Failing an appeal that may yet be made by the prosecution, Anwar Ibrahim is finally free of his latest spurious sodomy charge and the possibility of up to 20 years in jail. And now it’s time for the Malaysian people to win their freedom from 50+ years – or the equivalent of more than two life sentences – of imprisonment and empoisonment by the rotten Umno/BN regime.
Though it could be argued that a great many Malaysians have nobody but themselves to blame for this punishing experience, having effectively held themselves captive by voting for their oppressors so repeatedly and for so long.
Some, of course, have supported the powers-that-be in return for petty handouts or promises of special privileges for suitably passive and grateful inmates of the system. But the only crime or offence that most of the Umno/BN regime’s captive voters have been guilty of, it seems to me, is that of ignorance.
Ignorance that has been created and perpetuated by the regime itself through walls of official secrecy and barricades of media bias, selective silence and lies, all carefully guarded by corrupt and politically-partisan police, hopelessly compromised law officers and a notoriously compliant judiciary.
Yet the man most responsible for this disgraceful state of affairs, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, has hailed the acquittal of Anwar Ibrahim on the latest sodomy charge against him as proof that there is “no government conspiracy or interference in the country’s judiciary.”
Mahathir, the very man who destroyed the integrity of Malaysia’s judiciary by firing the Lord Chief Justice and several other leading jurists back in 1987, then went on to claim that “the country’s judiciary was always independent and was not influenced by any quarters, including the government or opposition, in arriving at any decision.”
Current Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak took the same lying line, declaring that “the verdict shows once again that despite what many have claimed, the Malaysian judiciary is an independent institution where neither politics nor politicians have any influence over the dispensation of justice.”
And the operative currently responsible for the political partisanship of Malaysia’s ignorance-promoting mainstream media, information minister Rais Yatim, similarly claimed that the acquittal of Anwar “proves that Malaysia’s courts are free of manipulation.”
In fact this case appears to me and many others to prove quite the opposite. The sodomy charge itself was clearly manufactured. The two-year trial was riddled with irregularities unfairly and unjustly favouring the prosecution. And the “not guilty” verdict was so evidently a sop to Anwar sympathisers ahead of the looming general election that it stank to high heaven of regime manipulation.
Manipulation similar to that so glaringly evident in a great many other infamous trials, or rather mistrials, from that of the alleged murderers of the Mongolian translator involved in the Scorpene submarine scandal, Altantuya Shaariibuu, to the conviction and ridiculously light sentencing of Khir Toyo for corruption and the so-called “Datuk T” trio for publishing a pornographic DVD portraying an Anwar Ibrahim look-alike having sex with a prostitute.
But even more of an imposition on the Malaysian people than miscarriages of justice like the Anwar, Altantuya, Toyo, Datuk T and other show-trials are all the countless no-trials.
Routine failure to prosecute or even properly investigate the hundreds if not thousands of killings of ‘suspects’ in police ‘shoot-outs’ and official custody, for example.
As in the case of the late Ananthan Kugan, who was deemed to have succumbed to “fluid on the lungs” despite internet images of his corpse clearly showing evidence of brutal beatings and torture.
Or in the even more notorious case of Teoh Beng Hock, the young witness whose death in the custody of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was found by an inquest and then a royal commission to be due to “neither suicide nor homicide,” so that no suspect killers could be identified.
No-trials for manslaughter and outright murder, however, are just a part of the punishment Malaysians have been forced to either like or lump during 54 years in Umno/BN custody.
They’ve also been robbed of billions upon billions of their hard-earned ringgit and their nation’s natural resources and expected to stand hopelessly, helplessly by and watch the culprits live high on the hog on the proceeds.
Hardly any specific participants in massive regime-sponsored theft, fraud and embezzlement can legally be named by me or anyone else, of course, as a multitude of suspicions and allegations have resulted in precious few prosecutions and even less convictions.
Suffice to mention, therefore, that countless massive financial scandals involving commodity, power, water and other monopolies, share issues, swaps and trades, ‘soft’ government loans, land-grabs, utility and airline privatisations, motor-vehicle import approval permits, taxi licences and highway toll concessions have come and gone unpunished before such relatively recent specific examples as the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) fiasco and the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scam.
And a good many prominent families, notably those of former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Sarawak Chief Minister Mahmud “The Termite” Taib and current Prime Minister Najib Razak, have grown so rich that they must have quite astonishing business accumen, or else, as First Lady Rosmah Mansor explained in reference to her proposed purchase of a multi-million-ringgit diamond ring, been mighty savers since they were young.
Of course any Malaysian is free to join Umno or one of its racially-appropriate coalition parties in Barisan Nasional in hopes of scoring a “get-out-of-jail-free” card and a chance to grab a share of the loot.
But most people, it seems to me, would much rather simply be free. Free, like Anwar Ibrahim is at least for now, from the threat of selective, malicious prosecution under Umno/BN’s slew of unconstitutional, repressive Acts of repression and aggression against opponents or protestors.
Free from regulations designed to keep the innocent ignorant and the guilty in government, like Umno/BN’s Official Secrets Act, Printing, Presses and Publications Act and the Universities and Colleges Act.
Free from domination by those who consider their lying word to be law, and themselves and their friends, families and cronies to be immune from prosecution for their crimes.
Free, in short, from a gang of goons so gross as to go to any lengths, from fraudulent legislative ‘reform’ to pulling the strings of its puppet judiciary, to try and rig yet another general election in favour of keeping the future and fortunes of Malaysia and Malaysians in Umno/BN’s greedy grasp.