Archive for category Anwar Ibrahim

With old guards bowing out, how will Barisan and Pakatan change?

The Malaysian Insider
17 February 2015

Old guards in Malaysia’s political parties are slowly leaving the scene paving the way for younger leaders to come forward, but between the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) and the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR), the pace of rejuvenation differs vastly.

Both sides have hugely respected and influential stalwarts but the number has dwindled down to one each – in BN, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah is the sole veteran still in active politics as Gua Musang MP and in PR, Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang is still DAP adviser.

In PR, there is potential now for younger leaders to rise and develop even more responsibilities with the passing of PAS’s Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat and DAP’s Karpal Singh, as well as the incarceration of PKR de factor leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

In BN, party’s top posts are filled with second-generation leaders, such as Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the Umno president and prime minister, and Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, an Umno vice-president and defence minister.

But the crucial difference between the two coalitions was that with BN, the party’s rejuvenation process seems to have come to an abrupt stop with Najib’s generation, while in PR, younger leaders continue to join the coalition and rise up the ranks, analysts said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on all Pakatan Rakyat leaders and supporters to save Pakatan Rakyat from latest UMNO/BN wiles by uniting behind a Eight-Year PR Roadmap to save Anwar

I call on all Pakatan Rakyat leaders and supporters to unite to save Pakatan Rakyat from the latest UMNO/Barisan Nasional (BN) wiles to sow discord and distrust among Pakatan Rakyat parties and leaders with the agenda to divide and destroy the most formidable challenge the ruling coalition had ever to face in its history.

The latest UMNO/BN gambit is to fully exploit Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s five-year incarceration and the passing of Tok Guru Nik Aziz resulting in two by-elections, the Permatang Pauh parliamentary and the Kelantan Chempaka State Assembly by-elections, with UMNO staying out of the Chempaka by-election but going all out in the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election.

This will be a revival of the plot by certain UMNO schemers and strategists to promote the UG concept or “unity government” of UMNO and PAS, but which have not been able to make much headway to date because of the staunch and uncompromising opposition from Nik Aziz.

To these UMNO schemers and strategists, the death of Nik Aziz brings new hope for their dormant “UG” conspiracy.

I am very intrigued however as what the promoters of “UG government” really meant, when it is obvious to all that there is no unity in UMNO itself, with former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir going all out to topple Datuk Seri Najib Razak as Umno President and Prime Minister of Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Standing ovation for Nurul Nuha at maiden ceramah in Penang

The Malaysian Insider
17 February 2015

Nurul Nuha Anwar received a standing ovation and cheers when she arrived at her first ceramah in Penang last night.

The crowd of more than 500 people stood up and clapped when they saw her walk into the Han Chiang school hall, where a tribute was being held for her father.

PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu, who was addressing the crowd, had to stop when Nurul Nuha, the second daughter of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, walked in.

They cheered loudly, drowning out Mohamad, better known as Mat Sabu.

Nurul Nuha, the soft-spoken 31-year-old, stumbled a little at the beginning of her maiden speech in Penang, her father’s home state, but the crowd cheered her on.

She began by telling the crowd she had a message from her father. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s worst week ever for credibility and integrity of the administration of justice in the country

The past week starting with the Federal Court’s dismissal of Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy II appeal on Tuesday 10th February is likely to be the country’s worst week ever for credibility and integrity of the administration of justice in Malaysia.

The Federal Court’s 5-0 unanimous decision to dismiss Anwar’s appeal has come as a great surprise, even to those who had never entertained high hopes that Anwar could get off unscathed in his latest encounter with selective and even malicious prosecution.

But even the most pessimistic had expected either a 3-2 verdict or at worst a 4-1 decision, but everybody was floored by a unanimous 5-0 judgment.

What further stumped the legal and judicial fraternity, as well as the general public, was that there was only judgment by the Chief Justice, Tun Arifin Zakaria, when the public expectation was more than one judgment, even five judgments! Read the rest of this entry »

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UMNO/BN may stay out of Chempaka by-election in Kelantan to create disunity and distrust among Pakatan Rakyat parties while going all out in the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election

With the five-year jail sentence for Anwar Ibrahim upheld by the Federal Court on the day of infamy of February 10, 2015 (Tuesday), and the passing of Tok Guru Nik Aziz on Thursday night, two by-elections for the parliamentary seat of Permatang Pauh and the Kelantan State Assembly seat of Chempaka are shaping up.

