‘Put sex video issue to rest’

Anwar must clear his name, say academics

(New Straits Times) – OPPOSITION leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim must engage international forensic experts to prove that he wasn’t the man in the sex video and clear his name.

  Universiti Sains Malaysia’s social sciences senior lecturer Dr Azeem Fazwan Ahmad Farouk said Anwar, who often took the moral high ground by accusing the government of corruption and other wrongdoing, should stop contradicting himself and prove that he had a strong moral standing if he wanted to be the country’s next leader.

  Azeem said in other countries, like Japan and United States, politicians, whether from the ruling or opposition parties would resign when implicated in a sex scandal in order to put the allegations to rest.

  “The public will be frustrated with the issue if it drags on. The only way Anwar can get out of this is if he can prove that the allegations are wrong.”

  USM Associate Professor Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said should Anwar decide to engage the international forensics experts, the public would see him as having integrity in the issue.

  “If the results prove to be in his favour, this will help clear up his name once and or all. We can then move beyond Anwar and put an end to the whole saga.

  “However, if he doesn’t, the public will continue to harbour suspicions as to whether the incident happened or not.”

  Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Associate Professor Dr Mohamad Agus Yusoff said the burden to take the issue further lay with the authorities in proving whether Anwar had committed the offence.

  “The authorities had gone as far as engaging international forensic experts to confirm that the video is authentic, so they can always find a legal avenue to take the case to court.”  

  He said the Malaysian Islamic Development Department could also take action against Anwar.

  Parti Keadilan Rakyat Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin said experts could analyse only the technical aspects of the video  but would not be able to determine the “actors”.

  “I doubt technology has the ability to determine for sure who the actors are,” Zuraida said, adding that the person in the video could only be pinned on Anwar if there was a credible witness present who saw that it was Anwar.

  She believed the accusers should prove that it was Anwar in the video rather than the other way around — having Anwar proving it was not him.

  Asked why Anwar had not taken action to sue for defamation, Zuraida said that there were too many cases at that time and the sex video issue was just on the sidelines.

  “Maybe now that Anwar is acquitted, we can set aside some time on this matter.”

  The video, purportedly of Anwar having sex with a woman, surfaced at a closed screening to a group of media representatives on March 21 last year.

  It was screened by a trio nicknamed “DatukT”, comprising Datuk Shazryl Eskay Abdullah, Datuk Shuib Lazim and Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Chik at Carcosa Seri Negara, here.

  Anwar had lodged a police report the next day denying that he was the man in the video.

  In May, the magistrate’s court was told US experts had confirmed that the video clip screened by the Datuk T trio was authentic and had not been tampered with or superimposed.

  Yesterday, Shuib, challenged Anwar to appoint international forensic experts to analyse the video to clear his name.   Shuib said if it was not him, Anwar should sue him for defamation.

  He added that if he was to appear in court, he would testify about a second sex video that was supposedly recorded in Thailand on Jan 12 and 13 last year.

  Anwar has so far maintained that he is not the man in the video.  He could not be reached for comment yesterday.