea to consensual sex of an unnatural nature. It was two days before he was examined for sodomy and two hospitals concluded there were no tearing or scarring to show for any anal sex. The trial judge also concluded that the DNA evidence, crucial to the case, was tainted.


The weak evidence therefore tilts towards an acquittal. And there is more.


It was proven in court that Saiful met up with Najib (who was then the defense minister) and his wife before lodging the police report.

And the complainant himself acknowledged meeting Rodwan Mohd Yusof secretly, before exposing the alleged sodomy. During Anwar's first sodomy trial in 1998, it was proven that Rodwan, a senior cop, had planted DNA samples on a mattress used by Anwar.


The country is grappling with crucial economic issues, especially the weakening of the ringgit. Malaysia has recently come under the spotlight for trafficking, lack of freedom for the media and religious and racial intolerance, among others.


Tomorrow the independence of the judiciary will be on trial. And if Anwar is found guilty despite the trail of weak evidence, it would only spell more doom for the country.


Charles Santiago

Member of Parliament, Klang.

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