Sordid politics in Malaysia – Hitting below the belt

The Economist
Mar 24th 2011

EVER since he ascended the greasy pole, the political career of Malaysia’s opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, has been mortgaged to his private life. He is currently on trial for sodomising a male aide, which he denies, in what has become a virtual rerun of a similar case in 1998, after he was sacked as deputy prime minister. Then he was sent to jail for six years, until an appeal court ruled that his conviction had been unsound.

Now a new scandal has broken out over a video clip that purports to show Mr Anwar having sex—this time with a woman. Mr Anwar has furiously denied that he is the man in the video. (The footage was screened on March 21st to a group of Malaysian reporters, all of whom were required to surrender phones, laptops and recording devices.) A man who refused to identify himself said that the video was a secret recording made at a hotel room in Kuala Lumpur. He explained that he had discovered the recording device after a “prominent politician” asked him to search the hotel room for a missing watch. He said he wanted to show that the “prominent politician”—guess who?—was immoral and “not fit to be a leader”. The man of mystery has since revealed his identity, and that of an accomplice: surprise, surprise, they’re longtime political enemies of Mr Anwar’s.

A media storm erupted on cue, as Malaysian media splashed the allegations everywhere, if not the video itself. As in previous sex-tape scandals in Asia, though, it is probably only a matter of time before that too leaks out. This was the case in 2008, when compromising photos of Hong Kong actor, Edison Chen, and his female friends circulated widely online. Mr Chen claimed initially that the photos were faked. His defence crumbled before an onslaught of fury in the Chinese media and then some overzealous policework. A computer technician was later convicted for copying the photos from Mr Chen’s laptop during repairs.

In January, an Indonesian pop star, Nazril “Ariel” Irham, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail for making and distributing sex tapes of himself and two women. The conviction was an odd sort of success for Indonesia’s strict anti-pornography law passed in 2008 and sponsored by Muslim politicians. Mr Nazril’s heavily pixelated videos, which spread via social-networking sites, were a huge hit. Even national news channels ran some of the clips, earning a rebuke from the broadcasting regulator.

In Malaysia, smut videos tend to be more about politics and less about show business per se. In 2008, a cabinet minister resigned after a hidden camera in another hotel room caught him in a romp with a young woman who was not his wife. The minister, Chua Soi Lek, blamed his enemies in the Malaysian Chinese Association, a party in the ruling coalition, of orchestrating the video release. What was unusual was that Mr Chua was a case of a non-Muslim politician being hung out to dry. For Malay-Muslims in Malaysian politics, which is always riven by ethnicity, the stakes are much higher. Muslim voters are presumed to be less forgiving of personal foibles.

This is why attacks against Mr Anwar are so frequently aimed below the belt. Policy debates lack the sizzle of sex. Sodomy presses all sorts of buttons. Even a heterosexual affair can come in handy to his detractors. The story of the mystery tape appears to have exactly the mix of transgression, betrayal (yet another turncoat aide?) and technology that Malaysian politics thrives on. It marks “a new depth of character assassination”, lamented Lim Kit Siang, a veteran politician allied to Mr Anwar.

The timing is fortuitous. Mr Anwar’s opposition movement is preparing for a crucial state election in Sarawak. Some pundits believe that a solid win for the ruling coalition will tee up national elections this year. As when the sodomy trial was announced, Mr Anwar has accused the prime minister, Najib Razak, of conspiring with the police and ruling-party bigwigs to destroy his reputation (Mr Najib has denied all involvement). On March 22nd, Mr Anwar filed a police report over the screening of the video, which he said was defamatory and illegal under Malaysian obscenity laws.

Not so, according to Nazri Aziz, a cabinet minister and close advisor to the prime minister. Asked by Malaysian reporters if the screening of the steamy video had broken any laws, he pointed out that the exhibitors had not demanded any money from the invited reporters. Thus it was not a commercial release of a “blue movie”. Fair enough. So commercial porn is off-limits, but political porn is just fine? Mr Aziz contends that the porn-y dimension of this case is merely a distraction. “They wanted to show proof that Anwar had sex with this woman, not to make a pornographic video,” he said. But it can be hard to do one without the other.

  1. #1 by yhsiew on Thursday, 24 March 2011 - 8:08 pm

    I am not at all surprised that Nazri Aziz also plays a role in the sex video conspiracy against Anwar since he (Nazri Aziz) is so protective towards the trio.

