From The Financial Times editorial:
Published March 24, 2010
Malaysia presents itself as a modern, successful and democratic nation. Many western leaders have hailed the country as an example of moderate, tolerant Islam – at ease with itself and with the non-Muslim world. Malaysia does indeed have much to be proud of. But the trial of Anwar Ibrahim, which is due to restart this week, is a massive blot on the country’s reputation for tolerance and political pluralism.
Mr Anwar is a vital figure in the Malaysian opposition. The coalition of opposition forces he leads represents the most potent challenge to the ruling National Front coalition in many years. But Mr Anwar, a married man with six children, is on trial for sodomy. He has already served six years in solitary confinement on charges of sodomy and abuse of power – although the sodomy charges were later over-turned by the courts, leading to Mr Anwar’s release in 2004. If he is convicted this time, he could face a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
The first thing to say is that – even allowing for cultural and religious sensitivities – Malaysia should be embarrassed that it is threatening to send a man to prison for consensual sex with another adult. But there are also considerable doubts about the case against Mr Anwar. The evidence against him is thin and the political context is very clear.
The government of Najib Razak sees Mr Anwar as a threat and has been trying to wreck his political career, using a variety of tactics. Aside from the criminal charges that have been brought against the opposition leader, Mr Anwar has been crudely smeared as a tool of “Jewish” interests. Asked once whether Mr Anwar would make a good prime minister, Mahathir Mohammad, the former prime minister of Malaysia, replied: “He would make a good prime minister of Israel.” A modern state should be ashamed of exploiting racism and homophobia to head off a legitimate political challenge.
But it is not just the Malaysian government that deserves to be chastised. Malaysia is an important market and an influential voice in the Islamic world. As a result, western governments that claim to place human rights at the centre of their foreign policy have been very circumspect in their comments on the Anwar trial. Respect for the courts, for national sovereignty and for cultural difference are all worthy ideas. But sometimes, it is important to speak clearly. The trial of Anwar Ibrahim is a disgrace and an embarrassment to Malaysia.
Above is a recent article from Financial Times which Anwar Ibrahim had proudly posted in his blog. Just like Dr Azly Rahman, the editors in far London or New York couldn’t do a proper investigative journalism to save their lives.
I find that most parts of the articles are pandering towards what is obvious. Some are total lies, while a few is outright outrageous.
Firstly, Anwar Ibrahim was in jail for 6 years because he was found guilty for abuse of power. He used his position to stop an on-going police investigations about him. That is something a Deputy Prime Minister must not do. As the result, he was sent to jail for 6 years. He escaped the next six years of jail term which supposed to commence after the first jail term expire in 2004. But the independent Supreme Court, who had no doubts he committed sodomy, released him from the charges because the prosecution couldn’t agree on the fixed date of a sodomy act that had happened 6 years before the sodomy trial even began.
Secondly, yes Malaysia should be embarrassed.
Malaysia should be embarrassed if a man who self styled himself as the Prime Minister-in-waiting and a Muslim, be freed from the charges because he is only involved in consensual sex. In Islam, it is a sin for a man to commit ‘zina’, and it is even a bigger sin to commit homosexual acts.
Homosexuality is an abomination. Just look into all holy books.
Hence, the ignorant editors of Financial Times gave us the flimsiest of excuse on why this trial is a bad thing in the eyes of the watching world – because although Anwar Ibrahim had extra marital sex with another MAN, it was still consensual.
Tell that to us a million times and we will still call you an idiot. Why? Because in other words, the editors of Financial Times is telling us that they believed Anwar did those acts! Their only line of defense? Anwar did it on consensual basis.
Financial Times is really doing a disservice to Anwar if their strongest line of argument is that there is nothing wrong about consensual sex between men.
Thirdly, the trial had hardly started and those editors thought that there is little or no evidence at all to implicate Anwar with sodomy charges. Are they clairvoyant? How can they assume that the evidence against him is thin?
Fourthly, what variety of tactics is the government doing to wreck Anwar’s political career? This sodomy charge is brought by his own former worker. It is by his own undoing. Nobody stopped him to become a candidate in Permatang Pauh back in August 2008. Nobody stopped him from appearing in Parliament. Nobody stopped him from opening his mouth on all the political platforms he had been to. What he is facing now is through the police report made by a victim.
In fact, it is Anwar who had used a wide variety of dirty tactics to tarnish the political career of his nemesis, Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak. The latest revelation by Anwar’s one time strongest supporter, Zulkifli Noordin revealed how dirty the hands of Anwar Ibrahim. You can see the disgust of his former stalwarts when one by one, as the house of cards crumbling down, had exposed Anwar’s dirty tricks in his power play.
Anwar even had the gall to smear Najib in international arena. Anwar had always been the typical antithesis of how Malay trait should be i.e., he always have this ‘perasaan hasad dengki‘ towards the people that stands in his way.
Lastly, there is one sentence which the editors got it right – “Respect for the courts, for national sovereignty and for cultural difference are all worthy ideas. But sometimes, it is important to speak clearly”.
Alright, let us speak this clearly so that their blocked ears can hear our words – ANWAR IBRAHIM IS A DISGRACE AND AN EMBARRASSMENT TO MALAYSIA!
Respect our courts, national sovereignty and our own cultural and religious ways please. Thank you.