Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Trial Of Democracy


Anwar, Round 2 has commenced.

Media reports inform us that a police report has been lodged by an aide. The complaint appears to be that he was sodomised by Anwar Ibrahim on Thursday. No particulars of the alleged event have been made public. The complainant was to be given a medical examination and, at the time of writing, it is not certain whether this has been done.

Anwar has issued a statement. He says that the police report is a fabrication (meaning, I think, that the events described in the report). Fully expecting to be arrested, and anticipating the worst, he believes that the same methods employed against him in 1998 are being resorted to again. He claims to have recently obtained evidence implicating the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General in “misconduct including the fabrication of evidence in the cases launched against me in 1998-1999.”

Ominously, he further says that PKR expects “the media, the judiciary and the police force to all come under the direct and unchecked control of the executive.”

***

Let’s start with the obvious. If a crime has been committed and a report lodged, then the crime needs to be investigated. Sodomy is a crime (I have my reservations about whether it is constitutional for it to be so if it is a consensual act between adults) and a police report has apparently been lodged. The complaint should be investigated. Even if it is against Anwar Ibrahim and even if it pertains to sodomy, which it does.

It is however incumbent on those in charge of the investigation that the investigation be conducted fairly and comprehensively. This means that the police cannot rely merely on the say-so of the complainant. Even if he was sodomised, which at this stage has not been confirmed, this does not mean that he was sodomised by Anwar Ibrahim. If he was not sodomised, the investigation on the complaint should be brought to an end.

I am curious. How did this alleged act of sodomy occur? Was the complainant held down by Anwar Ibrahim, or perhaps accomplices? What it done with the complainant’s consent, perhaps even at his suggestion? Perhaps he was drugged or beaten unconscious to facilitate the process?

These are questions that the police must ask in attempting to fully understand what it is that occurred, if anything occurred at all. This is more the case in view of the key elements of the sodomy investigation and prosecution in Anwar, Round 1, in particular the alleged confessions of Sukma Dharmawan and Munawer Anees which both claimed had been extracted by coercion. Similarly, the omni-present mattress and the almost magic DNA samples ought not be overlooked. This is underscored by Anwar Ibrahim’s insistence that his prosecution was politically motivated and had, for that purpose, been pre-judged.

The need for transparency and accountability is made even more crucial by the allegation by Anwar Ibrahim that he has evidence in hand implicating the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General. The IGP figured in Anwar Round 1 (he was then SAC Musa Hassan).

In the same vein, the decision to prosecute Anwar Ibrahim, if at all, must be made only after having taken into consideration all circumstances. The reality is that the Attorney General was 2nd chair to the then Attorney General in Anwar, Round 1. Questions were raised about the manner in which he conducted himself, questions which the Federal Court in the Zainur Zakaria appeal suggested that he may have wished to address. The AG has not done so to date.

The situation is such that both the IGP and the AG may wish to take steps to distance themselves from the investigation and prosecution, if any.

***

And in the meanwhile, the fact that Morgan Stanley has indicated that some RM330 billion has been dissipated from Malaysian through corruption falls even lower on the list of priorities (if it was on the list at all).

One would not be faulted for thinking that the prosecution of those responsible and the recovery of as much of the money as possible is a matter of national importance and of public interest. The government may wish to remind themselves of the extent to which the Government of Hong Kong went to prosecute Warwick Reid, the former Director of the Commercial Crime Unit. He was convicted and the monies he corruptly received traced world-wide.

Somehow, the sexual proclivities of an individual, whether real or fantasized, do not seem to matter when the country is facing a financial crisis largely due to fat cats having looted and pillaged their way through national resources, seemingly at will.

But then, Malaysia Boleh.

***

And does it matter that since Anwar, Round 1 a Royal Commission of Enquiry has handed down a report in which the Commission has, in effect, concluded that the relationship between the Executive and the Judiciary was, and by logical extension, still is unhealthily close?

