21 August 2014

Pendapat

Pendapat Anda?

Asia Sentinel

Former premier lists specific reasons for his withdrawal of support for serving PM

As long as two to three months before former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad publicly attacked his successor, Najib Tun Razak, through his blog, the former premier sent Najib a letter bristling with a list of demands to change his ways.

Mahathir’s irritation has sputtered behind the scenes since before the disastrous May 2013 general election, in which the ruling Barisan Nasional lost the popular vote for the first time in 44 years although it retained its majority in parliament via gerrymandering.  Since that time, bloggers deployed by Mahathir have made general attacks on the sitting prime minister, who took office in 2009 with Mahathir’s approval.

But for the first time he personally criticized Najib in his blog, Che Det, saying on Aug. 16 that he had withdrawn support.  The campaign against Najib has been mounted now in advance of the November United Malays National Organization general assembly, where it appears Najib has an unassailable position as party president.

Mahathir was scheduled to leave tonight for London, where Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor have been for the past several days after a holiday that began three weeks ago after Najib’s speech to families of the doomed MH17 airliner, which was brought down by a rocket over disputed territory in Ukraine on July 17.

In the letter to Najib, quoted to Asia Sentinel by a businessman with links to UMNO, Mahathir reportedly listed seven demands. Najib is said to have dispatched Tengku Adnan Tenku Mansor, the secretary-general of the United Malays National Organization, to see Mahathir, asking him to withdraw the letter.  Mahathir refused, however, sources say.  In the intervening weeks, nothing has happened.

Since Mahathir’s attack, the story has been playing out behind the scenes of the mainstream media, which are controlled by the political parties that make up the national ruling coalition. They have gone black, carrying only praise for Najib without mentioning Mahathir’s assault. Instead, the papers have merely included statements of support for Najib from leaders such as Foreign Minister Hishamuddin Hussein and others without mentioning the reason the support is needed.

Meanwhile the story has lit up the Internet, with independent news portals having a field day while Mahathir’s blogger allies including Rocky’s Bru, Outsyed the Box and others have defended him.

The demands listed in the letter included one that Najib reform the controversial 1MDB sovereign fund, which is deeply in debt after having funded a long string of controversial projects. It is said to be a major scandal sizzling out of sight and involving controversial Chinese playboy Taek Jho Low and Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor.

The octogenarian former premier also complained that not enough contracts let by Petronas, the national energy company, were going to build up Bumiputeras, mostly ethnic Malays, but instead were being let to more neutral parties. At one point in October of 2013, Mahathir actually resigned from Petronas, saying his doctors had advised him to slow down. But the real reason is said to have been his anger with Najib’s performance.

He also accused Najib of being too friendly with foreign governments including the United States over the bid to join President Barack Obama’s TransPacific Partnership Agreement free trade pact, and Singapore for bending to Singapore’s wishes and cancelling a controversial crooked bridge between the two countries over the Singapore Strait. He was also said to be miffed that Mahathir’s immediate successor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, attended a dinner with Obama during the latter’s Malaysia visit but that he wasn’t invited.

He also objected to the so-called one-off BRIM cash handouts that the government announced to households making less than RM3,000 (US$847) per month in 2012 as an election sweetener to alleviate the burden of a rising cost of living for low-income earners, saying it was breaking the budget. It ended up costing the treasury as much as RM4 billion.

He demanded that Malaysia Airlines, which is 70 percent owned by the Khazanah Nasional sovereign fund, be turned over to the private sector to attempt to right it after two disastrous crashes that took the lives of more than 500 people and which is almost moribund, losing billions of dollars. The private sector is said to be Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhairy, a longtime Mahathir crony who became the country’s richest Bumi tycoon, largely through government contracts.

Finally, Mahathir criticized Najib over the breakdown in racial and religious relations in the country, which have grown progressively more poisonous by the year.  That seems to be a striking obtuseness on Mahathir’s part, since he has backed the Malay-supremacy NGO Perkasa, headed by firebrand Ibrahim Ali, and has made incendiary statements about racial superiority on his own. Prior to the 2013 general election, he sought to lead a major rally on May 13, the anniversary of 1969 communal riots that took  the lives of hundreds.  Najib forced the cancellation of the rally.

Allies say Mahathir’s aim is not to bring down Najib, but to apply enough pressure to force him into making deep changes in the way the government is being run. However, at the age of 89, having been out of power since 2003, and with few remaining allies in UMNO, it is questionable at this point how much clout he still has.

However, he has a formidable record, having forced the ouster of Tunku Abdul Raman and Hussein Onn as prime ministers before his own 22 year period in office, beat back challenges by UMNO stalwarts Tengku Razaleigh, the Finance Minister, and both Musa Hitam and Anwar Ibrahim as his deputy prime ministers, all of whom attempted to unseat him,  and then forced the departure of the successor he picked, Abdullah Badawi.  He is expected to mount a daunting campaign against Najib when the two return from overseas.

21 August 2014

Pendapat

Pendapat Anda?

The Jakarta Globe

This year’s presidential election was marked by many remarkable events, ranging from an impressive show of people power to the darkest of political black campaigns. But while the election process has caused divisions within some strata of society, it has also generated a sense of solidarity that was rarely seen in past elections. A fascinating development, in some areas, was the revitalization of the strong ties created by Sukarno, the country’s first president, and Hasyim Asy’ari, the founder of the Islamic organization Nahdlatul Ulama.

Both men have had a lasting impact. Sukarno is widely seen as a model of Indonesian nationalism and was a pioneer of the patriotic movement while Hasyim was the founding father of NU, now the largest Muslim organization in the world, which preaches a moderate Islam that rejects the idea of an absolute Islamic state in Indonesia.

NU emphasizes that our independence can only be safeguarded by national unity, peace and religious pluralism, and the mixture of Sukarno’s and Hasyim’s similar ideologies and objectives has played an important role in Indonesia’s history. The joint fight against the imperialistic Dutch is one example, and both also had a hand in formulating Pancasila, the official philosophical foundation of the Indonesian state.

Cooperation in Pekalongan

This year’s presidential election saw a spiritual and ideological rekindling between Indonesian nationalism and NU, particularly evident during campaigning in the Central Java town of Pekalongan, the country’s most famous producer of the traditional batik textile.

Kuntho Witjaksana, a 45-year-old resident of Jakarta temporarily relocated to Pekalongan two months prior to election day to focus on a volunteer initiative. He had left his business and family because he wanted to start a more organized volunteer group for Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla. Why did he choose Pekalongan?

Kuntho’s father was the head of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) branch in the town and had been a congressman in the late 1980s. The initial step Kuntho took was to approach his father’s old political allies who still had a loyal following despite being politically inactive for years. Through this, he established his Relawan Persatuan group: volunteering for the cause of unity. The group attracted more than 5,000 people who became active members in a relatively short time. The association included supporters of the PDI-P, the Golkar Party and the National Democrats (Nasdem).

On the other side of town, Muhamad Jawad, 28, a young member of the Pekalongan branch of NU, also promoted its ideologies to local residents. He, and other affiliates of the organization, went door to door to remind the town of the plight and history of NU and to choose the candidate who they felt best represented the Nahdliyin, or followers of NU’s teachings. At a townhall meeting, Kuntho and Jawad met and discussed their ideas and realized how similar their beliefs were. It was a microcosm of the relationship established by Sukarno and Hasyim.

For the past few years, there has been a separation of sorts between the Nahdliyin and the nationalistic movement at the grassroots level. There is a growing sentiment that nationalism is synonymous to secularism and that NU is strictly a religious group with concerns only to the spiritual and religious ritualistic aspects of life while ignoring the more essential topics of nation-building. This divide could drive the two groups further apart and consequently lose sight of their common goal.

‘Watermelon organization’

It needs to be reminded that Sukarno once proclaimed in one of his speeches that he “loved” NU and that NU was widely regarded as a “watermelon organization”: green, for Islam, on the outside but flush red, for Indonesian nationalism, on the inside. The late Abdurrahman Wahid, Indonesia’s fourth president who was also known affectionately as Gus Dur, once said that to vote for either PDI-P or his own National Awakening Party (PKB) (with a heavy NU influence) would not make much difference, due to their many shared viewpoints. This philosophical fusion was one of the fertile seeds planted by Sukarno and the Nahdliyin that flourished and helped obtain Indonesia’s independency. A significant event that many forget was that Sukarno and NU were instrumental in the process of re-annexing West Irian (now called Papua) back to the republic from Dutch colonial rule in 1962.

The historic presidential election this year was an example of how these two associations can achieve a goal collectively, as shown by Kunto and Jawad. Their organizations campaigned together, held meetings to discuss village safety, and coordinated activities of members of their groups in unison to distribute campaign material across the town. Both the volunteer group and NU even sat down and performed a traditional prayer to wish for a smooth, democratic election process and to pray for the forefathers of both organizations.

A former member of the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) in Pekalongan affirmed that these types of joint prayers between PDI and NU were a routine occasion in the old days and that he had longed for such a moment. In essence, Kunto’s and Jawad’s groups renewed the bond that had been thinning between them over time. During their newfound relationship, they were able to successfully assist the city of Pekalongan and its surrounding districts to vote for their presidential candidate at an impressive 70-percent rate. This is an example of the cooperation that Sukarno and Hasyim had in mind when they forged their partnership.

