Anwar’s acquittal a victory for justice but not yet a triumph for the justice system

I had in my first response to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s acquittal from Sodomy II charges yesterday said that it was a victory for justice.

There was immediate response from detractors accusing me of double standards, alleging that I would regard the justice system as fair and just when Anwar is freed but the opposite if Anwar is imprisoned.

These detractors have got me wrong. Anwar’s acquittal was a victory for justice but not yet a triumph for the justice system.

Just as a swallow does not make a summer, the justice system in Malaysia has a very long way to go despite the Anwar Sodomy II acquittal to restore national and international confidence in its in efficiency, independence and integrity.

In acquitting Anwar, Judge Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah cited the possibility that the DNA samples were compromised and the lack of corroborative evidence. On these grounds alone, Anwar should never had been charged in this first place. Furthermore, Anwar’s defence should not have been called at the end of the prosecution case.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today joined the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Rais Yatim to proclaim that Anwar’s acquittal was proof of the independence of the judiciary in Malaysia and would increase the confidence of Malaysians and international community in Najib’s transformation promises.

Such claims and proclamations are most fragile.

Firstly, it will not be easily forgotten that the crisis of confidence in the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law reached a new climax under Najib’s premiership, when he orchestrated the unconstitutional coup d’etat and power grab in Perak state which was given legitimacy by compromised and subservient judiciary.

Secondly, such claims would be instantly destroyed if Anwar is subject to new and further persecutions, whether in a decision to appeal against Anwar’s acquittal or to harass him with new charges.

I call on Najib to end all gutter politics and character assassination of political opponents and the politics of lies and hate, which of late has poisoned Malaysian politics and the nation-building process – as for instance the incessant lies trying to portray the DAP as anti-Malay, anti-Islam and anti-Malay Rulers.

Let the battle for the hearts and minds of the voters be on policies and programmes and not on character-assassination, lies and falsehoods.

Anwar’s acquittal yesterday has given hope that the decay of key national institutions have not reached the point of no return and that it is possible to effect changes and reforms from within the present system – although there can be no better surety of fundamental reforms of key national institutions than to bring about a change of federal power in Putrajaya in the next general elections.

Anwar’s acquittal is likely to affect Najib’s time-table for the holding of the next general elections as the possibility of dissolution of Parliament immediately after the Chinese New Year has receded into the background.

This is probably why Parliament has announced the dates for the new Parliamentary calender this year – with official opening of Parliament by the Yang di Pertuan Agong on March 12 starting a 20-day meeting for Dewan Rakyat from March 12 to April 12, 2012; a second parliamentary meeting of 12 days from 11th June to 28th June and a 34-day 2013 Budget meeting from Sept. 24 to Nov. 27, 2012.

As of now, I expect the March meeting of Parliament to be held but not the June meeting, as otherwise the “feel good” feeling generated from Najib’s 2012 Budget “goodies” would have been completely dissipated.

  1. #1 by drngsc on Tuesday, 10 January 2012 - 5:18 pm

    I am very happy for DSAI and family that DSAI is now a free man. I have always felt that just as DSAI suffered injustice, so did the family, Wan Azizah and children. God kept them all.
    But, this has always been a political persecution, a political trial and a political act, so the solution is also political. THERE IS NO VICTORY. No victory until this present corrupt government is replaced.
    It is politically convenient for them ( on the balance of convenience ) to release him now. UMNO feels that their upside is more than their downside ( keeping him in ). When it is convenient for them, they will put him in again. NOTHING HAS CHANGED.
    Things will only change if we change the tenant at Putrajaya. They took a chance to release him. Let us capitalise on this. With DSAI free, our chances are slightly better.

    We must change the tenant at Putrajaya. GE 13 is our best chance. Now that DSAI is free, our chances are slightly better. failure is not an option. We must all work very very hard.

  2. #2 by monsterball on Tuesday, 10 January 2012 - 5:53 pm

    Whatever it’s good news for Malaysians and Tok Guru Aziz again says…he knows Anwar is absolutely innocent…for Anwar has very bad back problem…and how can a weak man like him do sex with a tall young strong man…without hurting himself.
    This is the good news to all Malaysians.
    Let the BN leaders twist the result as much as they like.
    One day at a time patiently to have our dreams come true.

  3. #3 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 10 January 2012 - 6:57 pm

    Maybe the Judge just didn’t want to be remembered for the wrong reasons. Bad for karma. Why should he take the heat?

  4. #4 by Loh on Tuesday, 10 January 2012 - 7:01 pm

    The next general election, GE 13 decides whether Anwar would continue to face persecution through rule by law or the party currently in power accounts in court how they have lived within their means. It is a life and death battle, and so democracy and change of government based on ballot box results might not survive.

  5. #5 by monsterball on Tuesday, 10 January 2012 - 8:43 pm

    If Najib dares to approve for an appeal and bring Anwar to court again …UMNO b will loose more votes.
    If the it be as it is..the 28% support from Malays be still be there…but change of government is crystal clear.
    Najib knows it…and Anwar is in Mumbai…feeling Ghadhi’s spirit of love and declared he is willing to forgive ad forget.
    Now lets see who is calling who bluff….like a poker game.

  6. #6 by balance88 on Tuesday, 10 January 2012 - 9:58 pm

    Sad day for justice.