If there is going to be a prosecution, it will be conducted in a Sessions Court. Subordinate court judges are members of the Judicial and Legal Services. They fall within the jurisdiction of the Judicial and Legal Appointments Commission of which the Attorney General is a member. The Attorney General also considers matters of promotions and transfers. He is, in effect, their superior.

***

Malaysians are fond of a good gossip session. Conspiracy theories rank way up there on the list of things that must be talked about, the first chance one gets to talk about something.

Can you blame us? Nothing seems to work the way it is supposed to, intrigues have become as normal as breathing.

I wonder whether there are any Malaysians at all who actually believe that everything is as it should be. The cabinet and the Barisan Nasional excluded (though a state of denial may be a reasonable excuse).

***

Anwar says he expects the worst. His caution suggests the use of Emergency powers. There is nothing new there, the Government is still using some Emergency legislation. The declarations from previous emergencies have not been revoked and the Federal Court (the Al-Maunah case) has held that they are still valid.

And, even if there were no declarations of emergency, would the Government need to take any further steps to ensure that things went the way it wished? Organs of state and federal agencies act in a manner that strongly suggests a belief on their part that the national interest is the government’s interest and for that purpose, political interests shape the government’s interests.

Though the office of the Attorney General is an office created by the Federal Constitution, the Attorney General is nothing more than a civil servant, holding office “during the pleasure of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong” (a standard formula used to describe the holder of office as NOT having security of tenure). The YDPA being a figurehead, the office is held at the discretion of the Prime Minister who advises the YDPA as to the appointment of Attorneys General.

Significantly, prior to 1963 (when the Constitution was amended), the Attorney General was to “hold office until he attains the age of sixty-five years or such later time, not later than six months after he attains the age, as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may approve.” He could be removed only by a tribunal similar to that to be established for the removal of a judge and only on similar grounds.

Similarly, as we have come to see, the Inspector General of Police depends on the largess of the Prime Minister. This is the reality of the framework in which the persons holding these offices operate in.

It is a framework that places them in the conflict of interest that arises between self-preservation and the duty to act as the Federal Constitution requires when the Government chooses to allow political objectives to trump national interest objectives. It is a conflict that I believe is ultimately resolved by acting on the basis of “saya yang menurut perintah”.

***

I was told by some senior politicians that there is nothing more effective than a good, juicy scandal to undermine the political strength of a Malay politician who depends on the support of the Malay grass-roots.

If true, it is the basis for a strong argument against racial politics. A politician is a politician be he/she Malay, Chinese, Indian, Punjabi, Eurasian, Dayak etc.etc.etc.

Whether he/she is a useful politician depends only on his/her commitment to righteousness.

***

Do we panic?

I think not. Under no circumstances. It will not get us anywhere and, conversely, will take us down a road that may lead us exactly where schemers, if there are any, would want us to.

Destabilized, confused. Weak.

We began building a solid foundation for the democracy we want for our young on March 8th. That was a journey we embarked upon for ourselves, our nation, our future.

It was not about Anwar Ibrahim.

***

That does not mean that we do not support the cause of justice. He is entitled to the full protection of the law. He is entitled to a fair and comprehensive investigation, if one is required at all. He is entitled to a fair prosecution and, above all, he is entitled to a fair trial, if there is one.

In all of all that and more, he deserves our full support. But, fearing the worst, are we going to stop what we started if Anwar Ibrahim is taken down?

I think not.

If Anwar, Round 2 has been brought on for political purpose, then let us show those who are pulling the strings, that race politics do not matter to us anymore.

Let them hear us, loud and clear: We are Malaysians, and only justice matters.

MIS

23 comments:

ctchoolaw said...

Hear! Hear! This latest allegation against Anwar is very troubling. But I agree that we have all got to keep the faith that got M'sia through GE2008 alive and well. No one shld be a fair-weather friend. The dark times are threatening to loom again. But we must hold the line. Let us not waver not for one iota of an inch!

johnny cheah said...

Oh no! Not again. This cannot be true. I am confident that a man who have gone through hell and back is going to do this thing. Is he really that stupid. I don't think so! What says you Malaysians?