Sukarno and NU were shoulder to shoulder in building Indonesia to become Baldatun thayyibatun wa robbun ghafur — a place where all could live in tranquility and amicability. Re-implementation of this chapter in our history in present times is crucial now that Indonesia is threatened by radical religious groups that are trying to gain a foothold here. It is significant what the present government is doing in censoring and blocking their propaganda, but to prevent future problems, the work paved by Indonesia’s past leaders should never be forgotten.

Sukarno once asserted that a great nation is a nation that appreciates the sacrifices and deeds of its past heroes. Their contributions are an asset not only for the past and present but, more importantly, also for the future of Indonesia.

20 August 2014

Pendapat

Pendapat Anda?

TMI

My friends are saying, if we listen to Dr Mahathir, the Selangor political saga is all because of Anwar. Anwar wants to become PM. Selangor is his stepping stone. By controlling Selangor he can buy Umno and others to cross over and join Pakatan.

If Anwar does that, it is nothing new. Buying his way out of most political predicaments is second nature to people like Najib himself. Monetary gratification is a most effective way to soften the most hardened of political opponents. Selangor should be used as a strategic vantage point if the objective is to capture Putrajaya from the more evil clutches of BN politicians.

So what is wrong with Anwar wanting to become PM and using Selangor in a more strategic way?

Some other friends are saying: “It’s true, the problem in Selangor is caused by Anwar.” But the problems in Malaysia are all due to Dr Mahathir. Dr Mahathir can be faulted for almost everything bad in Malaysia while he is credited with many things that are right for Malaysia.

So, we should not be overly concerned with what Dr Mahathir says. He has an undying hatred for Anwar. The two will continue to battle until one dies. We ought to see any statements about Anwar from Dr Mahathir as personal assessments with little political significance.

Anwar Ibrahim has the right to want to become the PM of Malaysia. If more people accept him, there is nothing anyone can do. Not even Dr Mahathir.

Since the Khalid Ibrahim issue broke out, Anwar Ibrahim has been relatively quiet. Perhaps he has been issuing directives behind closed doors. Otherwise, his treatment of Khalid has been tangential- producing a subdued article about what is a leader without followers. Not quite a fire and brimstone article.

Otherwise, Anwar hasn’t criticised Khalid aggressively as did the others in PKR. Perhaps Anwar’s approach is a reflection of what Khalid has achieved in the more positive side.

Why is it wrong for Anwar to harbour the ambition to become PM? If he thinks he has the capacity to become the next PM and he has the support of Pakatan and the rakyat, Anwar ought to be voted in to become PM. I have said it many times, if Najib can become PM, anyone else can. You can look at the statement from any perspectives you like.

If I can single out Anwar’s most important achievement, it is that he has bonded 3 different major political parties to share a common platform. Not even Tengku Razaleigh when he broke away from Umno to form Semangat 46 could achieve what Anwar did.

With a shared platform, Anwar has managed to offer the rakyat an alternative to BN, itself made of up of several different political parties. So why should Anwar be seen a lesser man and therefore not fit to become PM?

Malaysians owe him an eternal debt of gratitude for forging a common platform. The common platform is by no means absolute – it is rather a continuing work in progress as the different political parties strive to understand each other better. The recent Selangor saga showed clearly, the bond that exists between PAS- DAP and PKR must be strengthened with mutual respect, understanding and trust.

The only chink in Anwar’s armour is his alleged sexual misconduct, so depraved as the BN paints it out to be, that Anwar is morally unfit to become PM. His alleged recent most victim, Saiful Bukhari is suing Anwar for RM50 million. That makes Saiful the owner of the most expensive behind in Malaysia!

Now that morally depraved, is something you cannot conclusively proved. Since 1998, Anwar has been in and out of courts and even jailed for a number of years.

The duration of his association with the courts, which makes Anwar the “other” friend of the court, is now seen by the rakyat as being no ordinary prosecution but a persecution.

How can a man be persecuted for that long a time? Anwar’s endurance has even earned and gained admiration for that can only reflect a resolute and unshakeable spirit of the man. Any other man would have wilted a long time ago.

Indeed, rather than indicate a morally depraved being, Anwar’s endurance to withstand the longest persecution in Malaysian history has shown that Anwar has the moral fortitude.

Surely such a man is more than qualified to become the PM of Malaysia. How I personally feel about the man, is not significant at all. For that matter, to anyone else.  Can and will he gain the trust of the rakyat is more important and far greater significant. – sakmongkol.blogspot.com, August 20, 2014.

20 August 2014

Pendapat

Pendapat Anda?

Foreign Policy

The Obama administration’s escalating air war against the Islamic State is running up against a dispiriting new reality: The militants are becoming as good at governing territory as they are at conquering it, making it considerably harder to dislodge them from the broad swaths of Syria and Iraq that they now control.

U.S. intelligence officials say the leaders of the Islamic State are adopting methods first pioneered by Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based Shiite militia, and are devoting considerable human and financial resources toward keeping essential services like electricity, water, and sewage functioning in their territory. In some areas, they even operate post offices.

The militants have built new court systems to enforce their harsh interpretation of sharia law, which punishes thieves by amputating their hands and has sentenced numerous Christians and other religious minorities to death because of their beliefs, the officials added.

At the same time, the Islamic State has generally allowed the local bureaucrats in charge of hospitals, law enforcement, trash pickup, and other municipal services to stay in their jobs, according to intelligence officials. In some areas, sitting mayors and other top local officeholders are keeping their posts.

Taken together, the moves highlight the fact that the Islamic State, already the best-armed and best-funded terror group in the world, is quickly adapting to the challenges of ruling and governing. That, in turn, dramatically reduces the chances that the extremists will face homegrown opposition in what amounts to the world’s newest territory.

“ISIS is the most dangerous terrorist group in the world because they combine the fighting capabilities of al Qaeda with the administrative capabilities of Hezbollah,” said David Kilcullen, a counterinsurgency expert who spent several years working as a top aide to Gen. David Petraeus during the height of the Iraq War. “It’s clear that they have a state-building agenda and an understanding of the importance of effective governance.”

In some areas under their control, the Islamic State is opening hospitals, building new roads, launching bus services, rehabilitating schools (at least for boys), and launching small-business programs designed to juice the local economies. In Syria, where bread is a core staple, the militants focus on managing local wheat mills and bakeries to ensure that supplies remain high enough to feed a population that was in some areas on the edge of starvation.

The group’s focus on good governance, at least by militant standards, starts at the top. In his first public comments after conquering Mosul, the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, called on ”scientists, scholars, preachers, judges, doctors, engineers and people with military and administrative expertise” to help govern the land his group controls. Those weren’t just words: Shortly after taking control of Mosul, Baghdadi transferred the Islamic State’s hospital administrator for the Syrian city of Raqqa to Mosul to take that same job there, Kilcullen said.

In Raqqa, which has been under Islamic State control for months, traffic police remain on the streets and local citizens pay taxes to the militants, who in turn give them receipts stamped with the group’s logo. A local goldsmith told the New York Times that the taxes are far cheaper than the bribes residents had to pay when Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad was in control. “I feel like I am dealing with a respected state, not thugs,” the goldsmith said.

The Islamic State also launched a “hearts-and-minds” campaign of sorts. In one of the more jarring examples, the group held a “fun day” in Mosul where the militants passed out soccer balls and held Quran memorization and recitation contests. The Islamic State, Kilcullen said, “is thinking like a state.”

20 August 2014

Pendapat

Pendapat Anda?

Foreign Policy

Egypt’s generals appear to have an awfully short memory. A year after they massacred supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood in the streets of Cairo, they have some advice for American authorities on how to handle the spiraling unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. In a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Egyptian government urges the United States to show “respect for the right of assembly and peaceful expression of opinion.”

A Ferguson police officer’s killing of an unarmed black teenager has sparked days of intensifying violence there, and a heavy-handed police response to ensuing protests has resulted in widespread international outrage. But the comments from the Egyptian government are depressingly hypocritical. A year ago, during the hot months of July and August, the military government in Egypt attempted to clear the streets of Cairo in a bloody crackdown. More than 1,000 peopledied during the ensuing crackdown, which came to embody the extreme, violent lengths to which the Egyptian military would go to hold on to power and keep the Muslim Brotherhood out of office.

The notion that Egypt’s government would have any constructive advice to offer on humane policing tactics is a dark, cruel joke.

Indeed, events in Ferguson — a police killing with obviously racial overtones followed by an aggressive police response — has provided a fertile opportunity for both America’s enemies and allies to poke Uncle Sam in the eye. Xinhua, the Chinese state outlet,editorialized on the issue, noting that 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr. articulated his dream for a more free and equal America, his vision has yet to be realized. Turkish media has compared the unrest in Ferguson to anti-government protests in Taksim Square, in Istanbul. Russian coverage of Ferguson has entertained a gleefully apocalyptic tone. The supreme leader of Iran also got in on the fun.

Here’s the full Egyptian statement, in a translation provided by Sophia Jones:

“In response to a question by the Middle East News Agency on the escalating protests in the city of Ferguson in the state of Missouri as a result of the killing of the young American Michael Brown by police:

The Foreign Ministry spokesperson stated that we are closely following the escalation of protests and demonstrations in the city of Ferguson and the reactions to them. He pointed out U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s statements, which reflect the international community’s stance toward these events, especially what the secretary-general mentioned in regard to restraint and respect for the right of assembly and peaceful expression of opinion and his hope that ongoing investigations shed light on the killing of the American youth and that justice will be enforced, in addition to him urging authorities to deal with the protests according to American and international standards.”

