Speak Out for Anwar Ibrahim’s Sake


By Paul Martin, former prime minister of Canada.
The Globe and Mail

Anwar Ibrahim is a former deputy prime minister of Malaysia. After having differences of opinion with prime minister Mahathir Mohamad in 1998, he was removed from office, charged with sodomy and corruption – charges condemned worldwide as an attempt to remove him from politics – and imprisoned for six years. After his release in 2004, he became the leader of a coalition of opposition parties that is successfully challenging the ruling coalition’s power. Mr. Anwar has now been charged again with sodomy, a charge that has again been condemned worldwide.

I have known Mr. Anwar well since the period when we each served as finance ministers for our respective countries. He is deeply committed to democracy, justice and the rule of law. And I have watched with horror how he has been treated in Malaysia because of that commitment. His initial imprisonment was seen worldwide as politically motivated. Amnesty International regarded him as a prisoner of conscience, jailed for the non-violent expression of his political opinion. After his release in 2004, he redoubled his campaign, attracting thousands to his public rallies, with the result that the historic 2008 election returned an unprecedented number of opposition candidates to Parliament. He now poses a threat to the government in the next national elections, expected in 2013 – the real reason for the latest charge.

His trial, which began Feb. 2, is widely seen as not meeting international standards for a fair trial. The former Anwar political aide who is making the sodomy accusation was reportedly seen with leading ruling coalition figures prior to the filing of the charge; Mr. Anwar’s lawyers have been denied access to vital prosecution documents; and the trial has been transferred to a higher court whose judges are seen as linked to the ruling coalition’s main party. It is small wonder that Michael Danby, chair of Australia’s parliamentary subcommittee on foreign affairs, has charged that Malaysia’s legal system is being manipulated to drive Mr. Anwar out of politics. Mr. Danby has said that Asian democrats were “flabbergasted” by the charges and that “everyone in Malaysia, and everyone in the international legal community, knows that Anwar is innocent of these charges.”

The presence of so many foreign embassies attending Mr. Anwar’s show trial is a clear expression of international concern. This is an issue on which the world must speak out.

If his country is to take its place among the progressive nations of the world, it is crucial that the politically motivated charge against Mr. Anwar be dropped and that he be free to pursue his vision of a democratic Malaysia, properly respectful of human rights and international law.

  1. #1 by SGPR on Friday, 26 February 2010 - 10:37 am

    everyone wants to save malaysia except UMNO

  2. #2 by ablastine on Friday, 26 February 2010 - 12:14 pm

    Anwar is fasting becoming another Anng San Suu Kyi. If Najib’s regime together with his mamakputra have any brain at all, it will do them good to drop the stupid and ridiculous charge before it gets worse for them.

    Even if Anwar really did what the charge read he is guilty at most of being a bisexual. I do not know of anybody in Malaysia who has even been prosecuted for this even though it is an offence under our archaic law, so why Anwar only. Notwithstanding the fact that most believe the charges are trump up, the Western and developed world look upon individual sexual orientation with much sympathy and tolerance. Such ridiculous charge will find no traction whatsoever with them.

  3. #3 by limkamput on Friday, 26 February 2010 - 12:15 pm

    Well, nice to hear all these. May I know for how long Myanmar has been under the military junta and may I know how long the West was against it?

  4. #4 by James on Friday, 26 February 2010 - 12:23 pm

    Dedicated whole-hearted moral support from the international community serves as an effective deterrent against the ruthless government from excesses. Yes, the presence of the foreign diplomats at the trial acts as a protection on the safety of DSAI. Otherwise who knows, maybe just maybe DSAI will end up like the Mongolian gal(?)

  5. #5 by Bigjoe on Friday, 26 February 2010 - 12:35 pm

    don’t mean to be wet blanket but so what if the international community and leaders criticise Najib & Co? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean it does not matter. But even if it does impact foreign investment, its already so low that it would make marginal difference and if any, it will take a long systematic criticism to make enough impact.