Lone said...

Well said. This is certainly a trying time for all of us and Democracy. Let us ensure tp the best we can that Anwar Ibrahim and Democracy and all Malaysians get a fair deal in the days ahead.

Anonymous said...

We live in an era where conspiracy theory thrives. So this is my take: this could also be anwar's strategy to create a sense of deep and terrible crisis in the country. yes, he is not a sodomite and I don't believe he is either and he knew that people do not believe it either. so create one so he could play victim. he is caught in the middle. he does not actually have the 'numbers' to form the government and no way he could face the public and have an honest and serious debate with Shabery Cheek on the fuel price. so rather than having to face questions from the public when the time comes to deliver on his promise which would surely undermine his credibility, create a crisis now and make himself the victim: that he is no longer safe and he needs the safe sanctuary of a foreign embassy. Give me a break! As Bill Clinton once angrily said about Obama's campaign: this is the biggest fairy tale I have ever heard. Badawi, despite his weakness, is not Mugabe. In fact, we are witnessing unprecedented level of freedom and openness in the country. This is probably just Anwar's way to maintain public distrust towards the government. Try to paint Malaysia as another Zimbabwe where politicians get assasination threat and hoorah - all the public and international attention will be on him.

I believe no member of the government would want to repeat 1998. In fact, i don't think anybody in the current government believe that he was a sodomite when he had to face the allegation in 1998. 1998 was someone else's doing.

The government knows that this kind of allegation will not stand in the court of public opinion. They know that the public will hate them more if they do this. Yes, Anwar is a political threat to them, but not threatening enough for them to lose power on 16 September. At the time when the public is beginning to question the capability and on the promise of the PR in the 5 state governments, this kind of crisis is the last thing a BN government would want.

Anwar has endured worse treatment in 1998 and he can afford to create such sense of treatment - even something which the public will find it impossible to believe - today. It is partly the sense of bad treatment that earns him public admiration and pity. So I won't rule out the possibility that this is Anwar's own doing.

Anwar is a master politician who knows how to play his card well!

WY Kam 甘永元 said...

dear MIS,

I pray that your wish is true - that Malaysians held high their rational and logic - and respect democracy and the spirit of democracy in its judiciary.

That s said, things are uncannily controversial...particularly with the circumstances of the case.

Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous...why are you putting your comments in all the blogs? Are you being paid too. You are pathetic.

Anonymous said...

By the way...why are you anonymous here but 'Kamal' everywhere else..

Anonymous said...

This is total rubbish! Absolutely stupid! This shows that this country is run by dogs who cares for their own pocket and god damn this act! It really makes me sick!

flyer168 said...

Dear MIS,

What can we expect from the BN & UNMOputra goons in this Bolehland !

I am saddened by what is happening. Haven’t they done enough damage to our nation, our nation’s assets, our peaceloving but downtrodden citizens & insulted their own race & Islam ?????

We have to remind them that everytime they point their finger at anyone, three fingers are pointing at themselves.

These Bigots still in self-denial are the desperados at the tail end of “Ketuanan Melayu” in the 21 century context being propelled by the powers-that-be, FEAR their imminent DEMISE by the Peoples’ voices, will resort to the SUBLIME !

They are their own worst enemies set on a “Self-destruct” mode, & now portraying Islam/Muslims/Malays as zealots - HOW INSULTING !!!

Let us all work hand-in-hand to UNITE as MALAYSIANS to save our nation, its multi ethnic cultures/religion & its assets for every downtrodden MALAYSIAN citizen forthwith !

Let us all give them enough rope to hang themselves at every turn towards their DEMISE soon….we now sit back & watch the action.

May God show them the truth !

John Tan said...

Well it seems that there is neverending saga of political clashes and how it will play out is anybody's guess. Meanwhile, two explosive investigations are currently being carried out involving highly influential individual(s). One might see the fall of the current ruling party, the other might see the fall of a government in waiting. The top prize - glory, power and money and the suffering goes to the people in the streets. No matter who wins, enough damaged have been done towards the social economic landscape of the country. How much more further will confidence in our country erode, when will this end? Let's hope that both investigations will be carried out profesionally WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOUR. Can we at the least hope for this???

