If Anwar Ibrahim is right in his winding-up speech at the Pakatan Rakyat 5th Convention in Shah Alam yesterday that he might be imprisoned within two months, it would mean another “rush to judgment” to dispose of Anwar’s Federal Court appeal to uphold his five-year jail conviction by the Court of Appeal on Friday.
This is because Anwar would have exhausted his legal remedies and once his 5-year jail conviction is upheld by the Federal Court in two months, Anwar will have to start his second jail incarceration.
It would also mean that Anwar will not be able to attend the June meeting of Parliament, and the forthcoming parliamentary meeting beginning tomorrow will be Anwar’s last parliamentary meeting.
Furthermore, it would also mean that Anwar would be disqualified as MP and the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election would have to be held in June or July.
These are among the consequences of the Court of Appeal’s extraordinary five-year jail conviction for Anwar on Friday.
I said on Feb. 28 when Anwar was named the PR/PKR candidate for the Kajang by-election that his real enemies in the Kajang by-election are not the independent candidates, MCA or even UMNO but PR/PKR internal feuds and infighting.
It is heartening that after a week of “free for all” in such internal feuds and infighting, which greatly exasperated PR/PKR supporters, my concern of a PR/PKR “house divided” has been resolved on the evening of Thursday 6th March – the eve of the Court of Appeal’s infamous “black Friday” with its five-year conviction for Anwar – where all PR/PKR national and Selangor leaders were committed to ensure a solid and united front in facing the challenge of the Kajang by-election.
The infamous Court of Appeal five-year conviction judgment the next day on Friday, 7th March which knocked out Anwar as a candidate for Kajang by-election can only solidify the PR/PKR unity and cohesion to ensure that PR/PKR will be facing the Kajang by-election challenge as one solid fighting team.
As I said at the PR 5th Convention yesterday, it is not enough for the Pakatan Rakyat/PKR candidate just to win, or even to win with a bigger majority than last year during the 13th general election.
The Kajang voters should be asked to do the impossible in the by-election on March 23 by making the Barisan Nasional candidate lose deposit.
I agree that this is a very “tall order” but the occasion warrants going for such an extraordinary result.
This will a clear and unmistakable verdict that the people disapproves of any return to authoritarian rule or reversion to blatant and flagrant subversion of the independence, impartiality and integrity of the judiciary and other important national institutions to serve the political interests of the powers-that-be, as is clearly evident in the five-year jail conviction of Anwar Ibrahim yesterday.
Next Tuesday, DAP National Chairman Karpal Singh is being sentenced for sedition. Will Karpal be jailed or lose his qualification as an MP leading to a parliamentary by-election in Bukit Gelugor?
In actual fact, Karpal should never have been charged at all.
This is why the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has urged the Malaysian government to review the conviction of Karpal for sedition and to repeal the Sedition Act as promised two years ago.
Expressing “serious concern”, its spokesperson Rupert Colville said the Sedition Act is inconsistent with international human rights law and infringes on freedom of expression.
Rupert said that Karpal as a lawyer must be able to discharge his duty “without intimidation, hindrance or improper interference of any sort”.
“(Lawyers) should be entitled to express views in their professional capacities on matters concerning the law,” he said.
But Malaysia, despite Najib’s claim to want to make Malaysia “the best democracy in the world”, is heading in the opposite direction – plunging international respect for our judiciary after nosediving of other indices for a respected developed nation, losing even to Myanmar in the latest 2014 World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), with Malaysia not only falling to the lowest-ever ranking of 147th but two places behind Myanmar which is ranked No. 145.
Is Najib taking Malaysia into a new “Dark Age”?
(Speech when opening the meeting of DAP state political education directors at DAP Hqrs in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, 9th March 2014 at 10am)