20 August 2014

Pendapat

Pendapat Anda?

TMI

During the tumultuous PR-Selangor episode, which has not come to a conclusion yet, PAS has exposed its true colour when Dr Mohd Zuhdi used racist remarks in his messages and was not sacked from the party or even reprimanded by the PAS leadership. PAS has neither apologised nor tried to explain the incident in a wider perspective. PAS has to do something about this as its non-Malay voters are turning away.

PAS has also shown itself as having no real principle when after being adamant in wanting Khalid Ibrahim to stay on, which has almost divided PAS into two factions, one supporting Abdul Hadi and the other Anwar Ibrahim.

Then, in just over an hour of discussion, they decided to retract their support for Khalid Ibrahim. In short, after so much hue, PAS’s stubbornness simply fizzled out. PAS has to admit that it is now openly divided. Many new voters and PAS supporters have now decided not to support either PAS or PR from now on.

DAP has shown its solidarity almost steadfastly throughout the fiasco with only one or two isolated voices of dissent against the DAP leadership and against both PKR and PAS. Yet many new DAP supporters have decided not to support PR just because of the blunder made by PAS.

PKR however has been consistent in wanting to bulldoze its agenda. Despite the sacking of Khalid Ibrahim from the party and resignation of Faekah, Khalid’s personal assistant and the imminent PKR frogs leaping across to richer soil, PKR leadership has shown to be united and resolute in their endeavour. Yet many new supporters have concluded that PKR is just another Umno and refused to support PR anymore.

See, the Pakatan Rakyat ship was really sailing in a stormy weather and a very rough sea with some even being thrown overboard but fortunately the ship managed survived almost intact. Well at least for now.

But damage has been done with the voters now having second thoughts on how reliable the ship is. Can the PR ship continue its promised journey and reach its destination smoothly from now on? Can the crew of the ship be trusted not to have a mutiny and sail elsewhere or is the ship still sailing on its original route or is it being diverted to Treasure Island and the ship’s passengers will eventually become pirates and start killing each other once they reach the island?

However, in hindsight, once on the same ship, the various component party members are aware that they have to stay united or the ship will sink in unchartered waters. Pakatan Rakyat should be a given second chance. After all, despite all its wrongdoings, Umno/BN has been given all the chances for the past 60 years!

The voters must realise that no matter what, Umno/BN has the upper hand and PR is always the underdog. BN has a very long history and is a registered party whereas PR is just a loose coalition and refused recognition by the Registrar of Societies which is a government body.

Note that the hardcore PR supporters have given unwavering support in the past two general elections and on the basis of individual party, hardcore DAP and PAS supporters have been consistent in their support.

Note also that the group of voters that made the increase in the percentage of PR voters in GE13 is the new group of supporters comprising newly-registered voters, fence sitters and the ones who want to make a change, especially amongst young voters who are idealistic.

Based on their reactions in the various social media, some sort of picture has emerged reflecting their aspirations and mentality. They have started to turn away from PR as described above.

In fact, some veteran supporters too are having the same mentality. Maybe they are expecting a miracle from PR to make huge changes in the national politics in just two general elections!

This group of idealistic voters is not huge in numbers but they can make a huge difference between PR and BN.

Now, this is the group that has been taken aback by the PR-Selangor fiasco and they make judgements and conclusions based on what they observed on the surface without looking at the bigger picture and at times very naïve. They do not have a balanced view and really compare PR with BN, thus their love lost with PR and they start sulking.

They must realise that no matter what, Umno/BN has the upper hand and PR is always the underdog. BN has a very long history and is a registered party whereas PR is just a loose coalition and refused recognition by the Registrar of Societies which is a government body.

While BN has gone through many episodes and is a veteran, PR is still too young and untested, until now. BN is financially strong while PR is struggling to survive so much so that PAS has to circulate its donation boxes in every “ceramah”.

While PPP, MIC, MCA, Gerakan and the other component parties in Sabah and Sarawak are weak and willing sleeping partners, PAS and DAP of PR are old and established having their own vision and agendas. PKR is like a rookie trying to tame two reputable veterans.

Umno/BN has the advantage of the government machineries while PR has to do everything on its own accord. Umno/BN has all the power to suppress PR and PR only has its few lawyers defending it against the judges in the courts that have lost its integrity as exposed by the Lingam’s tape.

There are many shortcomings in PR and also many bad apples and moles who could throw the wrench into the PR gear.

So all those young, idealistic, temperament and naïve voters and supporters, including a few veteran voters as well, how could you simply decide now just based on the PR-Selangor episode to lose hope and not to continue supporting PR? You are living in a real world with realpolitik and not in a fantasy land with all sorts of miracle.

But could all of you, in fact, all this while be really Umno/BN supporters at heart and just wanted to try PR?

20 August 2014

Pendapat

Pendapat Anda?

TMI

The Court of Appeal today dismissed Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar’s appeal to amend his defence in a RM100 million defamation suit against him which was filed by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Judge Datuk Aziz Abdul Rahim, who chaired a three-man bench, said the court was not persuaded by the argument put forward by Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who appeared for Khairy.

“The High Court made a correct finding to disallow the amendments by the defence. Therefore, we dismiss the appeal,” he said.

Anwar had filed the suit against Khairy (pic) on March 7, 2008, after Khairy had allegedly made slanderous accusations that were posted on several websites, including news portal Malaysiakini.

The case is scheduled for case management tomorrow when judicial commissioner S.M. Komathy Suppiah is expected to fix the trial dates.

Komathy in October rejected Khairy, who is now youth and sports minister, from including particulars to bring clarity to his defence.

Anwar filed the suit against Khairy, saying that Khairy had uttered defamatory words and caused a video entitled “Anwar and kin no threat” to be posted on websites, including Malaysiakini.com.

The opposition leader also claimed that the video on Malaysiakini included parts of Khairy’s speech at Lembah Pantai on or around February 20, 2008.

Khairy is relying on the defence of justification and qualified privilege.

20 August 2014

Pendapat

Pendapat Anda?

TMI

t is unheard of to frame a charge against lawyer N. Surendran for criticising a written judgment of the court, a retired judge and lawyers said.

They said it was ridiculous to prosecute him under the Sedition Act for expressing his opinion, adding that there must be room for dissent and criticism in a democratic society like Malaysia.

Retired Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram said anyone was welcomed to criticise a judgment in the strongest terms.

“You only run foul of the law like contempt of court for attacking the judges personally.”

He said he had never come across anyone, let alone a member of the Bar, being prosecuted under the archaic law, from the time he started practice in 1970 until his retirement from the bench in 2010.

“It is common for lawyers and academicians to dissect judgments. Are we not now allowed to make a critical evaluation of the judges’ legal opinions?”

Sri Ram was referring to the sedition charge against Surendran yesterday for publishing an article, in which he wrote that the Court of Appeal ruling on March 7 which found Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim guilty for sodomy was “flawed, defensive and insupportable”.

Michelle Yesudas of Lawyers for Liberty said Surendran made the statement while carrying out his duty as a lawyer and the charge is similar to the sedition charge and conviction of the late Karpal Singh.

Karpal was found guilty in February 2014 for giving his legal opinion as a lawyer during the 2009 constitutional crisis of Perak.

“Surendran’s case sets an arbitrary and unjust precedent that will allow courts to convict lawyers for legal views that conflict with the political stance of the government,” said Yesudas, who is the legal/campaign coordinator of the lawyers’ group.

She said the Najib administration held the record for the most absurd sedition charges against opposition leaders and dissidents like Teresa Kok, Tian Chua, Datuk Tamrin Ghafar, Haris Ibrahim, Safwan Anang, Adam Adli, Hishamuddin Rais, Suhaimi Shafie.

“We therefore call on the police and Attorney-General’s Chambers to conduct themselves in a professional, fair and independent manner.”

Lawyer Ragunath Kesavan said the Malaysian judiciary had gone through a tough time and they had been robust with criticism, adding that Surendran’s statement was mild.

“The police and prosecution should not overreact just because multiple reports were made against the accused.”

The former Bar Council chairman also said public institutions should not be cowed by pressure but should instead do the right thing based on merit.

“Lodging 300 reports nationwide, for example, did not reflect the culpability of the offence under this archaic law.”

18 August 2014

Pendapat

Pendapat Anda?

18 August 2014

Pendapat

Pendapat Anda?

TMI

Published: 22 August 2011

My name is Anwar bin Ibrahim. I am the leader of the Opposition in Parliament. In the 1990s, I was the Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister until September 1998 when then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad sacked me after I had refused to resign. He had told me to resign or face dire consequences including criminal prosecution for alleged sexual and corruption offences. I refused and all hell broke loose. My unceremonious and grossly unjust dismissal simultaneously orchestrated with a trial by media under Mahathir’s complete control triggered mass and widespread demonstrations throughout the country and launched the movement for change and reform known in our history as the Reformasi era.

After a series of show trials during which every rule in the book on evidence and criminal procedure was violated with impunity at the hands of the prosecution and the courts, I was convicted and sentenced to a total of 15 years.

