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Brother Anwar, may Allah blessed you, amen

Friday, July 30, 2010

The controversial "sodomy" trial of Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia’s charismatic opposition leader, who is also the Party Leader of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (KEADILAN), is due to resume in the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Monday, 2 August 2010. Observers and leaders around the world concur that the charge against him is baseless and politically motivated, but the authorities seem determined to proceed with it.

The trial looks set to be a replay of the shameful trials he went through in 1998-1999, which were condemned worldwide and resulted in a lengthy prison sentence. Thus far, a number of unfair rulings have already been made by the courts, making it very difficult for Anwar's lawyers to mount an effective defence.

The Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General, who are both personally involved in this high-profile sequel, were earlier shown to have played roles in fabricating evidence against Anwar in the 1998-1999 trials.

In recent days, yet another scandal has emerged: Renowned blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin revealed that a member of the prosecution team was having an affair with Saiful, who is not only Anwar’s accuser but also the main prosecution witness. She was swiftly removed from the Federal Counsel line-up soon after the affair was exposed.

To put things in the correct perspective, this new trial should be viewed as part of a wider, concerted attack against Anwar Ibrahim and other Pakatan Rakyat (PAKATAN) leaders close to him. Indeed, the comprehensive assault through instruments of government by the Umno-Barisan Nasional regime have gained considerable momentum over the last year.

These include frequent attempts to tarnish the image of Anwar Ibrahim using the mainstream media (almost exclusively owned or controlled by the ruling regime), as well as determined efforts to bring about the collapse of the PAKATAN-controlled state governments – especially Selangor, which is both the richest state and the flagship of KEADILAN. A sterling example of this is the constant harassment by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission against PAKATAN leaders in Selangor.

Further, last month, the renewal of the publishing permits for the official organs of all three PAKATAN component parties were either denied or delayed. Recently, although the permit for the PAS newspaper, Harakah, was renewed, the renewal was attached with stifling conditions.

The trial of Anwar Ibrahim is scheduled to continue until the end of the month.

--- Released by the International Bureau, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (KEADILAN)