Saiful won’t go away just yet, says WSJ

(The Malaysian Insider) – Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been acquitted of sodomising Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan but is unlikely to rest easy while his accuser is pushing the public prosecutor to appeal, the Wall Street Journal reported today.

The opposition leader’s bid to move forward and win voter support for his Pakatan Rakyat (PR) alliance in its fight against Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Barisan Nasional (BN) on economic reforms is likely to be crimped by lingering allegations over his sexuality brought on by the sodomy case.

The influential US daily said the two-year courtroom drama was far from over for Anwar and for Malaysia’s 28 million people, suggesting that Saiful may still play a key role in the next few months.

In an article titled, “What’s next for Anwar’s accuser?” the newspaper reported that Saiful had worked briefly to help Anwar’s opposition campaign in the landmark Election 2008 that saw the PKR-DAP-PAS parties win a third of the 222-seat Parliament, denying the BN its traditional supermajority.

“Volunteers such as Mr Saiful helped make a crucial difference,” the WSJ said.

Following Anwar’s acquittal, political and economic observers say PM Najib may call for elections as early as March to capitalise on his feel-good Budget 2012 and push forward political and economic reforms to strengthen Malaysia’s competitiveness amid a wobbly world economy.

The BN’s mandate only expires in mid 2013.

Saiful, under heavy fire from Anwar’s supporters, has taken to social media channels Twitter and Facebook to voice his thoughts.

The 26-year-old former Anwar aide and his family insist the sodomy happened and has publicly pushed for continued legal action, “My family and I hope the prosecution will bring this case to the Appeals Court.”

The Attorney-General has about two weeks to decide if they plan to appeal the High Court’s acquittal of Anwar. They have not said anything on that score.