THE CHARGE AGAINST ME

 

First and foremost, I categorically deny the charge against me. I want to state in no uncertain terms that I have never had any sexual relations with the complainant Mohamed Saiful. His allegation is a blatant and vicious lie and will be proved to be so.This is a vile and despicable attempt at character assassination. In this regard, let me reiterate that they can do all they want to assassinate my character and sully my reputation and threaten me with another 20 years of imprisonment but mark my words, they won’t be able to cow me into submission. On the contrary, it only serves to fortify my conviction that the truth will eventually prevail. Come what may, I shall never surrender. With apologies to Jean Racine in “Phaedra”:

“You know how well your tyranny favours my temperament and strengthens me to guard the honour of my reputation.”

Yes indeed, I will guard it with my life if I have to. And if I may bring the message closer to home, let me quote the words of Nelson Mandela in his speech made from the dock in the famous Rivonia show trial of 1963 under the apartheid regime:

“I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Back in 1998, blindfolded and handcuffed, I was beaten senseless by the Inspector-General of Police and left to die in the lock up at the Federal Police headquarters. However, it was by the grace of God that a few of the rank and file of the police took pity on me and nursed me to recover from the near lethal blows. There was then a cover up by Gani Patail (now the Attorney-General) and Musa Hassan (the IGP at the time that I was charged in this new episode) with the full knowledge and connivance of Datuk Yusuf, the current chief prosecutor in this trial. All these personalities were linked in one way or the other with the 1998 show trial and more insidiously with the suppression of evidence in respect of the black eye scandal and attempts to pervert the course of justice. These are the same personalities who are now actively involved in the current prosecution against me. Res ipsa loquitur, as they say, but in this regard I’m not talking about negligence but rather proof of criminality in this heinous plot betraying indeed “the deep damnation” of the conspiracy.

The circumstances are compelling that I elect to make a statement from the dock. And in this statement I shall attempt my utmost to place the truth ahead of the web of lies and deceit that has been spun thus far. To quote Shakespeare:

“And let us once again assail your ears,

That are so fortified against our story…”

Which has set me from the outset of the trial to have been deprived of a level playing field and subjected to inequality of arms vis-a-vis the prosecution.

The prosecution’s failure to discharge its duties professionally

1) Even though these matters are done as a matter of routine in criminal proceedings, the Prosecution has consistently refused to disclose material critical to my defence, including: (a) prosecution witness list; (b) primary hospital examination notes written by the medical examiners of the complainant at HBKL; (c) witness statements (including that of complainant); and (d) forensic samples and exhibits for independent examination and verification. All this has caused considerable prejudice to my defence and occasioned grave injustice. The only conclusion that one can reasonably draw from the prosecution’s persistence in this act of perversity is that unseen hands are at work and it is certainly not the hand of God.

2) Your failure to respond during the course of the trial to several attempts by persons hostile to me to discredit me by commenting on aspects of the trial. These included whether I should provide samples of his DNA; blaming the defence for the delay of the proceedings; and reporting on matters that were the subject of a suppression order. These public comments were made either in defiance of your orders that they not be made. They were made by Umno officials and politicians, including Datuk Seri Najib orchestrated through the controlled electronic and print media, such as Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian, the New Straits Times and TV3. The constant comments by the Prime Minister and Umno officials in the media and adverse comments on the progress of the trial were clearly calculated to influence you and illustrates the political motive behind the charge.

3) The latest act of blatant disregard occurred just last Tuesday and Wednesday over TV3 which broadcasted a pre-recorded interview with the complainant saying things which are clearly in contempt of the proceedings in respect of the trial. In particular, the audacious portrayal of himself as the victim who is a pious and God-fearing Muslim who has sworn on the Quran that he is a witness of truth.

4) But the truth is that even as the trial was in progress, the complainant who was engaged to someone else was shamelessly having an affair with a member of the prosecution team. Quite apart from the consequences of such an affair on the conduct of the prosecution, the complainant’s facade of moral rectitude is shattered by this scandalous affair with the lady prosecutor who herself was also engaged with another man.

5) In spite of all this, the complainant, assisted by the full force of the Umno propaganda machine, via their media, has gone to town to vilify me. The point is that all comments were calculated to discredit me, adversely influence the course of the proceedings and to intimidate the witnesses at the trial. In spite of all these blatant transgressions, you have persistently refused to respond to any of these acts of contemptuous behaviour.

The solemn duty of a judge is not to sit mute when the law provides for a court of its own motion to issue show-cause notices against those who interfere in the administration of justice. I am reminded of the maxim Judex Habere Debet Duos Sales, Salem Sapicutiae, Ne Sit Insipidus, Et Salem Conscientiea, Ne Sit Diabolous, the English translation of which is,

“A judge should have two salts, the salt of wisdom, lest he be insipid; and the salt of conscience, lest he be devilish”.

The office of a judge is one of the most honourable in the country; he is the voice of the legislator and the organ for dispensing justice; he holds the balance between the executive and the subject.

Even more significantly, in the discharge of his duties, the judge should be mindful of Allah’s command:

“…and let not hatred of others

Swerve you into error

And depart from justice.

Be just, that is nearer to piety

Fear Allah, For Allah is

well acquainted with all that you do” — Surah al-maidah: 8

In the middle of the Second World War in 1942, Lord Atkin, in Liversidge v Anderson, had occasion to say in the House of Lords,

“It has long been one of the pillars of freedom…that the judges are no respecters of persons and stand between the subject and any attempted encroachment on his liberty by the executive, alert to see that any coercive action is justified by law.”’

In my case, YA, presiding in an adversarial trial, had the residual power and the jurisdiction to have invoked YA’s powers relating to contempt of court. YA chose not to do so for reasons best known to YA. What has happened is not in the best traditions of the Judiciary. In the ongoing Banting murder trial, the learned trial judge in that case, YA Datuk Akhtar Tahir, took it upon himself to summon a local television producer over a clip it aired during its prime news slot relating to the defence in the murder trial of Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and three others. A newspaper clipping of that report is annexed herewith. YA Datuk Akhtar Tahir has courageously demonstrated judicial activism in the name of human rights and the essential requirement of a fair trial.

To compound the position to incredulity, the open scandal relating to DPP Farah Azlina Latiff having an affair with PW1 did not concern YA. This invidious relationship should have alerted YA in that I have been denied a fair trial for the simple reason that Farah Azlina Latiff would have had access to the investigation papers being a member of the prosecution’s team and, therefore, PW1 would, through this relationship, would have had knowledge of the statements given by witnesses, including my alibi witnesses in the course of the investigation.

YA did not even chastise Farah Azlina Latiff for the illicit affair with SP1. All that was done was that Farah Azlina Latiff was taken off the prosecution team at the behest of the prosecution which was an open confirmation of the existence of that illicit affair. Farah Azlina Latiff did not deny the allegations against her. Neither was PW1 recalled by the prosecution to deny the existence of this unsavoury affair.

The Attorney-General had publicly stated the reasons would be given later to account for the sordid affair. That has yet to eventuate.

Yet, in the face of this, YA, at the close of the prosecution case, made a finding that PW1 was a truthful witness from this passage in the judgment as follows,

“Nothing came out from the lengthy cross-examination of PW1 or from the evidence of other prosecution’s witnesses that could suggest what PW1 had told in his evidence was something which was not probable. I find PW1’s evidence remains intact. He had truthfully and without embellishment or exaggeration in his evidence narrated in minute detail how he was sodomised by the accused on the date and at the place stated in the charge. I find him to be truthful witness and his evidence is reliable and if accepted would establish all the facts required to prove the charge against the accused.”

My lawyers had clearly made the submission that YA had made a prejudgment when YA ought to have only made findings as to who was telling the truth at the conclusion of the defence, in which event, I would have given evidence under oath. My lawyers did not, at any time, advert to the passage above in isolation. They zeroed in on the obvious, namely, whether a witness was truthful or not had to be decided at the close of the defence case. The provisions of section 182A(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code provided the judge with that guidance but to no avail. That section bears repeating. It states:

“At the conclusion of the trial, the court shall consider all the evidence adduced before it and shall decide whether the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.”

Pursuant to what I have stated above, I have been denied the benefit of putting up my defence under oath. That amounts to deprivation of a fair trial and the existence of a level playing field.

The Court of Appeal going out of line

My appeal to the Court of Appeal over the recusal of YA on account of prejudgment, following which would have resulted in biasness was heard on July 6, 2011. A copy of the order is annexed herewith. No written judgment was handed down by the Court of Appeal on July 6. The appeal was dismissed summarily on the preliminary objection taken by the prosecution that the order appealed against was not a final order. Those were the reasons given in open court. Nothing more, nothing less. The Court of Appeal took no more than five minutes to dispose of the appeal.

Unbeknownst to me or my lawyers, there was at the same time a 40-page judgment under the hand of YA Datuk Haji Abdul Malik bin Haji Ishak, also dated July 6, 2011. A copy of that judgment is annexed herewith.

Why did the Court of Appeal not read out the 91 paragraphed grounds of judgment dated July 6 on July 6 itself? Obviously, this judgment was at hand on July 6 but had surreptitiously been concealed from my knowledge and the knowledge of the public. The letter dated August 11, 2011 supplying a copy of this judgment to my lawyers is annexed herewith. As is usual, YA must have had the benefit of reading this judgment which will further exacerbate your bias against me. The judgment is an open and flagrant attack on me to which I will advert in due course. Suffice to say at this juncture that here is a judgment of the Court of Appeal written after July 6, 2011 which contains harsh criticism against me without my being given the opportunity to reply.

