Dubious allegations against the late YB Karpal Singh

Ramkarpal Singh

Ramkarpal Singh, Malay Mail Online

I read, with disgust, the article entitled “Anwar Ibrahim verdict — Muhammad Shafee Abdullah” dated 10th February, 2015, in particular, the following allegation therein:

“Consider how this matter first arose. As Hansard (dated 22nd October, 1997, 18th December, 1997) recalls, the very first time an MP stood up in parliament holding a statutory declaration that accused Anwar Ibrahim of sexual — homosexual — assault, Anwar Ibrahim was deputy prime minister and his accuser was not a member of government, but in fact an opposition MP from DAP. An who was his original accuser? The late Karpal Singh MP, a brilliant lawyer. Any account of the criminal and then political downfall of Anwar Ibrahim should recall who threw the first stone.”

[underlining of emphasis]

The above statement is clearly misleading as not only does it not include what the late YB Karpal Singh said in toto in Parliament on those dates but it also does not reflect the context of what the late YB Karpal Singh said.

I had the pleasure of reading two articles by Shern Ren and Surendra Ananth entitled “A brief not on Anwar’s prosecutor and the Tiger of Jelutong” and “Rebutting Shafee Abdullah’s Statement on Anwar’s appeal — Surendra Ananth” dated February 11, 2015 and February 12, 2015 respectively, in which, the authors therein had occasion to thoroughly rebut Shafee’s statement above by simply producing the Hansard in its entirety on the October 22, 1997 and December 19, 1997.

It is clear that if one were to take the trouble to read the Hansard on the dates above in their entirety, one would have little difficulty in coming to the conclusion that the late YB Karpal Singh was in fact concerned that such a serious allegation had been made against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the time and raised the matter in Parliament with the noble aim of demanding a thorough investigation be conducted to clear Anwar of such allegations.

I need not produce the Hansard of the said dates in their entirety here as they have been produced by Shern Ren and Surendra Ananth in their respective articles above. I think them for doing so.

What is more disturbing of Shafee’s remarks as stated above is the fact that he so blatantly chose to attempt to connect Sodomy I with Sodomy II by insinuating that the late YB Karpal Singh had thrown the first stone resulting in “this matter” arising.

It is elementary that there can be no such connection was any reasonable person would appreciate that the allegations in Sodomy I, of which Anwar was eventually acquitted, have no bearing on the allegations in Sodomy II. Even if the late YB Karpal Singh did “throw the first stone”, which is denied, that first stone could not have reached the domain of Sodomy II.

It is unfortunate that Shafee chose to make such allegations against the late YB Karpal Singh who is no longer with us. I have no doubt that if he was, he would set the record straight by repeating what he has said, time and again, in relation to numerous allegations made against him insinuating that he had reason to believe Anwar was guilty of Sodomy I.

I can do no better than produce excerpts of a Press Statement by the late YB Karpal Singh dated December 30, 2010, in which, he had occasion to respond to a statement by UMNO information chief, Datuk Musa Sheikh Fadzir, that Anwar may be blackmailed by him as the late YB Karpal Singh supposedly had proof to confirm Anwar was involved in sodomy which was published in the New Straits Times on December 30, 2010 as follows:

“In 1997, when I was opposition MP, and when Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim was deputy prime minister and minister of finance, Azizan Abu Bakar (who later was complainant in Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s first sodomy trial), Umi Hafilda, Dr. Ristina and a few others turned up at my Kuala Lumpur legal office complaining of an allegation of sodomy on Azizan by Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim. To me, this was a very serious allegation which required investigation. I publicly, and in Parliament, demanded that there be an investigation into the allegation.

However, in a press statement, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, then prime minister, in the Mingguan Malaysia dated 31.8.1997 expressed his opinion that penyebar pelbagai khabar angina termasuk perletakan jawatan Menteri Kewangan ‘sebenarnya patut ditembak’.

In a press statement dated 3.9.1997 in the NST, the then Inspector General of Police (Rahim Nor) said that the police investigations into two letters alleging sexual scandal involving deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim revealed that the allegations to be untrue.

The report dated 24.8.1997 in Bernama under the heading ‘Mahathir — Anwar No Truth in letter alleging Anwar’s involvement in sex scandal’ quoted Dr. Mahathir Mohamad as saying at a press conference that there was an attempt to sabotage Anwar’s image through allegations that Anwar was involved in a scandal. Mahathir also said the allegations against Anwar were ridiculous based on a report he had received. Dr. Mahathir also said the case was closed after police investigation.

In a press statement entitled ‘Fitnah Bermotif Politik’ in the Utusan dated 25.8.1997, Dr. Mahathir said that the allegations against Dato’ Seri Anwar were slanderous with a political motive (merupakan fitnah yang bermotifkan politik).

Subsequently, the then Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mokhtar Abdullah, made a public statement that the allegations against Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim were baseless and that no action was intended to be taken in the matter.

By letter dated 2.9.1998, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad dismissed Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim as deputy prime minister and minister of finance after which he was arrested and charged for the offence of sodomy against Azizan Abu Bakar.

I was invited by Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim to join his defence team in the course of his trial.

On 30.4.2001 Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim was convicted and sentenced by the High Court, Kuala Lumpur to six years imprisonment and 2 strokes of the rotan. His appeal to the Court of Appeal was dismissed on 21.8.2003.

It is very significant to note that the Federal Court allowed Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal on 2.9.2004 and set aside his conviction and sentence.

It is clear beyond the pale of doubt that even the Federal Court did not accept Azizan Abu Bakar’s testimony to be strong enough to convict Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Despite my position against Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim as an opposition MP in 1997, Dr. Mahathir cleared him as then prime minister of the allegation against him. So did then IGP Rahim Nor, the then Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mokhtar Abdullah and above all, the Federal Court, the highest court in the land. It cannot be said, under the circumstances, that I had, in anyway, acted unprofessionally in those proceedings.”

The full text of the late YB Karpal Singh’s press statement above is annexed herewith.

From the above, there can be no doubt that the late YB Karpal Singh did not, in any way, act unprofessionally by defending Anwar in Sodomy I. As disclosed in the full text of the Hansard on the dates stated above, there can be do doubt that the late YB Karpal Singh had called for a thorough investigation into the allegations against Anwar which formed the subject matter of the charge against him subsequently in Sodomy I. Further, there can be no doubt that the late YB Karpal Singh had justified his defending of Anwar in Sodomy I on numerous occasions as reflected above.

Shafee should be careful with his words.

To insinuate that the late YB Karpal Singh had “thrown the first stone” resulting in this matter (Sodomy II) arising is clearly baseless and ought to be condemned outright.

*Ramkarpal Singh is DAP MP of Bukit Gelugor, Penang.