    Sure, there is an overarching importance to such things but is needed are messages that move Malaysian apathetic voters and something else is needed on top of this. I rather hear criticism from these leaders talk about inevitable fundamental change and how pursuing Anwar is not only wrong but destructive productivity wise. That everything they do is very hard to yield result and yet they do things that negate any result they may achieve. Its not about fundamental rights, which is a ship long sailed, its about fundamental change needed and ignored. Its not about evil which is also given, its about stupidity..

  6. #6 by Thor on Friday, 26 February 2010 - 12:39 pm

    The whole world knew about our plight but what can they do?
    Not only about Anwar’s case but those “unsolved” ones too.
    Instead of letting those buggers twisted truth and facts, why not take action straight now.
    We rakyat are tired of waiting and seeing our country falling apart.
    We rakyat cannot do it alone ‘cos many would change like a chameleon, when they see all those “$$$” during election period.
    These “” are the ones who’re giving us the real nightmare.
    These “fools” does’nt even know that they’re being “robbed” in their daily lives, when prices of things increase.
    When given goodies and few hundreds during GE, which is only a small part of their return, they’re willing to give up the entire future of the others.
    We need a real and truthful government to free us from this sort of hell and we just can’t do it alone.
    By name we are democratic but in reality, we’re the opposite.
    MCA, MIC, Gerakan and the rest of the BN component parties are just a “mock up” of democracy in Malaysia, just to hoodwinked foreigners.
    Greed and selfishness are the one which made them lose their conscience.
    It’s not about the fight for the country and the people anymore but it’s the fight for riches for their own family.
    Our countries wealth are being “looted” and “smuggled” out by millions every now and then and sooner or later, when our country resources gets dry, most of us are gonna suffer more than unexpected.
    There is none to say that our country are blessed forever.
    Most of us knew well about the situation but many are playing dumb instead.
    What’s wrong with tha monarch?
    Are they not bothered anymore?
    By the way, what is that PKR’s Wee Chee Keong doing at the CSIS seminar?
    Can’t PKR sent someone better instead!

  7. #7 by k1980 on Friday, 26 February 2010 - 1:10 pm

    //so what if the international community and leaders criticise Najib & Co? //

    Just look at Ahmedinejad and his gang. They are going to pass out blue shit once the UN endorses trade sanctions on Iran

  8. #8 by Thor on Friday, 26 February 2010 - 2:04 pm

    The whole world knew about our plight but what can they do?
    Not only about Anwar’s case but those “unsolved” ones too.
    Instead of letting those b*ggers twisted truth and facts, why not take action right now.
    We rakyat are tired of waiting and seeing our country falling apart.
    We rakyat cannot do it alone ‘cos many would change like a chameleon, when they see all those “$$$” during election period.
    These “b*stard” are the ones who’re giving us the real nightmare.
    These “idiots” does’nt even know that they’re being “robbed” in their daily lives, when prices of things increase.
    When given goodies and few hundreds during GE, which is only a small part of their return, they’re willing to give up the entire future of the others.
    We need a real and truthful government to free us from this sort of hell and we just can’t do it alone.
    By name we are democratic but in reality, we’re the opposite.
    MCA, MIC, Gerakan and the rest of the BN component parties are just a “mock up” of democracy in Malaysia, just to hoodwinked foreigners.
    Greed and selfishness are the one which made them lose their conscience.
    It’s not about the fight for the country and the people anymore but it’s the fight for riches for their own family.
    Our countries wealth are being “looted” and “smuggled” out by millions every now and then and sooner or later, when our country resources gets dry, most of us are gonna suffer more than unexpected.
    There is none to say that our country are blessed forever.
    Most of us knew well about the situation but many are playing dumb instead.
    What’s wrong with tha monarch?
    Are they not bothered about the country and the rakyat plight anymore?
    By the way, what is that PKR’s Wee Chee Keong doing at the CSIS seminar?
    Can’t PKR sent someone better instead!