But that begs the question: the appeal had been dismissed in limine on the ground that the order appealed against was not a final order. That should have been the end of the matter because it followed that the court had no jurisdiction to entertain the appeal. [YA Datuk Haji Abdul Malik bin Haji Ishak sat mute during the course of submissions on the preliminary objection]. The matter did not go beyond into the merits. That is what the Court of Appeal announced on July 6 without going an inch further. The preliminary objection is adverted to, not as the main part of the judgment. The major part of the judgment goes beyond. It is a frolic of his own used for the purpose of hitting out at me.

If that was so, why did Datuk Haji Abdul Malik bin Haji Ishak embark upon a relentless attack on me in the rest of the judgment? In fact, he had no jurisdiction to do so. This is a blatant abuse of judicial power, perhaps in a surreptitious attempt to curry favour the political masters? Otherwise, how else can one explain as to why he embarked upon such a scurrilous attack on me by stating in the following paragraphs as numbered:

“[5] This case will fall in history. It will be chronicled as the only known case in our country or for that matter within the Commonwealth enclave where the appellant as an accused person persistently and consistently filed one application after another in an attempt to recuse the learned trial judge from hearing and continuing to hear the sodomy trial which is ongoing.

“[6] It seems that the appellant here is trying his level best to scuttle his sodomy trial for reasons best known to him, much to the chagrin of the prosecution and the exasperation of the members of the public at large.

“[15] It was certainly an uncalled for criticism [against the learned judge] bent to deceive and confuse the uninitiated. It is easy to criticise but it is always difficult to justify it.

“[18] It is also difficult for us to accept that the Notice of Motion was filed out of a genuine belief that the learned trial judge had been biased against the appellant.

“[49] The charge graphically described what the appellant did to Mohd Saiful Bukhari Bin Azlan [PW1.] [It is elementary that it is the evidence, not the charge, which proves an offence].

“[50] The trial was unduly prolonged. It received wide media coverage.

“[56] After such a fine display of judicial impropriety, Y.A. Datuk Haji Abdul Malik bin Haji Ishak now has audacity to patronise us about a sound judicial system by stating, in what sounds like a broken symbol, as follows:

“The perquisites of a sound judicial system are independence and impartiality. For an effective and a strong judicial system, the impartiality of its judges is of paramount importance. But it cannot be denied that the public’s confidence in the judicial system is shaped and moulded more by appearances.”

YA Datuk Haji Abdul Malik bin Haji Ishak rather ungraciously, and without jurisdiction, took a swipe at the judgment of his brother judges of the Court of Appeal including Richard Malanjum, now Chief Judge (Sabah and Sarawak), with the obvious purpose of humiliating them when stating:

“[72] Rowstead did not consider the ‘real danger of bias’ test in determining whether the learned JC should have recused himself notwithstanding the Federal Court had earlier on applied the said test in:

(a) Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang v Syarikat Bekerjasama-sama Serbaguna Sungai Gelugor dengan Tanggungan [1999] 3 MLJ 1, FC; and

(b) Mohamed Ezam bin Mohd Nor & Ors v Ketua Polis Negara [2002] 1 MLJ 321, FC

“[73] Consequently, Rowstead’s suggestion that the request for recusal to be heard by another judge is quite radical. We categorically say that the recusal request, like the present matter, was rightly heard at the first instance by the learned trial judge and followed by this court.

“[74] Rowstead did not consider nor ventilate on section 3 of the CJA read with section 50(1)(a) of the CJA and the Explanatory Statement thereto.

“[75] The recusal application housed in the Notice of Motion concerned a long protracted trial that saw the legal manoeuvrings activated by the appellant at every nook and corner in an attempt to scuttle the criminal trial of the appellant for an offence of sodomising PW1. It is the mother of all trials in Malaysia.”

[I had every right to exhaust all legal remedies open to me. No attempt has been made by anyone, or any quarter, to prevent me from doing so by seeking an order to declare me a vexatious litigant].

As alluded to earlier in this statement, YA would have had the advantage of reading this judgment after it was distributed by letter dated August 11, 2011. This, in effect, amounts to placing, by YA Datuk Haji Abdul Malik bin Haji Ishak, alleged bad character evidence on my behalf.

In view of this, how can I get a fair trial or even the semblance of one before the trial judge now who has been further put in a position to compound biasness against me?

How can I possibly give evidence under oath when the DPP has, in his possession, the same judgment which could be used against me in cross-examination? YA cannot be disabused of what has been fed to YA by YA Datuk Haji Abdul Malik bin Haji Ishak when delivering a judgment dated July 6, 2011 which obviously, having regard to the length thereof, must have been prepared well before July 6, 2011.

This is scandalous.

Then again, why wasn’t the judgment which, even if written after midnight on July 5, 2011 read out in open court so that I could counter and demolish all the allegations made against me by YA Datuk Haji Abdul Malik Bin Haji Ishak?

It is elementary no one should be condemned, unheard. This is axiomatic. As far back as August 12, 1999 the Federal Court, the highest court in the land, in Insas Bhd and Anor v Ayer Molek Rubber Company Bhd and others had occasion, after adverting to the authorities on the position to rule,

“The offensive remarks made by the Court of Appeal against the High Court, the applicants and their counsel ought to be expunged from the judgment of the Court of Appeal, as it had a tendency to bring the whole administration of law and order into disrepute. Judicial pronouncements should be judicial in nature and should not depart from sobriety, moderation, and reserve. It also should not display emotion and intemperance, as displayed in the judgment of the Court of Appeal.”

Adverting to an Indian Supreme Court case of State of Uttar Pradesh v Mohd Naim, the Federal Court had occasion to adopt what was said there as follows;

“If there is one principle of cardinal importance in the administration of justice, it is this: the proper freedom and independence of judges and magistrates must be maintained and they must be allowed to perform their functions freely and fearlessly and without undue interference by anybody, even by this court. At the same time it is equally necessary that in expressing their opinions, judges and magistrates must be guided by considerations of justice, fair play and restraint. It is not infrequent that sweeping generalizations defeat the very purpose for which they are made. It has been judicially recognised that in the matter of making disparaging remarks against persons or authorities whose conduct comes into consideration before courts of law in cases to be decided by them, it is relevant to consider: (a) whether the part whose conduct is in question is before the court or has an opportunity of explaining or defending himself; (b) whether there is evidence on record bearing on that conduct justifying the remarks; and (c) whether it is necessary for the decision of the case, as an integral part thereof, to animadvert on conduct. It has also been recognised that judicial pronouncements must be judicial in nature, and should not normally depart from sobriety, moderation and reserve.”

In Insas, the Federal Court adopted what was said in AM Mathur v Pramod Kumar Gupta & Ors when dismissing an apparently unsustainable review petition which had certain derogatory remarks against AM Mathur, a senior advocate and also the ex-Advocate General of the State. The Court had occasion to hold,

“Judicial restraint and discipline are as necessary to the orderly administration of justice as they are to the effectiveness of the army. The duty of restraint, this humility of function should be a constant theme of our judges. This quality in decision-making is as much necessary for judges to command respect as to protect the independence of the judiciary. Judicial restraint in this regard might be better called judicial respect, that is, respect by the judiciary. Respect to those who come before the court as well as to other co-ordinate branches of the State, the executive and the legislature. There must be mutual respect. When these qualities fail or when litigants and public believe that the judge has failed in these qualities, it will be neither good for the judge nor for the judicial process. The Judge’s Bench is a seat of power. Not only do judges have power to make binding decisions, their decisions legitimate the use of power by other officials. The judges have the absolute and unchallengeable control of the court domain. But they cannot misuse their authority by intemperate comments, undignified banter of scathing criticism of counsel, parties or witnesses. We concede that the court had the inherent power to act freely upon its own conviction on any matter coming before it for adjudication, but it is a general principle of the highest importance to the proper administration of justice that derogatory remarks ought not to be made against persons or authorities whose conduct comes into consideration unless it is absolutely necessary for the decision of the case to animadvert on their conduct.”

Chief Justice of India, Bhagwati, in State of Madya Pradesh & Ors v Nandlal & Ors, in expressing his strong disapproval of the strictures made by the judge, stated:

“We may observe in conclusion that judges should not use strong and carping language while criticising the conduct of parties or their witnesses. They must act with sobriety, moderation and restraint. They must have the humility to recognise that they are not infallible and any harsh and disparaging strictures passed by them against any party may be mistaken and unjustified and if so, they may do considerable harm and mischief and result in injustice. Here, in the present case, the observations made and strictures passed by BM Lal J were totally unjustified and unwarranted and they ought not to have been made.”

How could I under these circumstances give evidence under oath?

YA, when making the order for the witnesses offered to the defence for interview in court, gave a lifeline to the witnesses in stating in open court that they could refuse to be interviewed. YA did not in doing so evenly handle the scales of justice. YA created and perpetuated an imbalance unbecoming anyone holding the mantle of justice. In fact, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, former Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan, and SAC Datuk Rodhwan Ismail who featured prominently in the evidence of PW1 came to the interview room echoing similar protests namely, “We are not prepared to be interviewed” with the Prime Minister saying YA suggested this could be done. These were material witnesses compelling the defence now to resort to causing subpoenas to be issued for their presence.