  2. #2 by ReformMalaysia on Thursday, 24 March 2011 - 9:41 pm

    the Datuks T is behind this video clip… The trio even suggest to form a royal commission to check the authenticity of the video…. but will that remove all the doubts?

    With todays modern technology, We can make the actor of a video look like anybody… We can make have a Abdul Rahim Tambi as the actual actor but in the video, it resemble Najib, Muhyiddin, Hishamuddin or even Barrack Obama…. you only need a “Hollywood-grade mask” to make it to happen… The mask cost only US$600-US700… A tailor-made one to resemble Anwar may cost a little bit more…. but still “affordable” to those who want to achieve their political objectives

    Don’t think this can happen? Just read the story about a white robber in Ohio who wear a African-American ‘Hollywood’ mask to make him look exactly look like one when he robs banks to confuse the police…. read the story in the following link :


    see the original appearance of the robber and his new look after wearing the mask…

    So it may happen like this…. the trio – 3 Datuks…. T1, T2 & T3

    T1 -the director of the P-video
    T2 – to do the recording
    T3 – wearing Hollywood-grade Anwar mask perform the acts himself with the foreign hooker

    Bingo….. an Anwar XXX video is produced…

    and the video is authentic….

    it doesn’t matter that Anwar eventually found to be not guilty….. the only need to cast a doubts to the public and Pakatan Rakyat supporter on Anwar’s …. so that the change momentum will be lost, Anwar’s focus will be lost….. influence of Anwar will be diluted.,… Anwar’s golden time being stolen……….. so that is a form of “art of War”…. Here , the public perception is to be manipulated to win the political war……..

    that had already happened in Sodomy 1 case(mission accomplished!” ….. now there is a sodomy 2 going on…. and more to come…

    this is just one of the hypothesis

    so it may be authentic video…. but not the right person purported to be in the video

  3. #3 by yhsiew on Thursday, 24 March 2011 - 9:49 pm

    ///I can bring you to meet with the Prime Minister and we will take care of your financial needs and security/// – Rahim (The Malaysian Insider)

    The Prime Minister also involved! The “we” in the above statement means “Rahim, the Prime Minister and other BN members”. Don’t know how many financial needs and security they have provided to those who have defected to BN.

  4. #4 by monsterball on Thursday, 24 March 2011 - 10:05 pm

    There is no doubt this is a very corrupted government afraid to loose power.
    So corrupted are they for past 30 years encouraged by Mahathir..for a dream to steal billions yearly..non stop to bribe and buy up loyalties..indirectly the whole country.
    They hope to reach a stage where vast majority Malaysians rely on special treatments and hand outs…and that cannot be achieved …if education system improve.
    So it stays stagnant to make sure Malaysians brains progress like snails or not at all.
    These evil minded corrupted devils have lost the 2/3 power at the 12th GE….and since then…the are exposing their true characters and intentions…with actions …deeds and to win the 13th GE at all cost…not shown that clear yet…as they hope to keep fooling Muslim voters with race and religion politics and in it.
    It all boils down to bring down Anwar Ibrahim at all cost too..for he is the only one capable to swing Muslim votes to vote against UMNO B effectively.
    Say..hitting below the belt is putting it mildly.

    They are so greedy and arrogant right now…they even dare to declare UMNO B will rule forever…and if they fail…Najib have even declared …he will defend that rule with his life.
    The will try very hard to keep fooling voters…hoping results will favour them.
    They actually have less than 50% voters support..but with their unfair and unjust systems…they seem to always win to govern.
    Right now..more and more are against UMNO B…and it needs 75% to show 51% win onver them.
    If Najib is so confident to win 13th GE..he would not delay 13th GE for close to 3 years.
    He is the only unelected PM…holding on to power given by UMNO B…not from voters….yet he feel no shame at all,
    As you can is a fight for his life to stay in power …
    It is a task he dares not fail…and getting rid of Anwar is what all UMNO B crooks think..will save them.

  5. #5 by tanjong8 on Thursday, 24 March 2011 - 10:13 pm

    Haha, It seems there is a new law. If your porno film is not for commercial purpose, it is alright to shoot and watch. This seems to be the position of the Umnoputra gohman. Right ?
    Correct me if I am wrong.

