Saturday, February 14, 2015

Reproduced directly from Malaysiakini as a public service... shame on you, Najib!

11:19AM Feb 14, 2015
By John R Malott

The world, in unison, slams the Anwar verdict

COMMENT Many Malaysians have commented on the speed with which the government responded to the Federal Court's verdict last Tuesday, in which the jurists found Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, guilty of sodomy and sentenced him to five years in prison.

Less than 20 minutes after the chief justice announced the court's decision, an official government statement was sent to the media, both Malaysian and international. For a government whose usual response is either "elegant silence" or to send out short and callous "tweets" about important and highly-charged topics (like the fate of the victims in the Malaysia Airlines crashes), this was indeed remarkable.

In its "defence", the government said that it had prepared two different statements, depending on which way the verdict went. We did the same thing when I was in the US government, so I will accept the government's explanation at face value. But that does not excuse the content of the government's statement, which was seriously flawed.

Let's take a look at the government's claims. First came the assertion that:

"The judges will have reached their verdict only after considering all the evidence in a balanced and objective manner. Malaysia has an independent judiciary, and there have been many rulings against senior government figures."

But does the world believe that Malaysia has an independent judiciary, and that the court was balanced and objective?

The court's decision was immediately criticised by the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Germany, and Switzerland, among others, as well as the European Union.

The embassies and high commissions of these countries sent observers to cover Anwar's trials over the past many years. They all concluded that the verdict raised major questions about the independence of the Malaysian judiciary.

Likewise, respected international human rights organisations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the International Federation for Human Rights said the same thing.
The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) also condemned the court's verdict.

Especially telling were the comments of Mark Trowell (left), a Queen’s Counsel who represented the IPU, LAWASIA, and the Law Council of Australia. He said the decision of the Federal Court "was unconvincing and lacked a detailed analysis of the facts."

Further blasting the court, he said that "in reaching these conclusions, the court rejected or ignored the evidence that raised serious doubts about the reliability of so-called independence evidence and the credibility of the complainant."

In the most damning statement of all, Trowell said, "If the court had proper regard to the facts and the law, Anwar Ibrahim should never have been convicted."

As for the ICJ, it said, "Anwar Ibrahim should never have been investigated, charged with, tried, let alone convicted of and sentenced for such charges."

World press, too, speaks out

Some of the most prestigious publications in the world, such as theWashington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the Economist also have spoken out.

The Washington Post wrote in an editorial, "The criminal case used to imprison Mr Anwar, who has been one of the foremost advocates of liberal democracy in the Muslim world, was as morally reprehensible as it was farcical...

“The case against him was thin enough to be dismissed by a court in 2012. That Mr Najib's government managed to have that decision reversed by an appeals court and upheld by the Supreme Court demonstrated only that Malaysia still lacks an independent judiciary."

Calling the verdict ‘Malaysia's Anwar shame,’ the Wall Street Journal said, "Umno's decades-long vendetta against Mr Anwar has brought discredit on Malaysia's government and political culture. It is likely to accelerate the ruling party's loss of support from a maturing population repulsed by such dirty tricks. Prime Minister Najib Razak's failure to call an end to this farce is a stain on his legacy."

In describing the verdict, Murray Hiebert at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC, which normally is sympathetic towards Malaysia, told a German television network that "it's pretty much a travesty of justice and an attempt to sideline an opposition politician who has been challenging the ruling party in recent years."

Josh Kurlantzick of the Council on Foreign Relations, without doubt the most prestigious foreign policy institute in the United States, tweeted that "any belief in Najib Razak as some kind of reformer should now be fully and totally extinguished."

And Dan Slater, a Southeast Asia specialist at the University of Chicago, told the Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper in Canada that when the government decided to appeal Anwar's acquittal in the High Court, the government's actions became "nothing better than a witch-hunt."

Fabrication of evidence

So here's a question for the public relations masters in Putrajaya.

You can claim that "Malaysia's judiciary is independent" until you are blue in the face. But can you name one foreign government, one international human rights organisation, one international newspaper, one foreign think-tank, or one overseas academic who agrees with the decision - and who concurs with your assertion that the verdict was the just conclusion of an independent judiciary?

I don't think so.

But I am also sure that you are now coming up with more multi-million dollar proposals for the government to try and sway world opinion. Save your money. Remember all the wasted dollars you spent on Jack Abramoff, Apco, FBC Media, and Paul Stadlen. They all failed totally to achieve their paid objectives.

The government's press release then went on to say:

"The police report against Anwar Ibrahim was brought by a private individual - Anwar's employee and personal assistant - not by the government. As the victim of a serious sexual assault, he had every right to have his case heard in court."

Yes, it is true that the initial police report was filed by Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, but only after he had met with Najib and wife Rosmah Mansor, as well as the infamous police official from Sodomy I, Mohd Rodwan Mohd Yusof.

We know about Najib and Rosmah, but just to remind everyone about Rodwan - according to a Malaysiakini report in 2008, in the 1998-1999 trials, Anwar experienced the phenomenon of fabrication of DNA evidence.