YA has created a position under which I cannot give evidence under oath. I say, with all the force at my command, that I would have been prepared and willing to give evidence under oath but for the handicaps foisted on me, in the manner YA has conducted the trial and in the manner in which the Court of Appeal judgment dated July 6, 2011 would have come to the notice of YA with regard to what I have stated herein before.

My trial is an adversarial one and YA ought not to have descended into the arena by suggesting witnesses offered to the defence could deny to be interviewed. It did not come within the province of YA to do so.

My alibi witnesses made known to the prosecution were in fact included in the prosecution list of witnesses which was not supplied to my lawyers. They were defence alibi witnesses. I am informed this is the first time this has been done.

In fact, the owner of the unit 11-5-2, Haji Hasanuddin bin Abd Hamid, had been harassed by the police for a total of 30 hours in the recording of his statements which were all video recorded. This was obvious when he was interviewed by the defence lawyers in my presence. The police investigation has scuttled my defence.

To make a mockery of the situation, the prosecution offered at the close of their case an alibi witness named, Fitria binti Dipan, who by their own admission cannot be traced.

THE COMPLAINANT’S ALLEGATIONS ARE PURE FABRICATION

As I have said at the outset, I categorically deny the allegations made against me by the complainant.

The complainant stated in evidence on June 26, 2008 he arrived at Kondominium Desa Damansara at 2.45pm to discuss work matters and hand over documents given to him by one Ibrahim Yaakob [my Chief of Staff] to myself. He says he stopped his van at the security post and mentioned the code name “Mokhtar” to the guards at the condominium before being allowed in. He parked his vehicle and took the lift to Unit 11-5-1 where I was allegedly seated at a dining table in the living room. He says he sat down at the same table and started the discussion. He told the court of the crude manner in which I had allegedly asked for sex.

The following appears in his evidence thereafter (as attached).

When questioned, he answered that he was angry and scared and that he was not prepared to do it but purportedly because I had appeared angry, he eventually obliged. It has to be observed at this stage the complainant could have, on his own admission in examination-in-chief, left the room as there is no evidence of any attempt by me to latch the door from inside.

He had further alleged that he was ordered into the bedroom and that he did enter out of fear. Even at this stage, the complainant had the opportunity to leave the living room. He did not do so. The rest of the evidence in this regard clearly showed that the complainant had every opportunity on every occasion to flee but he did not do so. His reason was that he was petrified by fear. But such a reason flies against the facts. Here is a man in his early twenties, a six-footer, physically fit and robust and with powerful connections in the top police brass as well as the political elite with access to the very inner sanctum of power. Additionally, he has also been a key Umno student operative, having undergone the rigorous training conducted by the Biro Tata Negara of the Prime Minister’s Department. And here I was a 60-year-old man with a history of back injury who had undergone a major back surgery holding no position of power. If indeed I could have exercised any kind of undue influence or mental pressure on him, this could have been easily neutralised by a quick phone call to his connections. As regards the fear of physical harm, it would take a great stretch of the imagination to suggest that I could pose any physical harm to him.

Under cross-examination, the following significant evidence was elicited from the complainant. He admitted that he had brought along lubricant and had himself voluntarily and without hesitation applied it. He claimed that carnal intercourse took place and that it was painful and coarse. However, this was clearly not borne out in the medical evidence in the prosecution case suggesting fissures or tears. After the alleged act, he testified that he had a drink and engaged in a friendly conversation with me. Startlingly, no attempt was made by the complainant to seek immediate medical attention. Instead, he attended a PKR function the following day. In the evening, he joined a meeting of the Anwar Ibrahim Club at my house without showing any sign of either emotional or physical discomfort let alone trauma. On the contrary, he was going about matters in a calm and confident manner. His conduct therefore is totally inconsistent with having been violated. In any event, he neither made a police report nor sought medical attention, notwithstanding that two days prior to the alleged act, he had met with Najib and Rosmah as well having talked on the phone with Musa Hassan and met with Rodhwan at a hotel.

It is obvious, from the evidence above, that the complainant was lying through his teeth although YA, despite the compelling evidence to the contrary, found him a truthful witness at the close of the prosecution case. This defies logic, let alone the law.

Then again, the expert evidence with regard to DNA led in the course of prosecution case through PW4, Dr Seah Lay Hong, and PW5, Nor Aidora Saedon, was highly questionable in that crucial information pertaining to the DNA analysis of both the said witnesses which they were obliged to furnish to the court was suspiciously withheld despite them confirming the existence of such information. The real possibility that the samples analysed were contaminated and even planted were completely disregarded despite such possibilities coming clearly within guidelines set by the international forensic community which were completely ignored, if not, blatantly disregarded by PW4 and PW5 to fit the prosecution’s case. It is obvious had the said possibilities been explored, the conclusions reached would have been very different in that the complainant’s own semen was found in his own anus, there was ample evidence of contributors other than Male Y around the complainant’s perianal, lower and higher rectal region and there was clear evidence of the samples having been tampered with before they were sent for analysis. In such circumstances, the integrity of the said samples was surely compromised. Furthermore, the impartiality of PW4 was highly questionable having regard to the way in which she completely dismissed the very high possibility that the samples sent to her would have degraded to a certain degree by the time they reached her which such degradation was completely absent from all samples in this case. This clearly points to the obvious reality that the samples sent for analysis could not have been what were extracted from the complainant’s person.

Trial within a trial

The Gestapo-like manner in which I was arrested and the subsequent detention and interrogation by the police all betrayed the hands of the political masters at work. What was the need to send in balaclava-clad commandos to effect the arrest if not to attempt to flex political muscle and to display pure vindictiveness? These startling facts were completely ignored by YA.

YA had made an earlier ruling to exclude the recovery of certain items including water bottle, Good Morning towel, toothpaste from the lock-up at IPK, Kuala Lumpur where I had been detained overnight from 16.7.08 to 17.7.08. However, you reversed this ruling subsequently which is something most shocking and unprecedented.

Although in the trial within a trial, I had adverted to the role of Taufik and Supt Jude Pereira, the prosecution elected only to call Taufik in rebuttal in the trial within a trial. Taufik attempted to produce a photostat copy of the warrant of arrest which was only marked as an ID and, therefore, could not be considered as evidence in the trial within a trial. A photostat copy of a document is not admissible as evidence in a court of law. It was in the trial within a trial that primary evidence of the document ought to have been given if the original record had been lost or destroyed.

The prosecution could not, by producing the original warrant of arrest in the main trial, cure the infirmity. It is in evidence that three copies of the warrant of arrest were in the possession of Supt Jude Pereira. The evidence of the warrant of arrest was available during the trial within a trial.

Even Supt Jude Periera, whose role was adverted to by me during the trial within a trial, chose not to take the stand despite having had the opportunity to have produced the original copy of the warrant of arrest in the trial within a trial.

It was during the trial within a trial that Supt Jude Periera should have testified. It was clearly unlawful for the court to accept Supt Jude Periera’s evidence in the general trial for the purpose of rebutting my evidence in the trial within a trial that the DNA profiling from the Good Morning towel, toothbrush and mineral water bottle had been obtained by unfair methods and unfair means and my arrest, therefore, had been procured unlawfully.

In fact, Supt Jude Periera’s evidence in the general trial confirms that there had been non-compliance with Rule 20 of the Lock-up Rules, 1953 in that I, after my arrest on 16.7.08, had not been placed in the lock-up from 6pm to 6am the following day. The provisions of Rule 20 are mandatory.

If this was the position in our case, which it was, then, clearly, my being taken to the HKL in breach of Rule 20 reflected unfair means and unfair methods being employed by the police to obtain the DNA profiling from the items set out hereinbefore. The position is further compounded by the evidence of Supt Jude Periera in the general trial that he did not direct police personnel in charge of the lock-up not to touch the said items despite the police personnel in the general trial before the trial within a trial, clearly, saying that Supt Jude Periera had done so.

So the position comes to this, Supt Jude Periera, in his evidence on oath in the main trial, supports the defence case that unfair methods and unfair means had been used by the police to obtain DNA profiling from the items set out hereinbefore.

From the ruling made by the court to exclude the items, it is clear it was based on unfair means and unfair methods employed by the police meaning it was by trick and deception that the police attempted to introduce the DNA evidence.

In any event, from the evidence of DSP Taufik given in the trial within a trial and the general trial, the grounds of arrest could not have been given by him to me in Segambut as this is, clearly, contradicted by the evidence of S.N. Nair and myself.

The question of challenging evidence given in the main trial by DSP Taufik and Supt Jude Periera does not arise. It was the assertions made under oath by me that my arrest was unlawful and unfair methods and unfair means had been used to obtain his DNA profiling in the trial within a trial stood unchallenged by the prosecution by leading lawful evidence in rebuttal of those assertions. In fact, YA should have drawn an adverse inference against the prosecution for not having done so.

FORENSIC EVIDENCE

The prosecution case rests on the evidence of the DNA and so-called “findings of seminal fluid” or “sperm” as they claim. As a matter of fact, this is the only forensic evidence upon which the foundation of the prosecution’s so-called proof rests. Yet, this foundation is erected on shaky grounds though this has not prevented them working in hand in glove with the powers that be to mount an insidious and relentless campaign to vilify me.