  7. #7 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 10 January 2012 - 11:25 pm

    Meanwhile, in another country:

    ISLAMABAD, Jan 10 — Pakistan‘s Supreme Court turned up the pressure on the civilian government today by warning the prime minister he could be removed from office if he doesn’t take action on longstanding corruption cases against the president. (Reuters)

  8. #8 by balance88 on Tuesday, 10 January 2012 - 11:25 pm

    Uncle Lim, this is not a victory for justice. The biggest losers are the judicial system and the Rakyat.

    The judge do not even need to go through with the whole process to see that there is no prima facie case based on the reasons for the not guilty verdict. This case should have been thrown out right from the start. It is simply an abuse of the judicial system for political ends.

    And the govt dare claim that this is proof of the judicial’s independence! The judicial system is like a puppet on a string. If its masters want it to show independence then it becomes independent. That is exactly what happened in this case. Some in govt even claimed that this is reform. Implicitly, they are saying that it is true that the judicial system was previously not just.

    Given the alternatives, the BN simply had no other alternative, but to free Anwar, thus, the verdict. This is the alternative that generates the lesser risk for the BN.

    If the judiciary was independent, this case would have wound up in the bandaraya’s garbage bin right from the start. Sorry to spoil the party, but this verdict is no victory for justice.

  9. #9 by monsterball on Tuesday, 10 January 2012 - 11:34 pm

    “balance888” writer should take up law…then it surely will be a sad day for justice.

  10. #10 by monsterball on Tuesday, 10 January 2012 - 11:39 pm

    kharma also thrown into the verdict.
    I am getting groggy…reading.
    Goodnight to all.

  11. #12 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 11 January 2012 - 2:54 am

    JUSTICE? Independence of d judiciary? Don’t b FOOLED by d wayang!
    4 almost 3 yrs, d judge had played his role well under UmnoB; based on initial ridiculous evidence, he should hv dismissed d case long ago; but NO, he prolonged d public humiliation of AI who was like paraded with a stockade 4 1 n all 2 larf at
    D evidence was so obviously no evidence, d judge (n Umno B too) had no choice but 2 acquit AI
    Dis wayang is 2 show independence of d judiciary, setting d stage 4 d IMMINENT trial of AI (another seks related case)
    In d NEXT trial, when AI is found GUILTY, NO 1 is 2 complain lor, judge n justice fair mah
    Now we UNDERSTAND d timing n purpose of Datuk T’s exposure – an insurance 2 nail AI

  12. #13 by cemerlang on Wednesday, 11 January 2012 - 6:26 am

    Listen to all the speeches by BN. They said they show the international community that they have justice. It is the other way round. The international community wants BN to show justice. So the international community has to keep reminding BN to show justice. If it has been real justice, the case should have been given the same verdict much earlier on.

  13. #14 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 11 January 2012 - 8:24 am

    Nobody is fooled by the acquittal. In fact it possible even likely the outcome is actually worst indicator of the justice system. The decision was political – it did not pay politically to jail Anwar and so they let him go. As you point out, the case should have been dismissed without defense. It should NEVER have been brought in the first place. Its not way to run a judicial system to be so influenced by politics even if its on the side of the right politics. Everything we need justice we have to bring THOUSANDS of people to the court-room? How insane is that?

    Time to move on. Anwar has first-strike. Now to carpet-bomb UMNO/BN in their heartland – their very foundation – the voters of Sabah & Sarawak..

  14. #15 by undertaker888 on Wednesday, 11 January 2012 - 9:01 am

    Out from the lion’s mouth into a frying pan.

  15. #16 by sotong on Wednesday, 11 January 2012 - 9:40 am

    As planned to divert attention and exhaust limited resources……they knew there’s no case from the start!

    Very little time left for GE…..BN will win GE with smaller majority.

  16. #17 by dagen on Wednesday, 11 January 2012 - 10:15 am

    If the weight of the entire umno comes down on you would you still have the guts to decide against umno? No way! Umno is capable of making all sorts of threats. Look at altan. Look at teoh beng hock. The judge would be tamed into delivering an “umno-favourable judgment”. Here, umno is stuck. No decision would be favourable to umno. Throwing anwar into jail, the decision all umno people are expecting, would effectively throw umno off the floor. Freeing anwar, which is clearly the correct decision based on the evidence, too be troublesome to umno. But between the two, the latter seems less painful. So that then became the “umno-favourable” decision to make which also happened to be the correct decision. That was it! My guess.

  17. #18 by balance88 on Wednesday, 11 January 2012 - 10:20 am

    monsterball, don’t know what you are driving at. Don’t need a law expert to see that this case was weak from the word go. A lot of people are elated with the verdict no doubt and I think rightly so.

    Then again, there is no denying that BN wins elections by manipulating the govt machineries ethically or non-ethically.

  18. #19 by dagen on Wednesday, 11 January 2012 - 1:07 pm

    There is only one correct decision in this case; and the only obvious decision here ought to be exoneration of anwar. Yes, the judge was right, in my view. And I am sure the judge was given the go ahead by umno to deliver that correct decision. Doing so would, in umno’s context, delay the MV UMNO from sinking to the bottom of the ocean – an event certain – for a little while longer.

    But umno was not careful. I think they made another mistake. They probably did not give enough thought to the proper ground for freeing anwar. So the judge went on the extremely weak and nebulous DNA evidence. Here lies the mistake. How could the AG – a loyal servant of umno – proceed to charge anwar on the basis of weak and nebulous evidence?

  19. #20 by boh-liao on Thursday, 12 January 2012 - 1:59 am

    How come every time a decision is 2 b made, PM sure is outside M’sia

You must be logged in to post a comment.