  9. #9 by yhsiew on Friday, 26 February 2010 - 6:15 pm

    If Anwar is made a second Aung San Suu Kyi, Malaysia will not escape the fate of being sanctioned economically by the West as what they have done with Myanmar.

  10. #10 by Black Arrow on Friday, 26 February 2010 - 7:31 pm

    Like Bigjoe in comment #4 above, I am also pessimistic about the whole situation. Although the international community has voiced their concern, they cannot do much.

    I’m afraid this Tiger year is going to be a really bad one for Pakatan in the coming months.

    We have to be mentally strong. Difficult times await us.

  11. #11 by tanjong8 on Friday, 26 February 2010 - 9:50 pm

    Why must we be continually harassed by UmnoUtusans ?

  12. #12 by monsterball on Saturday, 27 February 2010 - 4:58 am

    Because UMNO BARU have succeeded with their race and religion politics…supported by MCA….Gerakan and MIC…traitors to their own races..for persona benefits..”tanjong8″ writer.
    Because Malaysians asked for it..by giving UMNO power to steal and rob.
    Because…Malaysians did not have any choices..until 12th GE.
    Because Malaysians did not finish the job…at the 12th GE…which we need to find out..are we smart voters,
    I think we are…giving UMNO BARU the last chance…and what do we get?
    Not one big fish exposed ad jailed for corruptions.
    And what do we get more???….all can see all wrong we were to give UMNO BARU another chance.
    Oil will dry up with nest few years…less than 10 years.
    Are we being united as Malaysians by UMNO BARU?
    No need to fight for Anwar.
    As long as UMNO BARU is in power.,,face it..Anwar will be convicted through another kangaroo court.
    What we need to do…is to cast our votes…like we never did in 12th GE….like 92% against UMNO BARU..once and for all.
    Anwar must spend time to unite PR parties and support all leaders…right or wrong…must support….as right or wrong…is waste of time to talk who is right and who is wrong.
    Anwar must behave like a commercial firm CEO…not like a political leader..right now.
    Only cannot tolerate CORRUPTIONS…yes..CORRUPTIONS.
    Right or wrong management…not for subordinates to criticize or insult the leaders..like Lim Guan Eng.
    That is more important for Anwar to do…right now…with his limited time…and he must always be prepared for the worst in the Sodomy2 case…which means nothing to Malaysians…except…we know…Anwar can never win …and we will still vote for him…through his proxy..and release him..with our powerful votes…PERMANENTLY..and be PM after 13th GE.

  13. #13 by cto on Saturday, 27 February 2010 - 8:58 am

    by limkamput on Friday, 26 February 2010 – 12:15 pm wrote

    Well, nice to hear all these. May I know for how long Myanmar has been under the military junta and may I know how long the West was against it?

    —————–

    And your point being?

  14. #14 by limkamput on Saturday, 27 February 2010 - 9:38 am

    And your point being? cto

    What is so difficult? The support of the West is only the topping. We still have to fight for our own battle, just like Myanmar. Unless the people there are assertive and want the change, it could take decades before anything worthwhile happens. The power of the incumbents is so insurmountable. Typical third world power arrangement; almost zero possibility for peaceful transition of power as I see it.

  15. #15 by cto on Saturday, 27 February 2010 - 9:52 am

    limkamput on Saturday, 27 February 2010 – 9:38 am wrote

    And your point being? cto

    What is so difficult? The support of the West is only the topping. We still have to fight for our own battle, just like Myanmar. Unless the people there are assertive and want the change, it could take decades before anything worthwhile happens. The power of the incumbents is so insurmountable. Typical third world power arrangement; almost zero possibility for peaceful transition of power as I see it.

    ————-

    It is a point of clarification, nothing too difficult.