We had senior assistant commissioner (SAC) Rodwan illegally removing DNA samples from forensic custody. In cross-examination of the prosecution's witnesses, it was exposed that DNA taken from blood samples was planted on the infamous mattress.

When confronted with this fact, the prosecution amended its charge and persuaded the late judge, Augustine Paul (who was later promoted to the Federal Court), to expunge the entire DNA evidence from the record, preventing Anwar Ibrahim's lawyers from responding.

Back to the present.

Even after Saiful, a college dropout, met with the then deputy prime minister and filed the police report, it was up to the government to decide whether to file charges against Anwar. So from that moment forward, it was the government's case, not Saiful's.

And when Anwar was acquitted, it was the government that decided to file the appeal, not Saiful. At that point, it was clear, as Professor Slater of the University of Chicago said, that the government was on a "witch-hunt". They were once again determined to remove Anwar as a force in Malaysian politics.

Saiful as the victim?

The government's press release also calls Saiful "the victim of a serious sexual assault."

But wait a minute - wasn't the charge "consensual sex"? And didn't attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail just say that the reason Saiful also was not charged for consensual sex was because he had turned state's witness and agreed to testify against Anwar?

So if it was consensual, why does the Prime Minister's Office call Saiful a "victim" of sexual assault?

If you say that Saiful (right) was assaulted, then we are back to square one - the government's original and totally unbelievable claim - that a young, strong, strapping man was raped time and time again by someone who was 40 years older than he was - but somehow was never able to escape. Baloney.

Finally, as I wrote this, I saw that the Federal Court's written judgment has now been released. They said that the testimony of distinguished DNA experts like Dr Brian McDonald and Dr David D Wells was not credible.

But they said that Saiful was a credible witness. They chose Saiful over these distinguished Australian academics.

And then I remembered Saiful's alleged affair with the deputy public prosecutor during the course of the trial.

When others talked about Saiful's affair with the government prosecutor, they asked, did it compromise the government? Did they share legal information during their pillow talk?

I see it in a different way.

I think about the fact that Saiful was engaged to another woman at that time. He had promised to marry this young woman. And yet he betrayed her and engaged in an affair with another woman, who was on the prosecuting team.

To betray your fiancée, the woman you promised to share your life with, the woman you said you loved and promised to marry, means that you are a liar and a cheat. It means that you are deceptive and your words cannot be relied on.

And Saiful was doing this - lying and cheating - at the exact moment the trial was being conducted, when he was testifying. And yet the Federal Court called this liar and this cheat a "credible witness."

Is it any wonder the world doesn't believe a word that the Malaysian public relations machine and the Malaysian courts are spitting out these days?

JOHN R MALOTT is former United States ambassador to Malaysia.

Friday, February 13, 2015

THE STORY SO FAR... (revisited)

Legends, myths and folk tales live forever in our genetic memories - because they carry great lessons that impact on our everyday lives. Look around, folks, you're living in the midst of an unfolding epic drama...

JOHN THE BAPTIST is a prophet in the tradition of Elijah who lives a simple, ascetic life, preparing candidates for the kingdom of heaven by baptizing them in the river Jordan. He announces the coming of a great Master who will save humanity and redeem us from darkness and moral degeneracy.

John does not belong to the conservative Jewish sect known as the Pharisees, who venerate the Torah (akin to the Koran) and the Talmud (akin to the Hadith), and value outward piety in daily life; nor does he belong to the Sadduccees, an urban elite sect (akin to Mahathir's Melayu Baru) with a more sophisticated understanding of the outside world and who have embraced Hellenistic (secularist) lifestyles and values. John is more aligned with the Essenes (akin to the Sufis), a mystic sect that teaches conscious union with the Paraclete (or Holy Spirit).

As he isn't part of any institutionalized priesthood, John the Baptist answers only to himself and his God. He preaches to all who will listen and fearlessly criticizes the liars and hypocrites who compromise their ethical values in exchange for petty favors from the corrupt and decadent court of Herod Antipas (right), puppet King of Galilee and vassal of the Roman Occupation Government. John openly denounces the moral degradation that has overtaken his beloved land and accuses Herod Antipas of transgressions against the law.

As the traditional "Voice in the Wilderness," John the Baptist's rantings against the government are tolerated as the mutterings of a madman. However, after Herod Antipas abandons his official consort and marries his sister-in-law Herodias - an ambitious, heartless woman who some suspect poisoned her own husband - John the Baptist condemns their liaison as an unholy one, thereby angering the witchy Herodias. To pacify her Herod Antipas orders the arrest of the wild prophet and throws him in prison.

At the royal marriage feast, Herodia's voluptuous daughter Salome (left) dances for the court and so delightful is her performance that the King drunkenly announces that she can demand whatever reward she desires. Salome consults her mother, who suggests that she asks for the head of John the Baptist.