Irfan Mohd Nor said...

This anonymous guy is a crap!

Yeah, i saw his same lame comment on most of the other blogs too!
Definitely planted by UMNO dogs!

It's total crap to say that Anwar plays a stupid strategy like 'getting sodomised'. Look at the recent election, he didn't need any special outrageous strategy to gain votes for the opposition. He did what he usually did all these while, which was to give awareness campaign to all Malaysian of the wrongdoings of the existing governing parties of BN.

For what he's gone through, he wouldn't do anything that would backfire him.

freethinker said...

I think what the anonymous said could be rational in another way..but either way you cant blame him because it is just his views from his current understanding from the issue. This issue is beyond our mind to know the truth because there are just made of all-of a sudden after the previous RPK's SD which is putting DPM, his wife and da gang on the news track. Now people will change their focus on Anwar's issue. This is just aonther political story scenes act by selfish politicians. Lastly we citizens will suffer from their greediness acts.

Bass said...

for the sake of our country I wish ur wishes come true too. People do realise thier protest voting on March 8th was exactly that, a protest. and to an extend even without any trust in the (only) alternative available to them. Mr Anon/Kamal conspiracy theory has something to be commented for too, whether or not s/he is paid. as to the question of whether IF Anwar is brought down, whether or not our hope ends there, I'm not yet convinced that it doesn't. I think the infant Pakatan Rakyat is yet to be ready to shoulder it and press on themselves without Anwar, for better or worse, to lead the pact.

Nostradamus said...

Nostradamus Quatrains on “Wag the Dog”

In the month named of a Roman King
The year of great games played by Greeks
Malaysie, a land where politikus battle
“Wag the Dog” the game is played

A man defamed twice over
Seeking restitution with Ottoman Kings
A plot being hatched as night awaits
Watch in trepidation by the man defamed

People in Malaysie cry in vain
Great turbulence and strife engulf
Lost is the fable of Mongolian assasins
Forgotten is the hatred of black oil curse

Men in power rule with joy
For winners, gold and lust awaits
Lost are the tales of greed and arrogance
Forgotten are the tales of men in chains

Little Napoleon kings jump in joy
For keeping the turf and rule once more
But alas, such is the game being played
The time to repent is so in vain

Stomach empty, spirit rise in men
Seeking justice for those in pain
A man of honor they seek within
To play a game of which to gain

Across the land, the people rose
Silence and patience is the game being played
Within the halls and corridors of fame
Man of honor win the game

From: Patek1472.wordpress.com

peng said...

MIS, what you have written makes a lot of sense, as always.
Yes, justice and democracy is not about Anwar Ibrahim.
We will not be side-tracked or distracted with all this 'sandiwara'.
We will fight on!

JH Jonnes said...

another thing, in Anwar, Round 1, he was not let off the charge and his innocence ruled on and confirmed by a court of law; his appeal succeeded on a technicality ground of inadmissible evidence. so the people shouting unfairness that he's being slapped again with the same charge that he was "proven" to be innocent of ought not to be so loud.

siamangagap said...

ANWAR THE GREAT BOLLYWOOD ACTOR!

One interesting outcome from this latest 'bontot' event is the cleverness of Anwar in diverting the criminal case against him. Anwar is known for his dramatisation of events, if he wants something or trying to get out of the mud.

Remember the Baling case during his student days? Or the last trial - remember his arsenic poisoning? Remember his complaint about his back pain? Remember his dog collar always stuck on his neck when he went to courts? Remember he moved about on wheel chair? Now no back pain or neck pain. So fast got cured!

Now the truth has come out, he went to the Turkish Embassy uninvited said the Turkish Ambassador. He just deposited himself there to get international attention. He got many friends outside Malaysia, who will believe him and will raise their concerns. That's what Anwar wants.