    My apologies for being pedantic but just another couple of clarification type questions –

    1. So are you saying that the West should mind their own business?
    2. Are you advocating violence as a necessary means?

  16. #16 by dagen on Saturday, 27 February 2010 - 11:42 am

    I second limkamput’s view. Change must come from within.

    External pressure is good of course. But in the face of a defying regime (myammar military being a good eg) very little meaningful change can happen.

    Unless of course malaysia is somehow economically (Petroleum? Not much left. Natural gas? Well that may be attractive enough) or politically strategic (straits of malacca – to control china?) to the US. Is which case US can (with the sanction of UN) carry out another military operation to “liberate” us from the shackle of umno.

    Would they do that given their failed missions in afghanistan and iraq? Yes I am afraid. We would be easy meat for US, unlike the iraqis and the afghans (and even the north koreans).

    So a big thank U to all our foreign supporters and symphatisers, let us work on the ground towards overturning umno in GE13. Make sure its a comprehensive defeat for umno.

  17. #17 by limkamput on Saturday, 27 February 2010 - 1:46 pm

    ”1. So are you saying that the West should mind their own business?
    2. Are you advocating violence as a necessary means? ” cto

    Did I say the West should mind its own business? What I said was the support was almost useless if we the people from within the country have not taken upon the task themselves.

    Did I say through violent means? Your imagination is properly too limited. Is violence the only most effective mean? Are there effective means other than violence? Sure there are plenty. Did the PR know how to organise or galvanise those means. I doubt so. PR has enlightened policies but I think it lack capable people. They have street politicians that think shallowly and change allegiance rather quickly. But we need strategic thinkers, organisers, people with tenacity and strongly believe in a cause, not just about money, fame, position, and recognition.

  18. #18 by cto on Saturday, 27 February 2010 - 8:27 pm

    limkamput on Saturday, 27 February 2010 – 1:46 pm wrote

    What I said was the support was almost useless if we the people from within the country have not taken upon the task themselves.

    ——————–

    Then you are merely stating the obvious. I had given you the benefit of the doubt, thinking that you have something more profound to say apart from the obvious.

    My mistake. :)

  19. #19 by cto on Saturday, 27 February 2010 - 8:42 pm

    limkamput on Saturday, 27 February 2010 – 1:46 pm wrote

    Did I say through violent means? Your imagination is properly too limited. Is violence the only most effective mean? Are there effective means other than violence?

    —————-

    I thought you also said “Typical third world power arrangement; almost zero possibility for peaceful transition of power as I see it.” which suggests that there is little or no possibility of a peaceful transition. I am therefore seeking further clarification if you are suggesting violent means.

    My imagination is probably too limited and I probably need to go out a bit more. I humbly submit that learning is a lifelong process.

    I am not sure that my imagination is “properly too limited”, though. :)

  20. #20 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 27 February 2010 - 9:22 pm

    ///Then you are merely stating the obvious/// – cto #18

    I suppose it requires an ‘imaginative’ mind to make an analysis of the obvious and to call others’ imagination as “properly too limited”.

    The same Imaginative Mind disclaimed violent means and asked “Are there effective means other than violence?” and answered “Sure there are plenty. Did the PR know how to organise or galvanise those means? I doubt so”.

    I am sure PR – and by extension to whole country and those who wish for better governance by non violent change – will benefit then from knowing from the Imaginative Mind what these other “means” are which PR is alleged to not know how to organise or galvanise.

  21. #21 by limkamput on Sunday, 28 February 2010 - 1:16 am

    Then you are merely stating the obvious. I had given you the benefit of the doubt, thinking that you have something more profound to say apart from the obvious. //cto

    For someone claiming to be humble and asking for “my point being” and now want to give me the benefit of the doubt. You see, I know from the beginning you fellows just want to settle some old scores. Someday I will tell you fellows more. Suffice for me to say that I am deliberately trying to be cocky here. I know how you fellows think.

