This is not an auspicious start to the Year of the Dragon for the PM. The person who controls events in Malaysia and who will undoubtedly shape its future, is one effete man called Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is wrong to think he leads the country.
Malaysians thought that after 9 January, the nation would move on, but their dream was shortlived. Only in Malaysia would the government and its institutions, like the judiciary, be preoccupied with Saiful’s posterior, just as his face will always be associated with Sodomy II.
So now, instead of the nation concentrating on a way forward, of improving our lives, of revitalising the economy and of making sure our politicians do the work we elected them for, we are trapped in Sodomy II, Scene 2.
Both Saiful and his father had pleaded with the attorney-general to appeal against the acquittal, for the sake of Saiful and their family’s ‘dignity’. What dignity?
When Anwar was acquitted, the government machinery was quick to make as much political mileage out of it. Within 24 hours of the acquittal, Cabinet ministers proclaimed that Anwar’s acquittal was proof that the judiciary was independent.
This is one myth that the eminent historian, Professor Khoo Kay Kim missed. Last week, after dismissing the existence of the Chinese princess Hang Li Po or the Malay warriors Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat, Khoo forgot to mention Malaysia’s other myth: That the judiciary is independent.
Nevertheless, can someone in government list how many man hours, how many government departments and how many millions of taxpayers’ money has been spent on Sodomy II?
To put things into perspective, could they also give a similar breakdown for Sodomy I?
Only the naïve would have believed that with Anwar’s acquittal, came the end of Sodomy II.
Judge Mohamad Zabidin Diah said that “the court cannot be 100 percent certain that DNA was not contaminated.” We should have told him that “the rakyat cannot be 100 percent certain that the judiciary is independent.”
Zabidin delivered Anwar’s acquittal in 90 seconds flat and yet for months, led us to believe that Anwar was doomed.
In June 2011, Anwar failed in his third attempt to have Zabidin recused. Anwar’s first attempt was when Zabidin failed to take action against Utusan Malaysia for unfair reporting. Zabidin had also threatened to cite Karpal Singh for contempt of court.
The judge called Saiful a “truthful and credible witness” and the court agreed that the testimonies of the doctors and chemists supported the findings.
Then, after relying solely on Saiful’s “reliable” testimony and that the court would “establish all the facts required to prove the charge against the accused”, Zabidin did a U-turn and acquitted Anwar.
Note that Zabidin did not say that Anwar was innocent of the charges. He said that the prosecution did a bad job. To date, it is alleged that Zabidin has yet to complete his written judgment of the acquittal.
Spotlight on ineptitude
If Najib thought that after the acquittal, the world would go away and think well of his administration, he is wrong. The spotlight is again on his ineptitude.
The world must think Malaysia a nation of sodomisers. The rakyat is fed up with the continuing saga of Sodomy II, but Umno/BN leaders feel it necessary to shaft them.
Perhaps, Najib is aware that his so-called reforms are not widely believed by Malaysians. In truth, they are not reforms. Not when draconian laws are replaced by others, even more severe. Not when Malaysians are denied the right to freedom of assembly.
Last week, Najib addressed about 1,000 foreign delegates at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre and talked about 1Malaysia and the nation’s values of moderation.
He said, “We know that we are best and strongest when we actively embrace our differences rather than just putting up with them…..We need to hear from moderates of all religions in all countries and from all walks of life.”
ABU meet disrupted
A few days after this convention, a meeting jointly organised by Anything But Umno (ABU) and the Hindu Rakyat Action Force (Hindraf), was cancelled at the last minute when it was disrupted by several youths wearing T-shirts emblazoned with BN and Umno logos, and armed with sticks.
One thug shouted, “Berambus. Dah hidup senang dekat sini, nak banyak cakap. Aku bagi chance lagi. Kalau aku datang sekali lagi, mampus semua orang.”
This threat means, “Get lost! Despite having a good life here, you complain too much. I’m giving you another chance. If I return, you will all die.”
These thugs were Malay men. Any true Malay present would have been ashamed. One Malay lady who was at the ceramah left presumably because she feared further violence. A boy was beaten up, a motorcycle was driven into the hall, the thugs acted menacingly throwing leaflets and chairs around.
Are we so naïve to think that these thugs acted alone, without the directive of a higher authority?
So much for Najib’s moderation. Malay values? Islamic ideals?
Later, Selangor police chief Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah (right) denied that anyone had been injured.
“Nothing happened, the residents were unhappy, that’s all. No BN or Umno supporters disturbed them.”
Is it any wonder that Najib’s administration is treated with derision and mockery?
The public is repulsed by a judiciary that claims to be independent and then sets out to destroy the very fabric of fairness and justice.
The government plays silly games with the rakyat because they know their days are numbered.
The Umnoputeras get richer and are immune from prosecution even when there is compelling evidence that laws have been broken.
The police fail in enforcing the law and fail to keep public order.
Umno/BN politicians have no clue about what goes on in the everyday world of the middle or lower classes. The politicians rob the public purse and treat it as their personal kitty. Laws do not apply to them.
The injustice which afflicts normal Malaysians and affects opposition politicians who pose a threat to Umno/BN, is glaring.
Najib said he wanted to pursue moderation in “democracy, rule of law, education, human dignity and social justice”. What a shame that he lied and feels it unnecessary to practise such noble values in his own backyard.
That is why Saiful’s appeal and the ABU attack may finally focus the rakyat’s minds on justice, and galvanise them to vote for their own freedom in GE-13.
MARIAM MOKHTAR is a non-conformist traditionalist from Perak, a bucket chemist and an armchair eco-warrior. In ‘real-speak’, this translates into that she comes from Ipoh, values change but respects culture, is a petroleum chemist and also an environmental pollution-control scientist.