A Trial Of Democracy

Anwar, Round 2 has commenced.

Media reports inform us that a police report has been lodged by an aide. The complaint appears to be that he was sodomised by Anwar Ibrahim on Thursday.

No particulars of the alleged event have been made public. The complainant was to be given a medical examination and, at the time of writing, it is not certain whether this has been done.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The situation is such that both the IGP and the AG may wish to take steps to distance themselves from the investigation and prosecution, if any.
***
And in the meanwhile, the fact that Morgan Stanley has indicated that some RM330 billion has been dissipated from Malaysian through corruption falls even lower on the list of priorities (if it was on the list at all).

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

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

But then, Malaysia Boleh.

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