However, the UMNO leadership is already orchestrating a new plot to try to further undermine Pakatan Rakyat and foment disunity and distrust among the PR parties through the ploy of UMNO/BN staying out of the Chempaka by-election in Kelantan while going all out in the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election.

UMNO leaders like the Umno Kelantan Chairman Datuk Mustapa Mohamad, the UMNO Youth leader Khairy Jamaluddin and even the Gerakan President Datuk Mah Siew Keong have been given the “green light” to sound out in public the proposal that UMNO/BN should stay out of the Chempaka by-election, giving all sorts of grand-sounding reasons to camouflage the political design behind such a move. Read the rest of this entry »

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Federal Court’s 5-0 conviction of Anwar for Sodomy II lost in two higher courts – the court of opinion in Malaysia and the court of international opinion worldwide

The Federal Court’s 5-0 conviction of Anwar Ibrahim for Sodomy II on Tuesday, February 10, has lost in two higher courts – the court of opinion in Malaysia and the court of international opinion worldwide.

Tonight’s capacity-crowd turnout and the pain and sorrow felt by Malaysians in the past five days at the Federal Court’s dismissal of Anwar’s appeal and upholding the five-year jail sentence on the 67-year Parliamentary Opposition Leader are proof that Malaysians generally do not find any credibility in the the Federal Court’s verdict.

In the international court of opinion, Malaysia had been in the dock in the past week. Read the rest of this entry »

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No hope for justice, says teary Wan Azizah

By Susan Loone
Feb 15, 2015

There was silence and sadness in the air as Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said between tears, “I never thought I would go through this ordeal again”.

Addressing more than 1,000 supporters in Seberang Jaya last night, Azizah said she has lost weight since her husband Anwar Ibrahim was sentenced to five years jail for sodomy on Tuesday.

The PKR president apologised for being rather emotional in her speech at the ‘Freedom of the People’ ceramah organised by the Penang government to honour Anwar, the Permatang Pauh MP.

“But here I am, tested again. Never mind, I am willing but this does not mean that I can accept it,” she said Read the rest of this entry »

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Barisan once dangled DPM post if Anwar ditched Pakatan, says Nurul Izzah

by Looi Sue-Chern
The Malaysian Insider
15 February 2015

Barisan Nasional (BN) once offered the deputy prime minister’s post to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim if he abandoned Pakatan Rakyat (PR) which had won 52% of the popular vote in 2013, his daughter said last night.

PKR vice-president and Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar told a ceramah in Penang that the offer was made during post-election reconciliatory talks.

“He was told to ignore PKR’s allies, PAS and DAP. Accept the offer, form a government… ‘que sera sera’ (whatever will be, will be), ‘kita bergembira bersama-sama’ (we be happy together).

“What decision did he make? He rejected the offer to the end because it dealt with the life and death of our struggles. As a coalition, we can only work together as long as it is based on principles,” she said at the ceramah in the Seberang Jaya expo site in Permatang Pauh where Anwar is the MP. Read the rest of this entry »

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Anwar back in jail but problems mount for Najib

The Malaysian Insider
15 February 2015

The biggest political threat to the Malaysian government is behind bars after a court upheld a sodomy conviction for opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, but more thorny problems confront Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Anwar, jailed for five years on Tuesday on a charge he called politically motivated, has for years represented the greatest challenge to Najib’s coalition, which has ruled Malaysia since independence in 1957.

The bespectacled former finance minister and deputy prime minister cemented a three-party opposition alliance which took on the coalition at the last polls in 2013, costing the ruling bloc the popular vote in its worst-ever electoral performance.

Deserted at the polls by ethnic minority Chinese and urban voters, Najib’s party will now face the fallout of sharper polarisation over Anwar’s jailing, amid widespread perceptions that his prosecution was motivated by political vengeance. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia without Anwar Ibrahim

Gwynne Dyer
February 13th, 2015

Does democracy in Malaysia really depend on Anwar Ibrahim? If it does, Malaysia’s 30 million people are in trouble.

Anwar is back in jail: at least five years’ imprisonment, and another five years’ ban from political activity after that.

He says he doesn’t care: “Whether it’s five years or 10 it doesn’t matter to me anymore. They can give me 20 years. I don’t give a damn.”

