Saturday, 19 July 2008

The Hypocrisy in the Government's Action Against Anwar and Raja Petra

From Straight-Talk Blog: Read here for more


Saiful Bukhari Azlan, (the accuser), is painted as an opportunist and a puppet of a certain top leader who is also beleaguered by a damning accusation.Moreover, Saiful has appeared very gungho and even challenged Anwar to an Islamic swearing to prove his innocence.

Saiful’s action did not help to strengthen his case when his behaviour is contrasted with other traumatised sexually abused victims.

Reeling from the first sodomy charge against Anwar ten years ago and the lack of public confidence in key institutions in the country, this accusation is less sticky and has lost an element of surprise. The public did not react with awe but instead grew tired of such political drama.

The manner in which Anwar was detained outside his house by a group of special task force in balaclavas before the police deadline has delivered a crucial blow to the police already battered public image.

Despite Federal CID director commissioner Mohd Bakri Zinin claim that Anwar might renege on his promise to show up, the action was still too dramatic. Anwar is a well-known politician and not an undercover terrorist.

In contrast, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak’s wife Rosmah Mansor was accorded a different treatment when the police went to take her statement. She was treated, rightly so, courteously.

Meanwhile, Najib was not even required to give his statement although the manner in which two statutory declarations filed on two consecutive days by an important witness, private investigator Balasubramaniam, was highly suspicious.

In Anwar’s case, the police are now looking at legal options to compel him to give his DNA to them. However, with nothing much revealed in the Raja Petra’s statutory declaration against Rosmah the police have detained the former and charged him with a criminal defamation offence.

Since these cases involved important public figures, the police should hold a public conference to explain and divulge details which led them to the conclusions.

Both cases have a similarity – based on accusations – but were treated very differently by the relevant authorities.

This way, it is little known how the police are able to convince Malaysians that they will act without fear or favour.

Minister of Internal Security Syed Hamid Albar contradictory statements did not help the image of his government. First, he claimed that the police decided to be “flexible” and released Anwar Ibrahim on bail although the offence was a non-bailable one. Then, he acknowledged that the police had yet to formally charge him with any crime.

Syed Hamid’s statements made a mockery of our rule of law.

If Anwar is formally charged with an offence, there should not be a need for the police to show any flexibility. But he is innocent until proven guilty and like any Malaysians, he should be treated with the full protection of his constitutional rights.

If Anwar is required to endure the full process of law to measure his credibility, so must any other leaders inflicted with similar accusations.

This is a peril of public office.

Ultimately, Abdullah’s reform pledges will be severely tested by the manner in which the V.K Lingam judicial appointment fixing scandal, Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy accusation, Najib Razak and Rosmah Mansor alleged involvements in the Altantuya’s murder and other landmark cases will be handled by both the judiciary and the police.

Now, all eyes are on the reforms of both the judiciary and the police. Politicians must not put Malaysia’s international image in jeopardy.

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