The fact is that there is not an iota of evidence, DNA or otherwise, that has ever been found in the premises of the alleged act, not in the wash room, bedroom, carpets or anywhere else where such evidence ought to have been found.

Supt Pereira, despite being instructed to keep the HKL samples (marked B1 to B10) in a freezer, deliberately defied the instruction of Dr Siew Sheue Fong (HKL forensic doctor) and also admitted that he was in serious breach of the IGSO (he even stated he took full and personal responsibility for breaking of the IGSO), when he deliberately kept the HKL samples in his office cabinet for about 43 hrs before delivering them to the chemist. One must not forget that the alleged act was supposed to have occurred two days prior to the said samples having been extracted. Coupled with this 43-hour delay in delivery to the chemist, it would mean that the samples were already at least 90 hours old by the time they were examined by the chemist. Undoubtedly, the samples would have totally degraded. Yet evidence by the prosecution claimed that no degradation of any consequence had occurred.

In any event, even the 43-hour delay alone would have seriously compromised the integrity of the samples in terms of its deterioration due to bacterial action. Also, by not storing the samples in the police exhibit store (which will accord access only to him), his deliberate omission of such strict rules of the IGSO has, by his very act, presented an opportunity and possibility of tampering of the samples as access to others was made easier. This was disregarded.

There are also no cogent or compelling reasons both in law and practice for Supt Jude Pereira to cut open P27 (the big tamperproof bag containing all the HKL samples which was sealed and handed over to him), ostensibly to re-mark them (B1 to B10). It is clear that this act was just a convenient excuse to get access to the individual samples which by themselves were clearly not tamperproof as they were deliberately “sealed” with ordinary and easily removable tapes and easily removable HKL paper seals.

Dr Siew Sheue Fong, as evident in court, was most reluctant to refer to his medical notes during cross examination despite being unable to remember details. During the break he was caught surreptitiously taking a sneak peek of his notes. This dishonest act of a professional doctor who ought to have conducted himself in a fair and independent manner was blatantly ignored. Many a time Dr Siew and Dr Mohd Razali Ibrahim deliberately chose not to answer pertinent questions put to them by my counsel. Instead Dr Siew and Dr Razali’s evidence was accepted without reservation.

Dr Seah Lay Hong (the chemist) gave evidence that when she received the 12 HKL samples there were two samples that were marked as taken on very different dates, she testified she did nothing to seek clarification from Dr Siew . She further testified that she “gave the benefit of doubt” to Dr Siew. My lawyers submitted strenuously that such acts and/or omissions amount to a serious breach of the cardinal rules of international lab protocols and those of the Jabatan Kimia Malaysia. Despite such blatant exposures and abject failures of non observance of strict rules, Dr Seah’s evidence was well received and in totality when it ought to have been jettisoned in totality for reasons of incompetence and gross negligence.

The defence evidence will show that the prosecution claim to have proof of the presence of “seminal fluid” or “sperm” is completely unfounded. In fact, this purported proof is nothing but pure fabrication, a fact which is not that unusual considering the past history of the prosecution in this regard. If they had had any such forensic evidence, they would have guarded it for dear life rather than let it being handled in such a sloppy manner.

SUMMATION

Your Lordship has failed to ensure a fair trial as demonstrated, inter alia, by the following instances:

1. Your refusal during the course of the trial to order disclosure of material critical to my defence, most of which you thought was sufficiently relevant and which fairness required that you should order it to be disclosed before the trial. Your failure to fairly and properly exercise his judicial discretion to order disclosure was not only contrary to Malaysian laws but violated the international standards expected of a modern state which purports to practice the rule of law.

2. Your refusal to act accordingly either to take cognizance or to hold to account those responsible for the flagrant acts of leaking and publishing in the media of prosecution submissions before the matter was heard in court; your utter indifference to my protestations about these transgressions has wittingly or unwittingly facilitated the conspiracy to vilify me in the court of public opinion even as the trial is in progress.

3. Your failure to order that witnesses critical to my defence attend the trial to testify, in circumstances where their involvement was patently material to the issues at trial and recorded under oath in the complainant’s testimony and admitted by statements made by these witnesses to the media. These witnesses relate to the circumstances in which the complainant came to make his early complaints against me. Nothing could be more material to the credit of the complainant.

4. Your finding the complainant to be “a truthful witness” at the close of the prosecution case clearly amounted to prejudgment demonstrating in the process a clear bias against me. Consequently, you have deprived me of my constitutionally guaranteed right to a fair hearing the effect of which is to entitle me to an unconditional release with the charges levelled against me falling to the ground. Notwithstanding this, you have not only failed to order my release but have adamantly refused to recuse yourself from further presiding at the trial.

5. Your arriving at the conclusion that the complainant was a witness of truth without first hearing the evidence of the defence would render the continuation of this trial an exercise in futility. What use would there be for me to adduce evidence to show that the complainant is in fact a liar if you have already found “him to be a truthful witness” and that his evidence is reliable and conclusive and by virtue of that irrefutable? It is untenable and the law does not allow you to do what you have done.

6. Your finding that the complainant has corroborated himself by complaining to the medical doctors of sexual assault was a glaring error of law apart from it being in gross disregard of a finding of fact, that is, that the clinical finding had indicated no evidence of penetration. Additionally, your failure to question why the prosecution has for no apparent reason refused to call in the first medical officer who had examined the complainant to testify. Did it not cross your mind that this failure was prompted by the need to suppress evidence that might be unfavourable to the prosecution?

7. Your accepting without hesitation the forensic evidence as corroborative of the complainant’s account in circumstances where there were obvious concerns about how those samples were obtained, labelled, stored and analysed.

CONCLUSION

This entire process is nothing but a conspiracy by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to send me into political oblivion by attempting once again to put me behind bars. I therefore declare that I have no faith whatsoever that justice will prevail in these proceedings notwithstanding the valiant efforts made by my defence team. As I have said at the outset, this is not a criminal trial. It is a charade staged by the powers that be to put me out of action in order that they remain in power.

In 1998, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad did just that and by his Machiavellian use of all the organs of power of the State, succeeded in getting me convicted for 15 years for offences that I had never committed. Such was the tyranny and injustice done to me then. And such is the tyranny and injustice being perpetuated today.

Najib Razak is doing the same thing as his mentor did, which is to employ all means within his power through the media, the police, the Attorney-General and the judiciary in order to subvert the course of justice and to take me out of the political equation.

This relentless conviction to send me back to prison became all the more imperative because of the major victories gained by the opposition Pakatan Rakyat in the March 2008 elections. Their worst fears were confirmed when it became clear that once my legal disqualification was over I would be contesting for a parliamentary seat and if I won, would be elected leader of the opposition.

It was therefore no coincidence that this new conspiracy surfaced three months after the March 2008 victories and the formal charge against me was made just one month prior to my contesting the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat. The sequence of events that unfolded prior to the formal charge appeared to be lifted from the plot of 1998 minus, in this latest episode, the black-eye affair and the purported victims being led into court as partners in crime. In this second episode, the conspirators have tweaked the plot to make the complainant take on the role of a helpless victim, having realised that the 1998 method of employing Stalin-like confessions and the portrayal of the alleged victims as remorseful and repentant sexual deviants were just too much for the public to believe.

Hence, during the entire examination of the complainant, the prosecution left no stone unturned in their attempt at painting the picture of a helpless, naive and innocent young man who is a witness of truth and whose testimony should be believed regardless of any evidence to the contrary. The fact is that in the entire scheme of things, the complainant, who was just a university drop out working part time helping out my chief of staff, is essentially a pawn being employed by the shady plotters to achieve their devious ends in the conspiracy. And yet it was the decision of the court after the close of the prosecution case that he indeed is a truthful witness.

The preparation entailed in this conspiracy was most elaborate and went all the way to the Prime Minister himself and his wife Rosmah Mansor both of whom by the complainant’s own admission had met him in their residence where he purportedly complained of being sexually assaulted. The initial statement by Najib that he had met with the complainant merely to discuss about a scholarship was a blatant lie only to be retracted later after various exposes were made via the social media and the Internet blogs. It was obvious that neither Najib nor Rosmah would not want to be seen to be part of the conspiracy being themselves embroiled in a series of other scandals the details of which have been raised in Parliament which to date have never been categorically refuted. But the stakes in this conspiracy are so high that nothing can be left to pure chance for indeed the prospect of the Umno-led Barisan Nasional losing power to Pakatan Rakyat is becoming more real by the day.

The main thrust of the conspiracy was to fabricate this sodomy charge in order to inflict maximum damage to my character in the run-up campaign to the by-elections. Towards this end, an intense and virulent media blitz was launched concurrently with the staging of rallies and ceramahs where the focus of the debate was not on any social, economic or even political issues but purely on my person and my morality. The plotters for reasons known only to themselves became privy to information which would be used subsequently by the prosecution and went to town in an orgy of character assassination calculated no doubt to ensure a humiliating defeat for me in the polls. But Allah is great and instead of losing, I won the Permatang Pauh seat with a thumping majority of 15,000 votes.

But the zeal to consign me to political oblivion continues unabated. Najib seems to think that by destroying my political future, it would also destroy the prospects of Pakatan Rakyat ever coming to power.

Hence, nothing is spared to ensure that I will be convicted in order that the Umno-led Barisan government continues to rule.