But of course he cares. By the time he’s free to resume his role as opposition leader, he’ll be at least 77. The People’s Alliance, the three-party opposition coalition that he created, can’t afford to wait 10 years for him to be free. The real question is whether they can stay together without him as leader. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s dark side

Feb 14th 2015

The jailing of Anwar Ibrahim is a setback for the whole country, not just the opposition

AFTER taking an inexplicable four months to make up its mind, Malaysia’s highest court on February 10th came up with the verdict its critics said had been scripted for it all along. It rejected an appeal by Anwar Ibrahim, the opposition leader, against his conviction on a charge of sodomy—of having sex in 2008 with a young man who had worked for him. It upheld the five-year jail sentence imposed last March. Since a prison term also entails a five-year ban after release from running for political office, this would rule Mr Anwar out of the next two general elections. And since he is 67, it might mark the end of his political career.

The three-party coalition he heads, Pakatan Rakyat, poses the most serious threat the United Malays National Organisation, UMNO, has faced in its nearly six decades of continuous rule. But the opposition depends heavily on Mr Anwar’s leadership, so his sentence sounds like good news for the prime minister, Najib Razak. Celebration, however, would be short-sighted. Read the rest of this entry »

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Justice and truth in Anwar’s case

Anwar did not have to prove his innocence; it was for the prosecution to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

By Gerard Lourdesamy | February 12, 2015
Free Malaysia Today

After 22 years at the Bar, I have never failed to be amazed by the development and exposition of the law by our superior courts. Their ingenuity and diligence ought to be commended. Their decisions deserve respect not least because of their consistency and predictability.

The judgment of the Federal Court in Anwar Ibrahim’s final appeal against his conviction for sodomy comes as no surprise to many of us.

The purpose of a criminal trial is to do justice. The role of the prosecutor is not to seek a conviction at all costs but to ensure that justice is done to both the victim and the accused. The process has to be fair and impartial. The golden thread that runs through our system of criminal justice is the presumption of innocence. The accused does not have to prove his innocence. It is for the prosecution to prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt. The benefit of any doubt must be given to the accused. But the doubt must be a rational and not improbable doubt.

Consent is not required for a charge under Section 377A of the Penal Code, implying that this section deals with cases of consensual unnatural sex. Section 377C of the Code deals specifically with unnatural sex without consent and by implication it may involve some element of force or violence. That is why a heavier penalty is imposed by this section on offenders. Read the rest of this entry »

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Anwar Ibrahim’s incarceration and its implications

Mohd Nawab Mohd Osman, Guest Contributor
New Mandala
13 February 2015

The verdict is finally out. After months of speculations over Anwar Ibrahim’s fate, the Malaysian High courts have upheld the guilty verdict for the former deputy prime minister over the charge of sodomy. The verdict was particularly surprising for some within the Opposition circles who were confident that Anwar would be freed. The verdict has in theory sealed Anwar’s political fate given that he will be in prison for five years and be barred from assuming political office for another five years. This – at 77 – would render him too old to become the next leader of the country. The verdict is likely to have long term consequences for both Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and Malaysian politics.

Prosecuting Anwar Ibrahim

Anwar Ibrahim is a key figure in Malaysian politics. He will long be remembered for changing Malaysia’s political landscape. Dismissed as a spent force following his ouster from the ruling party – the United Malay National Organisation (UMNO) – and subsequent jail term for sodomy and corruption, against all odds, he rose from the political doldrums to lead the PR to its best electoral performance in 2008. In 2013, the coalition bettered this performance by winning the popular votes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Life after Anwar

John Funston, Guest Contributor
New Mandala
12 February 2015

With Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim losing his appeal against sodomy charges and receiving a harsh five-year jail sentence, it could spell the end to his political career.

New Mandala spoke to Malaysia expert Dr John Funston, from the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, about the trial and conviction, and what it means for Anwar’s, the opposition’s and the country’s political future.

NM: Now that he has been convicted, does this spell the end of Anwar Ibrahim’s political career? Why or why not?

JF: This conviction is likely to end 67-year old Anwar Ibrahim’s direct political role. It will now mean five years jail (40 months with remission for good behaviour), then five years after his release before he can contest political office.

But he will still be able to influence developments from prison, as he did during his previous six-year incarceration. He will also be a potent political symbol of government oppression.

Of course if the opposition were to win the next election – due by 2018, but can be called earlier – there may be ways to facilitate an earlier political return. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s political backslide

Editorial Board
Washington Post
February 11, 2015

SEVERAL YEARS ago it appeared that Malaysia, which has been ruled by the same party since it achieved independence in 1957, might be on the verge of a soft transition to democracy. Prime Minister Najib Razak promised to dismantle preferences favoring ethnic Malays, reduce police powers, repeal a repressive anti-sedition law and promote free and fair elections. He mostly stayed on course until 2013, when opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim led a multiethnic coalition to a popular-vote victory in national elections. The ruling United Malays National Organization clung to power only because of the gerrymandering of parliamentary seats.

