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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Secret pacts: Time for Najib to take the stand and answer Anwar, Malaysia

Sulaiman Kamal | 10:53 AM | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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Anwar Ibrahim’s recent statement in defense of himself is indeed a damning indictment to his foes. It revealed the apparent flaws within the prosecution's case against him and also the biased nature of the courts themselves in the handling of the high-profile Sodomy II case.
Above all, it put on record the long-held suspicion of how dirty politics is in Malaysia's ruling UMNO party, to the extent that white can be turned to black and vice-versa without conscience or respect for the truth, justice and the citizens' wishes.

The Malaysian Opposition Leader’s statement from the dock mirrors the one Nelson Mandela made in the famous Rivonia show trial of 1963 under the then South African apartheid regime. The stance taken by Anwar and Mandela before him, in making an un-sworn statement from the dock is a direct protest against the failure of the court of law in ensuring the defendant would be given a fair trial. It affords protection to the accused especially those implicated in a politically motivated trial such as Sodomy II.
Anwar knew full well that a statement from the dock would carry less weight as far as the judge is concerned, compared to one made in the witness stand. The prosecution cannot question his words as it is not a sworn statement, which it would be if it came from the witness box. It allowed Anwar Ibrahim to categorically state the events that led to him being arrested and charged for Sodomy II, without the intervening questioning by the prosecution team.
The closing statement by Anwar Ibrahim is telling, “This entire process is nothing but a conspiracy by Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak to send me into political oblivion by attempting once again to put me behind bars. I therefore declare that I have no faith whatsoever that justice will prevail in these proceedings notwithstanding the valiant efforts made by my defence team. As I have said at the outset, this is not a criminal trial. It is a charade staged by the powers that be to put me out of action in order that they remain in power.”
The Najib-Mahathir conundrum and Malott's bombshell
The above conclusion by Anwar Ibrahim fore-shadows a statement by former American ambassador to Malaysia John Malott, who upon reading Anwar's comments decided to speak up. In his article to Malaysia Chronicle, he decided to drop a bombshell:
“In 1998 Rohanna joined me for a private one-on-one luncheon at the Ambassador‘s residence. It was during the time when Anwar was starting to challenge Mahathir, subtly but still obviously. Rohanna told me that Najib and Anwar had reached a secret agreement. When Mahathir was gone, Anwar would be PM and Najib would be Deputy PM. That was the deal. That never happened, of course. When the going got tough, Najib stood by, and let Anwar go to jail.”
Rohanna Mahmood was and still is one Najib's most trusted advisers.
So, was there a secret pact between Anwar Ibrahim and Najib Razak in 1998? That Najib would be Deputy Prime Minister in the event Anwar was Prime Minister after their Wawasan 2020 team successfully challenged then prime minister Mahathir Mohamad for the UMNO presidency? And then what happened later? Did Najib form a new pact with Mahathir, to Anwar and the nation's great cost?
This nugget of information from Mallot may prove to be the smoking gun that points to the motives behind Sodomy II - the total annihilation of Anwar Ibrahim from the Malaysian political landscape, in particular from UMNO politics, by Najib. It is a clear bid to remove a political rival, in order to ensure his own survival.
It would also explain Najib's passion in seeing the end of Anwar Ibrahim when the pressure was seemingly relaxed during the tenure of Abdullah Badawi when Anwar’s conviction for sodomy was reversed in 2004. Yet only three months after the Opposition's thumping success in 2008, Anwar was arrested again for sodomy by the Najib administration.
Two questions and why not an RCI
Najib cannot excuse away his direct involvement in the case, since the complainant Saiful Bukhari Azlan paid a visit to him and wife Rosmah Mansor just two days before lodging the police report. This brings into context the personal nature of the case brought against Anwar.
Saiful had no motive what-so-ever to meet Najib before making the decision to lodge a police report. Yet, Najib and Rosmah agreed to meet him and this brings into question, what is the extent of Najib’s influence on Saiful and who else did Najib bring in as ‘advisors’ to the case? Were former Inspector General of Police Musa Hassan and ex-Malacca CPO Rodhwan Ismail involved?
Obviously, the current situation harks back to what Malott revealed in his article to Malaysia Chronicle.Immediately, two questions spring out.
Firstly, will the mention of a secret pact be put to Najib Razak when he takes to the witness box in Sodomy II? Secondly, will Anwar's lawyers push for a fresh Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Mahathir-Najib conundrum in both sodomy cases or at the very least determine if there was indeed high-level government conspiracy against Anwar Ibrahim, which cost him and his family 6 years jail-time and the nation incredible damage to its image.
Along with the obvious, that Sodomy II is a show trial involving Saiful, Najib, Rosmah and many others in the current establishment, Malaysians would want to know far gone is the BN government in 'fixing-up' situations and political rivals so as to achieve the outcome they wish rather than what the Rakyat (populace) wants.
Indeed, Najib has a lot to answer for on the day he takes the stand in the sodomy trial. But then, if guilty, he would have brought it onto himself.

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