Having regard to all the above, I now wish to state that this trial is for all intents and purposes a show trial. I say this not to mock your Lordship nor with animosity towards anyone personally but I sit before you in the dock only to speak what I know and what I believe with conviction to be the truth. And this conviction is borne by having been in public service for more than 40 years, a quarter of which was spent within the walls of incarceration in Kamunting and in Sungai Buloh. The fact remains that I was condemned to imprisonment not because of any crime that I had committed but for my political beliefs and convictions and more significantly because back in 1998 I had posed a clear and present threat to the more than two decades of autocratic rule of Mahathir.

I say it because as I’ve stated earlier, the court’s integrity has been completely compromised and bears all the classic symptoms of a show trial where the script has been effectively written and the outcome a foregone conclusion. I say it because as a presiding judge you have demonstrated beyond the shadow of a doubt your complete lack of impartiality. I say it because you have consistently refused to recuse yourself even in the face of mounting evidence of your bias against me. I say it too because you have persistently turned a blind eye to the gross violations of protocol and procedure committed by the prosecution while at the same remaining impervious to my protestations about these blatant irregularities that would have without more alerted any impartial judge as to the malice and bad faith of the prosecution.

In the matter of the duty of a judge, the Holy Quran commands:

“And when you judge between mankind

Then you judge justly.” — Surah An-Nisaa:58

18 August 2014

Pendapat

Pendapat Anda?

Malaysiakini

The people who doubt Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s suitability as Selangor menteri besar (MB) and who claim that Malaysia is not ready to accept a woman to govern either the state, or the nation, are wrong. Step forward, the self-appointed ‘First Lady of Malaysia’ (FLOM), Rosmah Mansor.

In the past, many people, especially those from Umno Baru, despised the FLOM because they believe that she was masquerading as the FLOM when she was really the prime minister. Najib Abdul Razak, they said, is her proxy. So, are the critics of Wan Azizah afraid that the top echelons of political power will become too crowded with women? So, who are the groups which are sabotaging Wan Azizah?

Many people claim they want change, but when faced with opportunity for change, which is to have Wan Azizah as the MB, they develop cold feet. They fear uncharted waters. Dr Wan Azizah is not unfit to be MB, but Malaysians are afraid of change.

The trouble also lies with the indecisive politicians, in Umno Baru, BN, Pakatan and PAS, and the conservative people who want to retain our patriarchal society.

The people who currently hold the reins of power know that when Wan Azizah turns the country around, they will be in trouble. They know they will lose power, status and wealth, and be punished for their past crimes.

The men who fear a woman at the top are probably afraid that a woman will show up their weaknesses.

The rakyat is fed up with the current administration which puts in minimal effort to help uplift the lives of women. A few years ago, Najib nominated himself as the women, family and community development minister but failed to bring any meaningful changes for Malaysian women.

Najib could not even force himself to sack his predecessor for her role in the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scandal.  Was he afraid of what she could do to him? An honest person can never be conned. Likewise, a person who has nothing to hide does not fear the skeletons tumbling out of his closet.

Malaysians want something done about the many crimes against women – the gang rapes, the child marriages, the increase in domestic violence, the abuse of maids, sometimes by women themselves, women being infected by HIV/Aids by their husbands, women who are abandoned by their polygamous husbands, the abandoned babies and the single mothers with no lifeline.

Why are Malaysian men, principally Malay men, averse to women holding senior and important roles in society, especially in politics?

Are they afraid that women in power might behave like the wife who has discovered her husband’s cheating and will curtail both his nocturnal and extracurricular activities? Will the Malay men fear that Wan Azizah may force a complete overhaul of the syariah law, in Malaysia, to gain more protection to Malay women?

‘Priority to her husband’s needs’?

Do Malay men have the same opinion as the vice-president of the Obedient Wives’ Club (OWC), Rohaya Mohamad (left), who in 2011 said that women should be “high class whores in bed” to prevent their husbands from straying. Perkasa’s Ibrahim Ali certainly thinks so. He said, “From a Muslim perspective, the wife has to drop all of this (cooking, etc). She must give priority to her husband’s needs.”

If only Rohaya realised the struggles of Malayan fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers, who in the early 1900s, valued education. They fought for the right of education for their daughters. They did not think that to become whores was the full extent of an education. They wanted to empower their daughters.

The trouble with Wan Azizah is that compared with other Umno Baru women, she is educated, well-travelled, sophisticated and squeaky clean; but that does not stop people from making up lies about her, like former PKR Youth secretary Lokman Nor Adam, who jumped like a frog to Umno Baru and defamed Wan Azizah with claims that she led an extravagant lifestyle and had a penchant for expensive suits.

Around the world, there are women who had to take charge of multi-million dollar enterprises when their husbands died. These women, who had previously not known how to pay an electricity bill, were able to make their companies more successful.

If they did it, why can’t Wan Azizah be MB? Many of her detractors claim that she lacks experience, but is this really such an impediment? She will have an army of advisers, including economists, lawyers, security experts, bankers, academics and industrialists to assist her.

Wan Azizah may not be good at ‘investing’ like a former Umno Baru politician, who corralled public funds to secure the purchase of many luxury condominiums. Wan Azizah may not have the financial wizardry of one Umno Baru wife, who is able to purchase multi-million ringgit jewels and handbags, because she began saving when she was a teenager.

PAS acted like a dithering adolescent with its wishy-washy endorsement of Wan Azizah. They must learn that one can be committed to democracy and equality, and still be a true Muslim.

The opposition to Wan Azizah is not because of her sex, her educational background, or that she is Anwar’s wife. She could be perfect in every way, but her detractors will always be able to find a reason for her unsuitability.

The only reason people oppose Wan Azizah is that they do not want the floodgates to be opened, for the empowerment of women. They fear the moment when Malaysians discover that Malaysian women are as good as, or better than, men, at ruling, promoting justice and equality, ensuring peace and harmony, and providing opportunities for all.

18 August 2014

Pendapat

Pendapat Anda?

Media Statement
For Immediate Release
18th August 2014

UMNO’s Attacks Upon My Lawyer Is An Orchestrated Attempt To Interfere With Fitnah 2 Appeal In Fed Court

On 14th August 2014, the Federal Court fixed 28 and 29th October 2014 for hearing of my appeal against the Fitnah II conviction by the Court of Appeal. This is my final legal recourse against the unjust and politically motivated Fitnah 2 conviction.

Since the fixing of the appeal dates, Umno has orchestrated the making of hundreds of police reports by Umno divisions nationwide against N Surendran, who is my lawyer in the Fitnah 2 appeal. Among others, top Umno leader Mukhriz Mahathir has publicly called upon all Umno divisions to lodge police reports, whereas Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia’s editorial has called for immediate action against my lawyer.

The excuse for this campaign of intimidation against my lawyer is that he had said in a press conference after attending case management for the appeal that the charges against me are a political conspiracy involving Prime Minister Najib Razak.

My lawyer has the right and the duty to speak of Najib’s involvement in the Fitnah 2 conspiracy to jail me. The involvement of Najib in this conspiracy was one my main defences during the trial at the High Court; and will be raised extensively in my appeal in the Federal Court on 28 and 29 October 2014.

The evidence of Najib’s involvement is clear and shocking. Najib had met with the accuser Saiful on 24 June 2014, which is two days before Saiful claims the alleged incident took place.

When asked about it, Najib initially lied that only his officer met Saiful supposedly regarding a scholarship. Later, Najib changed his story and admitted meeting Saiful at his residence.

The meeting was set up by Najib’s own special officer Khairil Anas. Najib’s personal lawyer, who is now prosecuting me, Shafee Abdullah has also admitted that he was present.

Top policeman SAC Datuk Rodwan, who was involved in the Fitnah 1 conspiracy in 1998, also met Saiful the same evening of the meeting with Najib. Saiful was also in contact with then IGP Musa Hassan. Musa was deeply involved in the 1998 conspiracy as the investigating officer.

This is blatant conspiracy staring us in the face!

Ignoring all this, the court of appeal perversely decided to convict me on 7 March 2014, on the eve of the Kajang move.

Now, Umno is going all out to prevent my lawyers from even mentioning Najib’s involvement in this conspiracy.

In my statement from the dock which I read out during the trial, I have said :

“This entire process is nothing but a conspiracy by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to send me into political oblivion by attempting once again to put me behind bars.”

“Najib Razak is doing the same thing as his mentor did, which is to employ all means within his power through the media, the police, the Attorney-General and the judiciary in order to subvert the course of justice and to take me out of the political equation.”

How is it a crime for my lawyer to state to the public this essential ground of my defence in the Fitnah 2 appeal?

I believe the top Umno leadership is involved in orchestrating this campaign of intimidation. The intention is to prevent me from getting a fair hearing during the appeal on 28 and 29 October, and to cover-up Najib and Umno’s role in the conspiracy.

These attacks upon my lawyer Surendran are a clear and blatant interference by Umno in the pending appeal, as it is a direct attempt to prevent the ground of conspiracy from being raised by my lawyers.

I call upon Najib and Umno to stop this interference with the legal process; there must be no pressure, direct or otherwise, upon the lawyers and the courts. If the legal process is allowed to function independently and impartially, I am confident of being acquitted. With this latest move, Umno and Najib show no sign of allowing this to happen.

ANWAR IBRAHIM

Switch to our mobile site