ANWAR ANWAR OH ANWAR
A MUCH AWAITED DECISION: NO SURPRISES
“Consider how this matter first arose. As Hansard (dated 22 October 1997, 18 December 1997) recalls, the very first time an MP stood up in parliament holding a statutory declaration that accused Anwar Ibrahim of sexual – homosexual – assault, Anwar Ibrahim was Deputy Prime Minister and his accuser was not a member of the government, but in fact an opposition MP from the DAP. And who was his original accuser? The late Karpal Singh, MP, a brilliant lawyer. Any account of the criminal and then political downfall of Anwar Ibrahim should recall who threw the first stone”.
(extracted from the New Straits Times 11 February 2015- A quote from Lawyer Shafee Abdullah’s Statement on Sodomy II)
Anwar did little to displace the evidence and the allegations against him on the charge that he had sex with Saiful (anal intercourse). He did not challenge the evidence or the corroborative testimony of his accuser sufficiently for him to raise reasonable doubt that his accuser was lying or that the evidence especially the DNA evidence presented against him was unreliable.
Anwar focused his defence on political issues. Speculative and conspiratorial theories of government and assassination of the prime minister’s character were central themes in his defence inside and outside of the courts. And Anwar with his supporters in tow went on a political rampage worthy of vandals.
In the process and from his unsworn statement from the dock, Anwar did not refute the challenges and allegations raised by the prosecution over the charges laid against him. His supporters did little to aid in his defence by their commentary in every public forum available to them. That comment goes also to his political allies and the political party he leads and to a handful of “journalists” who believed they were acting in furthering his legitimate interests. None were. They had become an albatross around his neck.
There was available to Anwar’s defence team, various other ways, means and tactics throughout this whole ugly and sad episode of his trial and the appeals that could have been deployed and successfully turned to his advantage. Unfortunately Anwar’s defence team fell desperately short of both experience and legal knowledge, and were equally distracted by the man and his antics, thereby failing to depart and dislodge themselves from Anwar’s “devil made me do it defence”. In the end they too were drawn into his vortex of troubles.
FLAWS IN HIS DEFENCE
Instead of trying to conduct a trial de Novo in an appeal, the defence ought to have focused on re visiting the legal and factual matrix that made up the charges against Anwar leading to the original decision at the heart of the appeal.
Anwar’s defence team had the opportunity to focus on the pleadings in the original trial as they should have. They should have dealt with any flaws in the judgement and the facts. They should have focused on the basis of the judgement which acquitted him. They should have focused on the evidence in both the forums in the lower courts and not ventured on the course they adopted which any competent fresh law graduate could have advised them was a slipper slope to a disaster. They did not.
The defence ought to have attacked the flaws (if any) in earlier decisions and the evidence used to convict the man attacking these instead in the context of the law and facts. Such a move may have supported an appeal in Anwar’s favour. They did not. He failed.
Suggesting the DNA was unreliable because it had been degraded since the trial, then attacking the credibility of the lab and reliability of the DNA in the appeal, in the manner in which that aspect of the evidence was presented and attacked was a fatal flaw in a desperate defence.
Saying (as Ramkarpal did) that the DNA had been degraded and therefore should not be relied upon as evidence is as pathetic and fatal as saying, as an example in analogy say in the case of statutory rape of an under aged girl thus:
“the girl’s age today is 21 therefore it can’t be statutory rape today. And her present age at 21 cannot be relied upon to convict on a charge of statutory rape because her age has changed (like the DNA in Anwar’s case) from what it was at the time of the charge to what it is now”. The logic is both absurd and outrageous.
AND ANWAR WAS AN HONOURABLE MAN
As has been said a number of times before, this was a case in which many of Anwar’s so called allies have to be called to answer for his demise. It was never their intention to let the man lead or become Prime Minister of Malaysia if he and the opposition did win an election. The allegation is documented (Bersih). Anwar’s search for conspiracies should have been directed introspectively.
Anwar himself today cuts a pathetic figure as a refugee from a failed attempt at a coup all those years ago in 1998. Now abandoned, outed and discarded by forces that once believed they could use him as a proxy for US hegemony in the region Anwar stands alone.
He continues to see himself as a persecuted Messianic figure, a Martin Luther King Jnr., Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela type which he clearly is not. Anwar is delusional, broken, dysfunctional a man today as is the opposition in Malaysia that he leads.
Anwar worked for foreign intelligence services and foreign government’s using undemocratic means to sell his nation to the highest bidder a matter so widely and convincingly documented but denied only by Anwar.
His self appointed heir apparent Ambiga Sreenivasan works for the same causes and same objectives as he, funded and directed by the same discredited organizations and forces behind the scenes.
Alas it is pre election time in the US. They have the Ukraine, Europe and the very volatile middle east apart from a myriad of serious incurable destructive domestic issues to contend with. Anwar’s problems pales into insignificance when compared to the wider problems the west faces today. His use by date has long come and gone.
Anwar today is a distant and bad memory for most of his handlers and backers. His fate had been sealed a long time ago when he attempted to throw the country into chaos then grab power unto himself and his friends in the heady “reformasi” days supported by the tail winds of a similar movement in Indonesia.
What remains is the runt of a group of self serving individuals borrowing the cliched slogans of western trained vandals. None of them have any clout. None have any credibility where it matters. None have any basis for continuing their journey on a cart whose wheels have now well and truly fallen off from its heavy load.
In its wake is a silent majority, denied a voice by the loud rattle of the Bersihs and PKR’s to properly combat all those ills of government, we all know about but can’t do much about because the opposition has become an incredulous, a dirty and a discredited by word for incompetence.