  22. #22 by cto on Sunday, 28 February 2010 - 3:04 am

    limkamput on Sunday, 28 February 2010 – 1:16 am wrote

    For someone claiming to be humble and asking for “my point being” and now want to give me the benefit of the doubt. You see, I know from the beginning you fellows just want to settle some old scores. Someday I will tell you fellows more. Suffice for me to say that I am deliberately trying to be cocky here. I know how you fellows think.

    —————-

    In case you have not found out yet – in the internet, you are basically what you wrote. The vast majority of the readers do not know who you are and neither should they care. I do not keep score but I must admit that in the net sense, you are a pyromaniac and you possess the uncanning ability to start flames almost every time you write. I do not need to embarass you further by keeping the score.

    If you must know – I responded to your first entry in this thread cos’ I happen to think that Paul Martin is actually pretty respectable. What he says usually make a lot of sense so I am somewhat intrigued by the fact that you appear to be dismissive of his thoughts. Besides, I do not think that Paul Martin has anything to gain by writing the article other than trying to do what’s right.

  23. #23 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 28 February 2010 - 5:18 am

    I have just experienced an epiphany, a veil was torn from right in front of my eyes, and the lesson was revealed to me from the word “pyromaniac”.

    The Wikipedia explains pyromania as “a type of impulse control disorder to deliberately start fires to relieve tension and typically includes feelings of gratification or relief afterward. Pyromania is a rare disorder, and the incidence of it is less than one percent in most studies; also, pyromaniacs are a very small proportion of psychiatric hospital admissions. Pyromania can occur in children as young as age three, but it is rare in adults and rarer in children… Treatment appears to work in 95% of children that exhibit signs of pyromania, which include family therapy and community intervention. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are also used to treat this condition. Studies have also shown there are therapeutic benefits associated with playing out the mania in a simulated environment”.

    True indeed “learning is a lifelong process”

    After asserting there are plenty of other non violent means that PR knows not of how to organise or galvanise, and when challenged as to what those means may be, then instead of substantiating the cavalier allegations made, the commentator just picked himself up, walked past the issue and come out with “suffice for me to say that I am deliberately trying to be cocky here.. I know how you fellows think”, which is a response/admission that confirms both the diagnosis and prognosis of this condition in the “Netsense”….

    There’s certainly no need to “try” to be something that one already is!

  24. #24 by undergrad2 on Sunday, 28 February 2010 - 11:19 am

    I think limkamput should just crawl back into the hole he came from and lick his own ass*

  25. #25 by limkamput on Sunday, 28 February 2010 - 12:39 pm

    Did I ever say Paul Martin did not make sense? But whether or not it is going to be effective in our cause is difficult to fathom. Of course you fellows can only talk about Paul Martin from the distance. What if I tell you I actually talked to him directly when he was Finance Minister of Canada. Where and when that event took place, of course I cannot tell you. As for Jeffery, there is no better time for you to rub in. As for that [email protected]@[email protected], he is basically despicable ass even a whore will not respect.

    Without me, this blog has no sparkle. Learn to accept that.

  26. #26 by limkamput on Sunday, 28 February 2010 - 12:54 pm

    Come next general election, PR should seriously select Jeffrey, cto and Godfather as candidates. These are clever and principled people – good to have them as MPs. This is my sincere opinion, not a joke.

  27. #27 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 28 February 2010 - 1:34 pm

    ///Did I ever say Paul Martin did not make sense?/// The point you were taken on (civilly) by another is that you are being dismissive of criticisms of Anwar’s trial from (so far) outside western politicians & political leaders on grounds that it would not change anything unless people here do something about their own prerdicament, and you cited Myanmar as an example of how Western opinion has done nothing (so far) to relieve Aung San Suu Kyi’s plight.

