Anwar’s conviction: The ugly truth about BN


The verdict is not just about Anwar or the opposition’s political ambition. It’s about reclaiming our democratic future

Eric Paulsen, FMT

Ever since Anwar Ibrahim was sacked as Deputy Prime Minister in 1998, the government has continuously misused state institutions, especially the police, the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the judiciary to persecute him on what were clearly politically motivated and trumped up charges.

Anwar was beaten to within an inch of his life by then Inspector-General of Police Rahim Noor while handcuffed and blindfolded, and after a series of sham trials that were universally condemned, he ultimately spent six years in jail.

With Anwar once again poised to challenge and reshape the dynamics of opposition politics by contesting in the Kajang by-election and in all likelihood be appointed as Selangor Menteri Besar, something had to give – and the government once again called upon the services of the AG’s Chambers and judiciary to eliminate Anwar.

Although not expecting a fair trial, the skulduggery and lightning speed involved to bring forward and fully hear the AG’s Chambers appeal against Anwar’s acquittal, having him convicted and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in order to disqualify him from contesting in the by-election was breathtaking and represented a new abysmal low for the judiciary.

To describe the judiciary as not independent is a serious understatement.

In such cases, these judges actively collaborate with the authorities and deliver perverse judgments on cue.

It is just a matter of time before our judiciary, deservedly mocked, reaches the farcical level of summary trials currently seen in Egypt in cases against the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Court of Appeal judges involved, Balia Yusof, Aziah Ali and Mohd Zawawi Salleh surely must be remembered as being responsible for one of the worst miscarriages of justice in recent memory.

Their names will live in infamy together with other infamous judges like Augustine Paul and Arifin Jaka who similarly perverted the law in order to convict Anwar on false charges.

The hardliners in the government clearly think that the overwhelming misuse of state institutions is the answer even though such actions are preposterously self-defeating.

There has been a stream of criticism both inside Malaysia and abroad including from the US, EU, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Inter-Parliamentary Union and numerous other human rights and lawyers’ organisations.