How Mahathir dodges the burden of proof


Sabah Umno’s Salleh says former premier using trial by innuendo against Najib as in Anwar’s case

(Free Malaysia Today) – Sabah Umno deputy chairman Salleh Said Keruak has likened the Mahathir Mohamad campaign against Najib Razak as a trial by innuendo, saying that Dr Mahathir is using the same tactics he launched against his former deputy Anwar Ibrahim.

Salleh, a strong supporter of the prime minister against Mahathir’s campaign to unseat Najib, accused Mahathir of being two-faced.

He would subject his opponents to a campaign of having to prove their innocence against his charges, yet refused the burden of proof when faced with criticism against him.

Salleh, who is deputy chairman of Sabah Umno, said Dr Mahathir had subjected Anwar Ibrahim to a trial by media after he went on national TV in September 1998 to accuse Anwar Ibrahim of sexual misconduct with men and women.

“Dr Mahathir described in great detail what Anwar was alleged to have done,” Salleh wrote. “Anwar was subsequently found guilty of sodomy because, according to the judge, he had failed to prove his innocence. Later the Federal Court acquitted Anwar on grounds that the prosecution had failed to prove his guilt, which was what the prosecution should have done, instead of asking Anwar to prove his innocence,” he wrote in his blog today.

He said Anwar was subjected to a trial by media for six years up to September 2004 on the basis that Anwar was guilty until and unless he could prove his innocence. “The stigma remained even after the court acquitted him” because the prosecution had failed to prove Anwar’s guilt, Salleh said.

Now Mahathir was once again using the same tactics. “He is doing to Najib what he did to Anwar 17 years ago, guilty until proven innocent. And, just like back in 1998, Dr Mahathir is talking as if he has the indisputable evidence of Najib’s guilt.