Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Malaysiakini, 19 Aug 2008

Remember the "controversial circumstances" under which Musa Hassan's contract as IGP was extended? Well, most of us vividly recall that Musa Hassan was head of the police prosecution team assigned to secure Anwar Ibrahim's conviction during the scandalous 1998 sodomy trial that saw a "semen-stained" mattress being carried in and out of court at least 20 times. That was perhaps the only bit of comic relief in what was a tragic example of what can happen when the independence and integrity of a nation's judiciary are undermined by political hubris.

I was raised on a diet of cartoons - my favorites being Chuck Jones and Fritz Freleng's Looney Tunes series featuring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Sylvester and Tweety, Yosemite Sam, Pepé Le Pew, Marvin the Martian, Foghorn Leghorn, and guest-starring the Tasmanian Devil. Perhaps that's why I often view the ongoing dramas around me as some sort of computer-generated 3D animated feature where nobody actually dies - not even when a 2-ton anvil gets dropped on their heads. Why, all that happens is that they flap around like a pancake or turn into a concertina for a few hilarious seconds before regaining their proper form.

Let's be honest and admit that all of us are inclined to cheer when we see a villain come to a horrible end or suffer some humiliating misfortune - the way Lord Farquaard gets eaten by the Dragon even as he attempts to crown himself King of Duloc. Years ago I recall letting out a whoop of joy when I read that General Zia-ul-Haq (right) had perished in a plane crash. Now here's a fellow I had never met and with whom I had no personal quarrel - but it so happens I just couldn't stand the sight of him. By most accounts the General was a tinpot despot with a cold-blooded, ruthless streak.

When John Lennon was shot by Mark David Chapman on 8 December 1980, my immediate reaction was entirely different. I felt sharp pains in my stomach region and walked around in a daze for hours. It was almost as if John Lennon had been an integral part of me - and that part had been cruelly snatched away.

What has all this got to do with Musa Hassan's bypass surgery? Well, unless he's Malaysia's first Robocop, I expect he's going to be out of action for quite a spell. He can't be plotting and scheming to get Anwar in the next few weeks - and I pretty much expect that rather than return to work, he might opt for early retirement, taking this as a warning from his heart that he hasn't been listening to it for a very long while. Not that his convalescence will get him exempted from prosecution for all the dirty deeds he has done at the behest of his political masters in Umno.

I'm reminded of all the misfortunes that befell several key players in Sodomy I, starting with key prosecution witness, Azizan Abu Bakar (right), erstwhile driver to Wan Azizah, who must have been offered huge sums of money to testify that his boss had sodomized him repeatedly. Even as the trial was proceeding, Azizan lost his wife in a serious car accident; and shortly after that he was caught with a whore in a hotel by religious officers, convicted of khalwat (close proximity) and sentenced to 6 months in jail.

Then there was the mysterious death of Dr Ristina Majid who had a stroke in Jakarta while attending a conference. She was the one who goaded Azizan Abu Bakar into bearing false witness against Anwar and coached him for his role as key prosecution witness. Her father was so upset he disowned and never forgave her for what she did to Anwar.

Ristina Majid was reportedly in love with Aziz Shamsuddin (left), another key conspirator and now a member of Abdullah's cabinet. The story goes that Aziz Shamsuddin was also involved in a bad car crash in which his wife died. When her body was taken to the hospital, a RM3 million cheque was found on her, issued by a contractor to whom her husband had awarded a big project.

The Attorney-General who presided over Anwar's prosecution was Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah (right). This is what became of him shortly after he retired in 2000: "He lingered in a one-year coma after falling down and hitting his head when he suffered a stroke. The doctors at the Subang Medical Centre had to cut open his skull to relieve the swelling on the brain but they could not sew it back because of the swelling. The skull finally had to be taped with plaster to prevent the brain from falling out. When he finally died [on 8 July 2003], his head had shrunk and those who saw him at the time of his death said that his head looked like a monkey’s head. How befitting someone who did not use his brain when he was alive and who ‘monkeyed’ around with the justice system." [Source: FreeAnwar.net]

The top cop who beat a handcuffed Anwar black-and-blue while under police custody, then Inspector-General of Police, Rahim Noor, lied vigorously about his savage act of reprehensible brutishness - but when a Royal Commission of Inquiry was set up to investigate the unwarranted violence against Anwar, Rahim Noor quickly confessed and resigned on 7 January 1999. He was let off with only a 3-month jail sentence and quietly released after serving only 6 weeks. Rahim Noor may have lost his gratuity and pension, but I'm told he had a hand in quite a few businesses, including a petrol station near the Damansara Jaya exit off the NKVE. Rumor has it that the ex-IGP (who called himself Bapak Lanun or Father of Pirates) suffered a stroke some years back and can no longer play golf... or Wrathful God of Umno.

Ummi Hafilda Ali, a diehard Mahathirite and among the first to accuse Anwar of sexual misconduct, was widely rumored to have had USD2 million deposited in an Israeli bank for her role in the farcical court proceedings. I wonder if she's been able to enjoy her ill-gotten gains. At least, she's reportedly still alive, and was last sighted at an event where she publicly called for Abdullah Badawi's resignation. I suppose being described as "a small-time prostitute" by pioneer cyberjournalist Sabri Zain was punishment enough - despite her tearful, vehement claims of being a 32-year-old virgin. She must be 42 now and, presumably, still virgo intacta. Perhaps the ultimate punishment for Ummi is that her brother Azmin Ali has remained loyal to Anwar Ibrahim all these years and is, in fact, the vice-president of Parti KeADILan Rakyat.

Have we left anyone out? Oh yes... let's not forget Justice Augustine Paul (right), the infamous "irrelevant" judge who presided over the kangaroo court that sentenced Anwar Ibrahim to 15 years imprisonment - 6 for "abuse of power" plus an additional 9 for sodomy (subsequently appealed and overturned under Abdullah Badawi's administration). So what's become of Augustine Paul? I hear he was elevated to Federal Court Judge status and is due for retirement soon. Rumors abound that he took the precaution of sending his family to Australia where he owns a fair amount of property. I doubt you will ever spot Augustine Paul anywhere near a PKR ceramah.

Now let's see what destiny holds for Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail, special assistant to Mohtar Abdullah in 1998, who led the relentless prosecution against Anwar (seems to be dangerously habit-forming). Somehow I find it hard to visualize any happily ever afters for this dubious Mamak from Sabah.

What about Saiful Bukhari bin Azlan, the inconsequential asshole that would destroy Malaysia's dream of a New Dawn? Anyone care to predict this young man's future?

How about THIS old man featured below in a rare confession of abuse of power?

Will he be garlanded at the gates of paradise for turning Malaysia into Bolehland? Will our descendants gaze upon the Petronas Twin Towers and give thanks that we once had such a Great Leader, whose grandiloquent vision of development very nearly bankrupted the treasury? Or will he have to experience 2,020 incarnations as a genetically modified chicken?