Mr. Najib has since launched a campaign aimed at crippling the opposition — a crackdown that reached its peak Tuesday with the sentencing of Mr. Anwar to five years in prison. It was a major regression for a country that values its strategic partnership with the United States, and it was the continuation of a bad trend in Southeast Asia, following the military coup that toppled Thailand’s democratic government last year. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Economist: Umno will backslide with Anwar out of the way

The Malay Mail Online
February 13, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 ― Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s incarceration is detrimental to Malaysia as a weakened opposition reduces Umno’s motivation to reform, The Economist wrote today.

Calling it a “setback for the whole country”, the London-based business magazine pointed out that the opposition leader’s absence bolster’s the ruling coalition that is already “becoming a mere shell for an Umno ever more beholden to Malay-nationalist forces”.

In Election 2013, Umno reinforced its dominance over Barisan Nasional by winning more seats owing to rural Malay voters even as its partners suffered from reduced support from other ethnic communities.

“Mr Anwar, a political chameleon whose real beliefs are sometimes hard to pin down, has many critics, but he could at least credibly lead a coalition that bridges Malaysia’s ethnic divides.

“That is why his incarceration is a dark day not just for Malaysia’s opposition, but for Mr Najib and the country itself,” it wrote. Read the rest of this entry »

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Umno will regret its Anwar ‘vendetta’ in GE14, says WSJ

The Malay Mail Online
FEBRUARY 12, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 — In an opinion piece today, financial daily Wall Street Journal (WSJ) criticised the Federal Court’s decision to convict Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for sodomy, calling it a “Pyrrhic victory” for ruling party Umno.

In its bid to stop Anwar from becoming a prime minister, WSJ said Umno had damaged Malaysia’s reputation and the fabric of society, both of which will return to haunt the ruling party in the next general election.

“Umno’s decades-long vendetta against Mr Anwar has brought discredit on Malaysia’s government and political culture,” said the article titled “Malaysia’s Anwar Shame”.

“It is likely to accelerate the ruling party’s loss of support from a maturing population repulsed by such dirty tricks. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s failure to call an end to this farce is a stain on his legacy.”

According to WSJ, Umno had resorted to a trumped-up charge against Anwar recycled from the playbook of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, rather than fight Anwar “fairly”. Read the rest of this entry »

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PMO has no business declaring judiciary as independent, say lawyers

by V. Anbalagan
The Malaysian Insider
12 February 2015

No amount of affirmation by Putrajaya will boost the judiciary’s image as an independent body, lawyers said, pointing out that such confidence in the institution of justice must come from the public and litigants.

The lawyers, who were commenting on the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) swift statement in response to opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s guilty verdict on Tuesday, said it was unusual and unnecessary.

More so when the statement tried to defend the judiciary by saying that it is independent and that the judges “had reached their verdict only after considering the evidence in a balanced and objective manner.”

Lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad said there was no necessity for the PMO to do so although Anwar’s appeal is considered a high profile case that had attracted international attention. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia in International Doghouse After Sodomy Verdict

By Martin Jalleh

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Call for an eight-year commitment by three PR component parties to maintain the two principles which had been the recipe for PR success in its first six years – PR common policy framework and the operational principle of consensus

In the past two days, the predominant feeling of ordinary Malaysians of reason, common sense and good will is one of pain and shame at the injustice and outrage of the spectacle of a nationalist and patriot like Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who had devoted 47 years of his life to the struggle for freedom, justice, human dignity and national unity, should be sentenced to a five-year jail term, returning to prison for a third incarceration in his life.

Ask Malaysians who are the top political leaders, past and present, they think should be languishing in jail for five years, many different names would be mentioned, but Anwar’s name will not be among them.

Anwar is now 67 years old. After the five-year jail sentence, he will be disqualified from standing for any elective office for another five years, knocking him out of the electoral arena till he is 77 years old.

This is cruel, heartless, repressive and oppressive, and only People’s Power can cut short Anwar’s present travail if the UMNO/BN federal government can be toppled in the 14th General Elections in three years’ time.

Malaysians nationwide should transform their pain and sorrow into strength and energy to knock out the Umno/BN Federal Government in the 14th General Elections, as this seems to be the only way to save Anwar from the decade of darkness of his third incarceration and disenfranchisement of his civil rights to vote and to stand for elections. Read the rest of this entry »

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