Shafee hits lowest of the low with attempted attack against Karpal after Anwar conviction


Gobind Singh Deo, Malay  Mail Online

Lead prosecutor in the recent Anwar Ibrahim prosecution Tan Sri Shafee Abdullah says the late Mr Karpal Singh was the person who “threw the first stone“ which “led to the downfall of Anwar Ibrahim“ by first raising the matter in Parliament in 1997.

With respect, that is utter rubbish. In fact, it is quite the opposite.

In 1997, allegations were made against Anwar Ibrahim which included allegations of sexual misconduct. Subsequently a statutory declaration to that effect was handed to Mr Karpal Singh and he was asked to raise the matter in Parliament.

In keeping with his duties as MP at the time, Mr Karpal Singh did so. He called for an investigation into the matter and for Anwar Ibrahim to be cleared if there was no truth in the allegations made against him.

He also said that if investigations found that the allegations against Anwar Ibrahim were without basis and politically motivated, action ought to be taken against those behind it. (See hansard of 22.10.1997 at pages 41-42)

As a result of that, prominent personalities raced forward to clear Anwar Ibrahim.

The then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the allegations against Anwar Ibrahim were ridiculous and slanderous.

He also went to the extent of saying that “penyebar khabar angin, termasuk mengenai perletakan jawatan Menteri Kewangan ‘sepatutnya ditembak’“.

In addition to this, the then Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah publicly stated that the allegations against Anwar Ibrahim were baseless and that no action was intended to be taken in the matter.

After that, Anwar Ibrahim was dismissed as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.

And then all of a sudden, those very charges be it of sexual misconduct or abuse of power which were just declared to be baseless by the then PM and AG were once again raised and Anwar Ibrahim was charged.

Mr Karpal Singh has explained time and again, even in Parliament that owing to the events as described above, he believed that Anwar Ibrahim was a victim of a political conspiracy and that Anwar Ibrahim was innocent of those accusations thrown against him.

It was Mr Karpal Singh, who by raising the matter in Parliament in 1997, pinned the then PM and AG down to their declarations of innocence for Anwar Ibrahim against allegations for sexual misconduct and abuse of power.

This made them look like absolute fools when they later came out to support and pursue charges in respect of the same allegations they had earlier declared to be baseless against Anwar Ibrahim, shortly after his sacking as DPM.

In doing this, Mr Karpal Singh struck at the heart of the matter. How could a man be innocent one day and guilty the next and what more only after a political storm with his master?

This later became the basis for a defence of political conspiracy, bad faith and persecution against Anwar Ibrahim.

That is why Mr Karpal Singh defended Anwar against charges of sodomy in 1999 and it is important to note further that Anwar Ibrahim was subsequently acquitted by the Federal Court in respect of those allegations in 2004, essentially proving Mr Karpal Singh right.

As such, Shafee is way off mark.

It is not correct to say that Mr Karpal Singh cast the first stone which led to the downfall of Anwar Ibrahim.

Instead, it is quite the reverse.

It was he who fired the first shot which forced into the open facts and matters which would later become the basis for Anwar Ibrahim’s defence of political conspiracy and for all Malaysians to see for themselves the obvious and apparent shifts in positions taken by the key players in our criminal justice system in this case.

With respect, Shafee hits lowest of the low with this feeble attempt of an attack of his against Mr Karpal Singh after the conviction of Anwar Ibrahim in sodomy 2.

* Gobind Singh Deo is Chairman of DAP’s National Legal Bureau, and MP for Puchong.