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Thursday, August 25, 2011

'Selamat Hari Raya Peliwat 2.0' and 'Justice for Saiful': Guess from whom?

Sulaiman Kamal | 12:26 PM | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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A grioup of around 40 men held a mini but noisy protest against Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim near the front entrance to the Jalan Duta court complex on Thursday.
The protesters held banners in support of sodomy complainant Saiful Bukhari Azlan, with the words 'Selamat Hari Raya Peliwat 2.0' and'Justice for Saiful'.  Dressed mostly in yellow T-shirts, the group also shouted anti-Anwar slogans.

It wasn't difficult to surmise that this was another UMNO-linked group out to attack Anwar, whom the some of party's top leadership fears because of his past influence over the Malay electorate and the high chances that he will again find favour with the community. Saiful was a PKR party worker when he alleged the sexual assault, but before that he was an UMNO student leader and his dad an UMNO stalwart.
Malaysians have made up their minds on the case
Nonetheless, the distraction from the yellow-clad group hardly caused a stir, with most Malaysians having already made up their minds on the case that has gripped the nation since mid 2008.
"I don't want to comment on the case but sodomy or homosexuality is an individual preference. As a parent, I don't want my children to be gay but if they grow up to be, how can I shut the door on them. This is something that we should all think about although it is not easy," a man who only wished to be called Chong told Malaysia Chronicle. Chong was in the court complex to transact some personal matters and had stopped to look at the group's commotion.
"I think it is like 1998. All over again, so we all know was behind that and now people say it is the current prime minister. I think there is too much political rivalry. We should political competition not war. It is like in the market, all the stalls compete for business, but we don't burn or throw faeces at another stallholder," Azizi Kamaruddin, who sells plastic bags at a wet market in Selangor, told Malaysia Chronicle.
Losing credibility as a government and as a political party
Simple words of wisdom and perhaps commonplace but according to pundits, this was why Prime Minister Najid Razak and his UMNO party should confront the reality that the masses - even in the rural areas - are no longer so gullible. Or lose complete credibility as a government and political engine.
In the end, Najib's biggest downfall will be own failure to chalk progress for the nation especially in things economic, they said. They also believe he has been badly advised and that jailing Anwar would surely boomerang.
Anwar himself has said he does not expect a fair trial and that the entire issue was due to his political enemies trying to keep him down. Now 64, the Opposition Leader has also accused Saiful of "lying through his teeth".
"He has also been a key UMNO student operative, having undergone the rigorous training conducted by the Biro Tats Negara of the Prime Minister’s Department. And here I was a 60-year-old man with a history of back injury who had undergone a major back surgery holding no position of power. If indeed I could have exercised any kind of undue influence or mental pressure on him, this could have been easily neutralized by a quick phone call to his connections. As regards the fear of physical harm, it would take a great stretch of the imagination to suggest that I could pose any physical harm to him," said Anwar.
"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. Najib Razak is doing the same thing as his mentor did, which is to employ all means within his power through the media, the police, the Attorney General and the judiciary in order to subvert the course of justice and to take me out of the political equation."
Letter to Suhakam
However, Saiful and his dad are stcking to their story. Earlier this month, Azlan Mohd Lazim wrote to the Malaysian Human Rights Commission or Suhakam to investigate the circumstances that caused delay in the sodomy trial.
In his letter, Azlan said he believed Saiful had a right to trial within a reasonable period. Coincidentally, the letter sparked a rash of UMNO-linked groups to 'speak up' for Saiful.
"GAPS is of the opinion that Suhakam, as a free and independent national human rights institution, is the best platform to advise Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail to speed up the case," NST had reported Selangor Anti-Irregularities Federation (GAPS) chairman Hamidzun Khairuddin as saying.
Anwar was accused of sodomising Saiful in June 2008 at a plush condo in Kuala Lumpur. He has denied the charges.

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