Nonetheless, John's earthly mission has already been accomplished. Prior to his arrest, incarceration and beheading, he had recognized and identified The One who will save the people from eternal enslavement to the forces of evil - indeed, Ha Adon Yeheshua Ha Mashi'akh or long-awaited Messiah - and baptized him in the living waters of the river Jordan. The young Master Yeshua's encounter with his shamanic initiator, John the Baptist transforms him into The Christos or Anointed King.

Yeshua emerges from his full immersion in the Jordan reborn as The Christos, awakened to his own earthly mission, even as a voice from heaven resounds in his head: "You are verily my Sun in whom I am so well pleased!"

John the Baptist is widely acknowledged as a Man of Godly Wisdom and his naming of Yeshua as The One facilitates the Master Yeshua's mission of awakening the people.

Traveling from village to village to explain his vision of humanity's New Dawn, Yeshua amasses a following that grows by the day. Few can resist his penetrating intelligence and charisma, his aura of nobility and innate leadership. The Galileans are convinced that the King has finally returned to reclaim his Heavenly Kingdom on Earth.

However, obstacles abound on the road to Glory, Kingdom and Power...

The Sadduccees fear radical change, having adapted nicely to Roman Occupation and invested their lives in mercantile activities, they cling anxiously to the Status Quo and speak of compromise, patience, reconciliation with Herod, and appeasement of Rome, lest turmoil descend upon the nation.

The Pharisees and Scribes, on the other hand, realize that the Return of the King could result in a diminution of their worldly authority and wealth; possibly total loss of their powers and privileges, gained at the expense of the ignorant masses. For generations they have toiled under the yoke of Roman Occupation, learning to serve time and their own self-interest. Now, along comes a visionary from out of the blue whose impassioned talk of the Kingdom of Heaven sends shivers of incomprehension through their weakened spines. They are being asked to make a leap of faith into uncharted territory, to live by aspirations long forgotten and ideals long forsaken... never before has a crisis of such magnitude befallen the nation!

Can this Miracle Worker, this self-proclaimed Messiah, this uncrowned King be trusted? Will he lead us to the Promised Land at long last... or to Damnation and Ruin?

This is a story that has been told and retold throughout the ages. The plot remains the same, as do the key characters. What changes are the time and place, the costume and set design. And, as always, how the story ends - whether in tragedy or triumph - is entirely in our own hands.

[First posted 25 September 2008. Reposted 9 January 2014 & 23 December 2014]

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


I maintain my innocence of this foul charge - this incident never happened. This is complete fabrication - coming from a political conspiracy to stop my political career.

You have not given proper consideration to the case presented by my counsel from day one - that this incident never happened at all.

But instead you chose to remain on the dark side and drown your morals and your scruples in a sea of falsehood and subterfuge. Know you not that you are now wallowing in filth and foulness and the stench of your injustice will permeate through every nook and cranny of this so-called Palace of Justice and I do pity you all.
I can go on and on but I see from your statement today that it will be fruitless - it appears as I have been condemned again as I was in the court of appeal. only here we went through a facade of an eight day hearing.

It is not a coincidence how the PM was able to release a full written statement on your decision barely minutes after you handed your judgment today even before sentencing.

In bowing to the dictates of the political masters, you have become partners in crime for the murder of judicial independence and integrity. You have sold your souls to the devil, bartering your conscience for material gain and comfort and security of office.

You had the best opportunity to redeem yourselves – to right the wrongs of the past and put the judiciary on a clean slate and carve your names for posterity as true defenders of justice.

Yes, you have passed judgement on me – and I will, again for the third time, walk into prison but rest assured my head will be held high. The light shines on me.

But the shame is on you for you will be judged by history as the great cowards of humanity. Sitting on that high horse of judicial power, you have stooped so low to become the underlings of the political masters.

Students of law and professors of jurisprudence will scrutinize your judgments and as they dissect your reasoning and your decision, your credibility and integrity will be torn to tatters. And you will be exposed as the fraudsters who don the robe of judicial power only to pervert the course of justice.
Umno lawyer Shafee Abdullah, appointed
by fiat to lead the prosecution against Anwar
Do not forget that, as all of us will have to, you too will have to answer to your maker. You will have to answer why you turned your backs on the principles that you had so solemnly sworn to uphold.

People who come into your court have to bow their heads and address you as ‘My Lords’ but don’t you know that you too will have to answer to your Lord one day? By then you will need more than bowing and prostration to justify why you willfully transgressed Allah’s command as ordained in Surah an-Nisaa, verse 58:

Indeed, Allah commands you to render trusts to whom they are due and when you judge between people to judge with justice. Excellent is that which Allah instructs you. Indeed, Allah is ever Hearing and Seeing.

Going to jail, I consider a sacrifice I make for the people of this country.

I have fought most of my life on behalf of the people of this country - for the people I am willing to go to jail or face any other consequence.

My struggle will continue, wherever I am sent and whatever is done to me.

To my friends and fellow Malaysians let me thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the support you have given me. And Allah is my witness. I pledge and I will not be silenced, I will fight on for freedom and justice - and I will never surrender!
Anwar Ibrahim