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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sodomy II to ‘test’ Malaysia’s zeal to democracy and rule of law, says Washington Post

Sulaiman Kamal | 4:45 PM | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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Anwar(right) arrives at the KL High Court at Jalan Duta for his sodomy trial December 12 2011

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy II case is a “test” of Muslim-majority Malaysia’s commitment to democracy and rule of law, according to the Washington Post.

 The well-read and respected US daily has joined a growing choir criticising its president Barack Obama for his administration’s “weak” stand in the prosecution of the Malaysian opposition leader.
The newspaper said Anwar has become one of the best advocates for liberal democracy in the Muslim world.

It added that the 64-year-old’s Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition of “secular, Muslim and ethnic Chinese groups could make Malaysia the second majority-Muslim country in Asia, after Indonesia, to become a working democracy.”
“Mr Anwar is not perfect: Lashing out at (Datuk Seri) Najib (Razak) after his arrest, he employed ugly anti-Israel rhetoric, for which he later apologised.
“He nevertheless deserves support from the United States and other nations seeking to broaden human rights in the Muslim world,” the Washington Post said in its editorial published yesterday.
The Post, as it is popularly called, slammed Obama for his public silence and lack of “overt pressure” during his last meeting with Najib in November last year, instead heaping “praise on the prime minister for ‘the extraordinary cooperation that we’ve received on a whole range of issues.”
It noted that Malaysia has been a modest help in dealing with terrorism, which it shrewdly highlighted as being part of the United States’ strategy in beefing its position in Asia.
But it added that safeguarding US interests did not justify stepping aside as Anwar and Malaysia’s “hopes for democracy, are crushed”.
Referring to tomorrow’s High Court verdict for Anwar in his second sodomy trial, the Post warned that “if the verdict fails that test, there should be consequences for Mr. Najib’s relations with Washington”.

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