  6. #6 by hallo on Thursday, 24 March 2011 - 10:17 pm

    UMNO is not the original UMNO.

    The original UMNO was destroyed by Independent Father Tunku Abdul Rahman enermy Dr. M.

    It is not the original UMNO.

    It is a new party hijack Tunku UMNO in disguise pretend to be original UMNO to fool Malaysians.

    It is a new party created by Tunku enermy Dr.M.

    It is not the original UMNO.

  7. #7 by waterfrontcoolie on Thursday, 24 March 2011 - 10:24 pm

    The video saga proves one thing: the BN leadership comprised a bunch of sex maniacs. Why wasn’t this exposed earlier? Why wait until now? The depth of this behaviour seems prevailing right across the board in an environment where morality is only questioned when you hold a different political view; otherwise we all can have fun together. It only reflect what is said to the public is mere propaganda; actions speak differently. And if Stupid Malaysians continue to have such leadership, we can only wait for an end similar to that of Nero’s. I hope this exposure will come back to haunt all those leaders!!

  8. #8 by raven77 on Thursday, 24 March 2011 - 11:42 pm

    The next autocratic government about to hit the dust….times have changed….they will fall….just like the rest around the world….it is only a matter of time….

    For all those who have stolen…and stolen big time…like Kutty and co…your time is coming….

  9. #9 by johnnypok on Friday, 25 March 2011 - 2:35 am

    Malaysia will soon become a popular destination for sex-tourism … offering all kinds of services, including sodo-mee, indo-mee, C-4 Mongolian-style, see-fool, under-age (T), etc

  10. #10 by Denningjustice on Friday, 25 March 2011 - 5:57 am

    justice need to be done and not just be done but need to be seen to be done..
    the tape need to be investigate, it is not just you and me said its not true, we need to know the truth, as a Malaysian we need to know the truth since this issue had been highlighted, we can not just push it away and said the so call messenger or accuser is wrong.If the tape is true, the leader of a country should not have such negative behavior, of cause other country prime minister might have such, but Malaysia is an Islamic country, and we should not allow such person to lead Malaysia.However if the tape content were evil made up, than we can go further for those who should liable on this issue.But for time being, the tape need to be investigate. It is not a game of child playing, it is a country we are talking here, we can not said ” who and who also did the same, and so and so go for prostitution too” this is all childish talking. When a leader come to the stage if he committed such act, face the facts, he should step down, it is a shame to represent as a leader. But if he did not do such act and be framed to be, those parties should have convicted for legal proceeding.

  11. #11 by yhsiew on Friday, 25 March 2011 - 7:14 am

    Don’t let this sex video divert your attention from next month’s Sarawak elections.

    Kit, it is high time to tell people what is wrong with Sarawak or else PR will suffer big losses in the elections.

  12. #12 by Counterpoint on Friday, 25 March 2011 - 8:40 am

    The Economist mentioned Chua Soiled Leg, but if you read the local mainstream media, it’s pretty remarkable that no one dares to mentioned this soiled character in relation to this case. Chua had a thing against the yet uncaught perpetrators of his sex video, and yet in this latest manufactured scandal, nobody has dared to ask his comment, nor has he made any comments regarding this case although it has the similarities. Perkasa is saying the Porn star is more sinister than the perpetrators of the video and yet soiled leg is completely tongue tied. Does this mean that MCA allows this kind of tactics to be used to bring down someone in power?
    Hello… Hello…Chua, anybody there, anybody home?

  13. #13 by undertaker888 on Friday, 25 March 2011 - 8:42 am

    …here’s how the court case will sound like…….another saifool act.

    Karpal: when was this video recorded? Date and time please.
    Datuk TiadaOtak: Saya fikir 21Feb2011. Diantara 10-11pm
    Karpal: your honor, this is exhibit A. It shows anwar on this date and time, is at the computer in his home.
    DatukT: yang arif, saya nak tukar itu hari dan jam.
    Judge Ali Umno: no problem. Tukarlah.
    DatukT: 20Jan2011, 9-10pm
    Karpal: this is exhibit B. On this day and time my client is in Australia giving a speech.
    DatukT: yang arif, saya nak tukar alamat hotel.
    JudgeAli: no problem. Tukarlah.
    DatukT: 20Jan2011, pukul 9-10pm di satu hotel kat Australia…..

