Saturday, May 30, 2015


It's only been hours since three Malaysian Appeals Court judges - Balia Yusof Wahi, Aziah Ali and Mohd Zawawi Mohd Salleh - overturned Anwar Ibrahim's 9 January 2012 acquittal and sentenced the Opposition Leader to five years' imprisonment on a 2008 charge of sodomy.

Everybody who's been observing the political soap opera unfold knows Anwar Ibrahim is our best hope for non-violent regime change. That's why he has been singled out for the dubious honor of being the only public figure ever to have been publicly accused of sodomy - not once, but twice since his unceremonious sacking in September 1998.

As finance minister and deputy prime minister under Mahathir Mohamad, Anwar came within an inch of succeeding the long-reigning despot as Umno president (and therefore the fifth prime minister). But in the end he was forced to openly rebel with his battle cry of "Reformasi!" which brought out close to 80,000 street protesters demanding Dr M's resignation, in the turbulent days before Anwar was arrested in his own house on the evening of 20 September 1998 by a balaclava-clad police commando team.

Beaten black-and-blue in police custody by none other than the then Inspector-General of Police, Rahim Noor, Anwar was paraded before a kangaroo court presided over by the late unlamented Augustine Paul, before being sentenced to 15 years in jail on trumped-up charges of sodomy (and abuse of power, just to add salt to gross injury).

Upon his April 2004 release after 6 years languishing in Sungai Buloh prison (and nearly succumbing to arsenic poisoning), Anwar swiftly resurrected his political career by weaving together a formidable opposition coalition comprising his own Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Party Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS), and the Democratic Action Party (DAP) which rode a political tsunami of discontent on 8 March 2008 to deprive the (mis)ruling coalition Barisan Nasional of its uninterrupted two-thirds parliamentary majority. Anwar then crowned that achievement by declaring that the newly resurgent opposition coalition (now known as Pakatan Rakyat or the People's Alliance) would dismantle Ketuanan Melayu (Malay Supremacy) and replace it with Ketuanan Rakyat (Supremacy of the People) if voted into power.

For the vast majority of decent, law-abiding Malaysians, Anwar Ibrahim's idealistic vision of Ketuanan Rakyat was the promise of a political golden age. But for those who had, during Dr M's overlong tenure, fattened themselves off the riches of the land (at the expense of the uninformed masses), the notion of social equality, justice and greater participatory democracy sounded like their own death knell.

Get Anwar, Part Two

Behind the scenes a pernicious plot had been hastily hatched. Even before the fateful election of 8 March 2008, a secret weapon had been planted within Anwar's inner circle in the person of a winsome young man named Saiful Bukhari Azlan who volunteered his help at PKR headquarters in the hectic period leading up to the election. Saiful insinuated his way into Anwar's confidence by serving as his "coffee boy" and personal aide.

It was later revealed (by Malaysia Today) that Saiful Bukhari Azlan was, in fact, godson to Mumtaz Jaafar - former Malaysian athlete and a close associate of Rosmah Mansor. Saiful's estranged father, Azlan Mohd Lazim (Malaysia Today reported) was a long-time Umno go-between with a wide network of political connections. Indeed, Azlan Mohd Lazim was allegedly part of a high-powered Umno mission dispatched immediately after the March 2008 election to woo ambitious members of PAS into teaming up with Umno against PKR and DAP. This devious scheme had the financial backing of the Umnoputra elite - Malay entrepreneurs who had made billions with a little bit of help from Dr M and his finance minister Daim Zainuddin.

Even more shocking, the controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin asserted (again in Malaysia Today, in an article titled "The Real Dalang Behind The Anwar Sodomy Allegation") that it was Shafee Abdullah who masterminded the slimy and sordid 2008 sequel to Anwar's 1999 sodomy trial. 

If that turns out to be true, then Shafee Abdullah gets the award for Greatest Slimeball Of All Time. Imagine the ruthless cunning it takes to set up Anwar even before the March 2008 election - and then six years down the line to get himself appointed freelance prosecutor by nefarious arrangement with another contender for the same award, Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail - the chief prosecutor who sent Anwar to jail in 1999.

With all the dramatic shifts happening around the world since 2008 when Pluto entered Capricorn - financial meltdowns and devastating hurricanes and regime change occurring wherever you look - the indefatigably evil Attorney-General Gani Patail persists in pursuing the non-issue of whether Saiful Bukhari Azlan had his anus enlarged by Malaysia's popular PM elect. If only he had shown the same zeal in bringing to justice the cold-blooded killers of "that Mongolian woman" Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Well, I'm telling you, Mr Pink Lips: it's no use keeping up pretenses. You just don't cut it - not even as a crime minister - you are totally uninspiring and are saddled with way too much karmic baggage (especially in the grotesque shape of your obnoxious, witchy wife). And as for Dr Mahathir's Umno Baru... it has already transformed itself into Umno Basi (stale) and/or Umno Busuk (stinky).

Meanwhile, vile and pernicious maneuvers by ultrarightwing Umno-sponsored NGOs and religious goon squads like Jakim have issued oppressive decrees in the name of Allah, about the name of Allah.

Ultra-jingoist Utusan Malaysia goes unchecked, unreprimanded, and unpunished when it willfully goes on an orchestrated rampage in an attempt to reactivate dormant racial and religious tensions.

And provincial Umno loudmouths like Nazri Aziz, Abdul Rahman Dahlan, and Khairy Jamaluddin continue to swagger around in their own swiftly evaporating mudholes, making laughing-stocks of themselves and accelerating the inevitable extinction of race-based political parties.

Add to the mix the ritual slaughter of chickens in public places, the smearing of sacrificial blood on a poster of Chinese opposition leaders; the hurling of pork into mosque compounds; threatening critics with tiresome displays of wagging buttocks. Outsourcing the dirty work to rabid abnomalies like Ibrahim Ali and Ridhuan Tee, Umno regresses into the abysmal depths of depravity, falling back on feudal arrogance, anachronistic tyranny, and violent territoriality. .

More than five years ago Anwar handed the Anti-Corruption Commission documentary evidence that former IGP Musa Hassan and AG Gani Patail were involved in falsifying evidence to convict him of sodomy in 1998. So what has become of the investigation? We don't hear a thing. Nobody has been sacked and both have disappeared into their wormholes.

How about private investigator Balasubramaniam Perumal and his family? How convenient that Bala died of a heart attack just as he was ready to embark on a road show to tell his version of the macabre Altantuya saga. Are Bala's widow and their children still living in constant fear of secret police harassment? Who paid for their upkeep in Chennai? - and what did it take to silence Deepak Jaikishan, Rosmah's erstwhile "fixer"? Anyone remember Lingamgate? I certainly do... but I don't see anything being done about the terrible shape the judiciary is in, after Mahathir turned it into a weapon against his political opponents.

I'm not the only one who would love to throw a whole bunch of banana peels in front of Zahid Hamidi, archnemesis of Ultraman. And I'm sure I could raise a posse to capture Taib Mahmud and tar and feather him. I'd like to see Najib Razak led away in handcuffs for being such a terrible liar and hypocrite.

As for all those Status Quoists who still insist Umno/BN was "given a mandate" to rule for another four years - and who think Anwar should concentrate on strengthening the Opposition Coalition from behind bars - nothing short of the Japanese bamboo torture will suffice.

[First posted 29 September 2008; updated 8 March 2014]