    Myanmar is not comparable because its governed by a military junta based on a different economy from that here where the crony capitalism of our elites still need economic interaction with/foreign investment with the West. If they are not bothered about/sensitive to the West’s opinions, you think they would send a half baked delegation to explain things in Washington? Would Myanmar’s junta be bothered to do so?

    Then you go on in being dismissive about PR not having other nonviolent means/options to organise and and galvanise those means. “Means” may suggest more than not handling appropriately some bad apples in the midst (which is inevitable in any political organisation) that generate internal strife and so readers are entitled to ask what other means you are talking about here, which you imply you know about and PR’s strategists know nothing about, which if true, may further suggest that you are a better candidate for MP to recruit in PR so that besides giving fresh ideas you can proceed to do that which you have ‘uncanny’ ability to do best – kick asses of the other side whether got rhyme or reason or none!

  28. #28 by limkamput on Sunday, 28 February 2010 - 2:14 pm

    Ok, Jeffrey, when I suggested that you, cto and godfather be selected, it is sincerity from my part. By no mean I intended to be a candidate myself, seriously.

    If we are not careful Malaysia could be another Myanmar and I think I have said this many times in the past (including the reasons). When push comes to shove, do you think they care two hoots whether they still need to depend on Western interaction to keep their crony capitalism going? Don’t forget members of the military junta are also rich beyond belief. One of the daughters of the General who got married has diamonds stuck on her hair like a Christmas tree (hope you have seen it, I think it was pointed by Lee Kuan Yew). Whatever the West’s attitude toward Myanmar, the fact is there are still enough companies and people wanting to do business with that regime, including the increasing influence of China and perhaps Russia. Malaysia could do the same. In fact, precisely because BN think US can be influenced over and that is why they have sent a team there, although like all things done this country, they can never get one thing done right or professionally. Tell me who was behind that think tank – the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) anyway?

    Others “means”, well, I can’t really tell you, not because I do not know what I am talking about, seriously again.

  29. #29 by cto on Sunday, 28 February 2010 - 3:51 pm

    limkamput on Sunday, 28 February 2010 – 12:39 pm wrote

    Of course you fellows can only talk about Paul Martin from the distance. What if I tell you I actually talked to him directly when he was Finance Minister of Canada.

    —————-

    Oh really. I am so impressed. :)

    As I said before in the internet, you are what you write. You can jolly well be the Queen of England and it won’t make any difference to me. You write rubbish, you are rubbish.

    What if I tell you that I am Paul Martin and I do not remember meeting anyone of any real significance by the name of LimKamPut. Does it make a difference to you?

  30. #30 by limkamput on Sunday, 28 February 2010 - 4:04 pm

    cto, if you are Paul Martin, then it is not worth for me to mention that I met him.

    Why must discussion inevitably centre on me? Didn’t I give a clear rebuttal to Jeffrey’s posting? What Martin said, while relevant, is not going a significant difference to our struggle. I guess you have nothing more to add on this.

    On second thought, may be you can’t be the candidate – you are more arrogant and stupid than I initially thought.

  31. #31 by limkamput on Sunday, 28 February 2010 - 4:06 pm

    sorry: ….is not going to make a significant difference to our struggle.

  32. #32 by cto on Monday, 1 March 2010 - 1:04 am

    limkamput on Sunday, 28 February 2010 – 4:04 pm wrote

    cto, if you are Paul Martin, then it is not worth for me to mention that I met him.

    Why must discussion inevitably centre on me?

    ————–

    The discussion is not centred you but on what you wrote. So please do not take this personally. However, you are what you write in the internet. :)

    You should not mention that you met Paul Martin. It is quite irrelevant. :)

    Back to the topic – All the pressure applied from the west, I think is good if not great. Jeffrey put forth some good arguments for that. Besides, I also do think that it is helpful for Malaysians to gain a good understanding of such viewpoints from the west. I am hoping that this will remove some ignorance and apathy from the Malaysian public which will in turn force change from within.

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