  14. #14 by dagen on Friday, 25 March 2011 - 8:46 am

    So people of sarawak, know your enemy. Umno must be got rid of at all costs now. For umno will do anything to kill off sarawak and the nation. The country (and that means sarawak too) is in very very bad shape already, economically and socially. Another five yrs of umno will plunge us all into zimbabwe. The card is in you people’s hands. Booting umno out of sarawak would effectively boot umno out of malaysia, too. Now do the needful. Vote anyone but umno or BN.

    Remember He is watching us from a distance:

  15. #15 by dagen on Friday, 25 March 2011 - 8:47 am

  16. #16 by k1980 on Friday, 25 March 2011 - 8:52 am

    A total of 9,239 candidates obtained distinction (A+, A, A-) in all subjects in the 2010 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examination, compared to 7,987 candidates in 2009. So many millions of “geniuses” every year, yet cannot win win any Nobel Prize (Physics, Medicine, Chemistry or Literature). Can’t even build a spacecraft but have to pay the Russians for a seat in theirs. Buat malu saja.

    I am going to take the edu minister to court for cheating the country.

  17. #17 by Thor on Friday, 25 March 2011 - 8:54 am

    These scums are just dragging Anwar’s time to keep him busy.
    If they’re gonna throw him into jail, they would have done it already.
    Just looked at all those facts that they’re twisting and those “evidence” that they cooked up.
    Fake can be used as truth and truth can be termed as false.
    You can’t fight them in court so why waste all those precious time knowing that there’s no ending.
    With so many years of torture and humiliation, isn’t that enough?
    What Anwar should do now is to “arm” themselves with all the strategies to “capture” Sarawak first as Sarawak is BN stronghold.
    Get opinions from expert and other pakatan leaders as well.
    Know how to counter UmnoBN’s dirty and fraud tactics in advance and seek UN’s help, if possible .
    When Sarawak fall, it’ll automatically be the end of UmnoBN in the next GE and that’s the time to get even with these buggers.
    Just remember that this is the last call for Pakatan and if you were to lose, that’ll be the end for everyone of us and don’t ever think of another five years after that!
    Do or die!!!

  18. #18 by Thor on Friday, 25 March 2011 - 9:20 am

    Pakatan should be very careful in the allocating of seats for each of their party this time.
    Put some party which is more suitable in that area and don’t ever put Pas in any Chinese dominated areas.
    I’m not objecting Pas, but I fear that Chinese in Sarawak are still unfamiliar with Pas unlike us in Peninsula.
    Main objectives is to “capture” and not just a win for candidate only.
    Beware mostly for traitors and frogs!
    Just remember the “Hee” and the “Wee”!!!

  19. #19 by k1980 on Friday, 25 March 2011 - 10:20 am

    #10 continuation—>

    Karpal: do you know where Australia is?
    DatukT: sure, it is between England and France.
    Karpal: wrong! Australia is next to New Zealand.
    DatukT: yang arif, saya tersilap tadi. saya nak tukar lokasi Australia.
    JudgeAli:no problem. Tukarlah.
    DatukT: Australia is next to New Zealand.
    Karpal: I give up. I am going back to Khalistan.

    JudgeAli: Good boy,

  20. #20 by hallo on Friday, 25 March 2011 - 10:47 am

    As the UMNO now is not the original UMNO.

    The UMNO is created by Tunku Abdul Rahman Enermy Dr.M.

    The opposition pursue the Tunku Vision.

    It will be a battle between Tunku and his enermy Dr.M.

    You will be free us from Tunku enermy.

    The opposition represent Tunku Vision, you will win the battle.

  21. #21 by dagen on Friday, 25 March 2011 - 11:47 am

    Hitting below the belt? No. Well. Sort of yes and no. You see. Umno is just a little fella. 2 feet tall on heels. So you see, he really cant hit any higher than below the belt. He is that small. Really small. And well you may say Low, as in short.

    And that is why he likes to suck!

  22. #22 by negarawan on Friday, 25 March 2011 - 12:12 pm

    With the weight of the entire government machinery behind UMNO (judiciary, police, EC, MACC, etc) it may be difficult to remove UMNO from power bacause there can never be fair and transparent elections. There may come a time when only PEOPLE POWER can dislodge UMNO.