By the way, who wants to kill him? if that is the case, he has been assassinated a long time ago! Even before the opposition could win many state governments in the last elections. Anwar is best described as the great Hindustani or Bollywood actor. Pity his wife Azizah, she has to defend Anwar because he is her husband although she knows Anwar inside out.

Anonymous said...

Nostradamus: Across the land, the people rose
Urr.. what people? We r just as weak as Gnats with no mouth to chew and feeble in the gust of wind...

Akar umbi UMNO Damansara Utama said...

We have always admired, though we do tend to disagree, on some of your thoughts and opinions.

Regardless,your balanced view should serve as a lesson to everyone regardless of their political affiliation.

Our concern at the moment is the public insistence Anwar is innocent in Round 1.

We hope you could shed some light on this Anwar-fanatics on the decision made by the Federal Court, especially the part where they agreed "homosexual activities" did happen.

But some Malaysians just dismiss that, don't they? I hope you're more open.

We also agree that personalities like Gani Patail etc. only serve to undermine our effort. They are half-brained schemers, and if there's sufficient proof, we would not stand in the way of criminal prosecution.

On another note, we think your concern on the case being tried at Subord Courts could be settled by just requesting for the case to be tried at the High Court. Maybe we're mistaken, but the High Court Rules allows for this, right?

Regards,

UMNO D.U

Akar umbi UMNO Damansara Utama said...

Oh before we forget,do visit

http://umnodu.blogspot.com to read Conversation About Liwat

We never said we weren't a bit biased:)

Old Fart said...

I don't know if this whole thing is a joke or whether our police force operates under the guidance of a choreographer who acquired his expertise making "The Three Stooges"!.

There are and have been so many reports that have been made on UMNO politicians plundering the nation's wealth and subjecting the nation's security to compromise. Nothing happens. There are even reports and Statutory Declarations made implicating "very important" personages. The police remain impotent and lame.

This sodomy report and all of them are running amok. Extending the full extent of their forensic expertise to go look for human sperm I suppose. More specifically, Anwar's sperm. How, do I know if, 10 years ago when Anwar was knocked cold after the beating from Rahim Noor, they did not actually masturbate him and got his sperm then, for future use maybe? How do I know? Our police not capable of this? Oh yes...sure. After all in Malaysia boleh land anything is just possible, right?

With all this unwelcome attention that UMNO is now getting, and it probably now is working against it, especially when mak chiks and pak chiks in the kampungs start questioning the incredulity of this new allegation which then also now makes them believe in the falsehood of the last accusation against Anwar, UMNO has to have someone in there who should be able to see the slippery slope they have got themsleves into.

Fact is UMNO is today operating not so much to save itself. It is operating to save individuals within UMNO. It is operating to bolster the leadership of UMNO. For what, that does not matter. Just bolster and support the leadership just because they are presently the leaders. Be damned with the country. Be damned with the people. And be damned with the religion too.

Edi神 said...

The system didnt failed us, we failed to build a working system!

Sodomize cases are consider less important than a c4 murder but acted in such haste!

Drama Anwar? It seems 95% msian doesnt believe so

Sabah is so poor now, they still wanna play around with Sabahan mind! CRUEL

Most ppl believe all the bad things Madir did like judging, framing anwar & etc. but nobody cares because his contribution is much greater than his destruction.

Najib... Najib... is tasting what anwar tasted as a Deputy PM!

MCA is also politicking, should have done that long time ago!

DSAI strike back!!!

BODOWI is gaining all from all this fighting! SMart ass

Poker... is determine by LUCK!

Lord Labakdass said...

Hey, doest anyone appreciate how Anwar is handling this matter....I mean, c'mon...the way this guy is playing, in gambling it would have been called the 'sure-win-cannot lose" strategy.... Whether you think he is good or a bad man, the i the manner in which he commands the circumstances surely deserves respect. This last couple of years, the guy should have been rightfully under siege and overwhelmed by the competition ...instead, he is sending his more well equipped opponents into disarray every time he makes a move....This is not something anyone can do....To have a leader with such talent would be fortuitous indeed...