  23. #23 by haneasme on Friday, 25 March 2011 - 3:03 pm




  24. #24 by Peter on Friday, 25 March 2011 - 4:45 pm

    I dont give a damn to these two or three scumbags. They are just trying to destroy Anwar at all costs with theuir UMNO masters. However, t doubt most rakyat will believe is just another despicable and dirty ploy by these scumbags and their masters.
    Ignore this and let us concentrate on the coming elections. Kick all these scums out.

  25. #25 by NotBN on Friday, 25 March 2011 - 6:27 pm

    I don’t understand the judicial system. Why is Anwar ‘s case on trial ? Are there not more urgent cases for example, murder withC4 explosives, multi million dollar corruption that deserve attention? Up till today there is not even one politician in the Country convicted for corruption despite displaying untold wealth, supposedly all from the ministers salary? In the Australia state of Queensland a minister was jailed for seven years (2010) for taking out as claimed in defence a $300,000 loan to buy a house for his children!

    Cant the judge do a decent thing & dismiss the case? He will be a hero not only in the Country but the whole world for upholding a very basic principle in a democracy. He would benefit (not financially) many times more than if he continues with the case. The way the recent sex tape was released, it is absolutely clear that this is a political trail, arranged to get maximum publicity. To the presiding judge, please it is time, stop all this nonsense and we would take the first step towards a better Malaysia

  26. #26 by habis on Friday, 25 March 2011 - 8:02 pm

    This is one of the most despisable and disgusting desperate act of running dogs at the beckoning of their political masters out to destroy an opposition leader.Over my dead body if they hope to influence me and fellow rakyat that the look alike features porn actor resemble the opposition leader.Lets us hope that the IGP will leave no stones unturned to get to the truth and act justly without fear or favour but first and foremost the Datuk T should be behind bars for screening pornographic film.

  27. #27 by hallo on Friday, 25 March 2011 - 11:34 pm

    Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka.

    Feel it how the people dreaming of the moment shouted the Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka at the stadium 1957 August 31st.

    Proud, Honour, Joy, Tears, Hope, Glory, Future, Nationality.

    These are all how the people feel among Malays, Chinese, India and others the moment.

    The proud of being have nation call their own.

    The Independent Father, royal and our ancestors look forward building a strong nation with justice, fairness, corruption free nation.

    But in 1969, the robbers, corruption politicians cheated and stolen our ancestors hope, our independent dream for the nation.

    Our independent father was helplessly being left alone, painfully, sadly seeing the nation he dream of fairness, justice, equity for all loyalty citizen, was destroyed by the corrupted politicians surrounded all the government administrations.

    Corruptions, in-equity for loyalty citizen is not what our Independent father dreaming of independence

    Corruptions, in-equity for loyalty citizen is not what our ancestor dreaming of for independence

    The Tunku, royal, our ancestors dreaming of independence of a nation be equity for loyalty citizen, corruption-free, justice nation.

    They, the corruption politicians have destroyed their dream, our ancestors dream, our dream.

    Ask your and your friends, do you want fairness, justice, corruption-free nation for your children.

    If yes, use your hands do the right vote.

    Let us pursue our independent father dream, our ancestors dream, a fairness, justice, corruption-free nation for you and your children.

    Believe it, you can do it, it is in your hands.

    Use your rights to vote and fight the in-justice, corruption politicians who have destroyed Tunku and our ancestors dream.

    It is in your hands.

    Believe it, you can do it, it is in your hands.

    Vote for a CHANGE

    Vote for our Tunku and our ancestor DREAM

    Believe it, you can do it

  28. #28 by negarawan on Saturday, 26 March 2011 - 7:49 am

    Najib is the modern day equivalent of Pontius Pilate, constantly abusing power for selfish ends and persecuting his political opponents by fabricating trumped-up charges against them. Think about it when you vote.

  29. #29 by Loh on Saturday, 26 March 2011 - 10:35 pm

    ///Asked by Malaysian reporters if the screening of the steamy video had broken any laws, he (Nazri) pointed out that the exhibitors had not demanded any money from the invited reporters. Thus it was not a commercial release of a “blue movie”.///–The Economist

    Why then did the police stop Pakatan assemblymen screening the meetings under the tree in Ipoh on the excuse that they did not have the permit to do so? Did the person who screened the sex-video have the approved permit at the time of screening. If not, why the double standard?

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