Dr Osman's Key Report

Perhaps Dr Muhamad Osman Abdul Hamid's report is the key to the case. The report indicated that there is no evidence that Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan had been sodomised.

Dr Osman's signature and the hospital's stamp were attached on the report. The report was as well written on the hospital's official letter form.

The authorities was shocked by the unexpected medical report. Two days ago, various important spokesmen said in unison that they wanted to flush out the person who has leak the report out.

Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar angrily rebuked the person who has exposed the medical report, while the police was concerned about how the report leaked out. The Health Director-General said the private hospital is responsible for the leakage. And the hospital said it did not leak the report. They seemed to have forgotten that the key focus should be the report itself instead of the person who leaked it out.

"It has strengthened Anwar's position that the entire incident is in fact a conspiracy with the intention to end his political life."

Is the report genuine? And most importantly, is it valid in terms of law? If the report is not acceptable, then it will not have much impact in the investigation and trial. But it would be a different matter if it is authentic and valid. It is expected that the future dispute will focus on the report.

Until Wednesday (30 July), Hospital Pusrawi has finally made a statement and tried to unravel the mystery.

We can see more if we view the clarification made by Hospital Pusrawi from a a broader perspective. First of all, Dr Osman does exist and he is not a virtual character. Secondly, the medical report "looks genuine".

However, intentionally or unintentionally, the five points made by the hospital seems meant to weaken the report's validity. The hospital said Dr Osman is a general practitioner and not a specialist. Thus, he is not suitable in conducting a sodomy examination. Also, Dr Osman did not conduct a comprehensive sodomy examination on Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

I am afraid that whether Hospital Pusrawi's statement can be accepted depends on personal view. For example, some legal experts believe that any medical report made by a qualified doctor has legal status and can be used as a reference.

Of course, how the police, procecutors and court view the report is more critical than how you and me view it. The police, of course, knew the existence of the report earlier. The problem is, whether they paid attention to the report during their investigation and whether they considered it as an evidence to the case. And does how the Attorney-General Chamber view the report? Would it affect the decision whether to charge Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim? What would be the report's role in court?

These are all hypothetical questions at the moment. But for Anwar and PKR, as well as his supporters, the medical report is perhaps a lifeboat in the vast sea. It has strengthened Anwar's position that the entire incident is in fact a conspiracy with the intention to end his political life.

Meanwhile, the medical report has become a catalyst in the society. Many people believe that since they are unable to refute the doctor and the report, it means that the case has a lot of doubts, including many loopholes in Saiful's allegations.

The police and the Attorney-General Chamber must make a reasonable explanation over the medical report if they want to charge Anwar.

When would Dr Osman show up and what would he say are also the key to the case. (By TAY TIAN YAN/ Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE/ Sin Chew Daily)
source: My SinChew

Most Malaysians believe Anwar is innocent

Opinion polls show most people believe Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim did not commit sodomy against an aide after he was jailed on a similar charge seen as politically motivated before it was overturned.

A small survey by the independent Merdeka Centre research firm found just 6 percent of respondents believed the allegations, and nearly 60 percent viewed it as politically motivated.

“It’s going to be an uphill battle for the government because you are facing a more cynical public,” said the firm’s pollster, Ibrahim Suffian. The survey polled 225 ethnic Malaysia aged 20 and above.

A separate survey by the independent news website,Malaysiakini www.malaysiakini.com), showed that 94.4 percent of its respondents believed the allegation was part of apolitical conspiracy against Anwar.

The political uncertainty dragged the stock market lower again, with the benchmark Kuala Lumpur

Ratings agency Fitch, which has a positive outlook for Malaysia’s foreign currency rating and a stable outlook for the local currency, said it was monitoring the impact of the political situation on economic policies.

“The concern that we have would be that the political situation begins to affect the policy outlook. There is not eally much evidence of that just yet,” James McCormack, headof Asia sovereign ratings at Fitch.

“It appears to us there is a political transition of sorts under way in Malaysia. The question is how fast does that move and how significant is it. And I think some of those answers are still unclear,” he said.

SHOW OF SUPPORT
Anwar, who has dismissed the allegation as a top-level political conspiracy to keep him from standing for parliament, and to stymie his campaign aimed at wooing defectors from the ruling National Front coalition.

Winning a seat in parliament would be the first step on the road to Anwar’s wider ambition of leading the opposition top ower for the first time in Malaysian history.

The sodomy case emerged at a time when Abdullah’s UMNO party has been riven by dissent and the loose opposition alliance was making a bid to take power. The three-party alliance made historic gains in a March 8 general election,winning five of 13 state governments and coming within 30 seats of taking control of the 222-member parliament.

Anwar was jailed for six years on a charge of committing sodomy with an aide and a family driver after he broke with Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad over the handling of the 1998 Asian financial crisis. The Federal Court overturned the conviction in 2004. Sodomy is a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison in mainly Muslim Malaysia.

Anwar said he would not sit quietly and allow a repeat of what happened to him 10 years ago.

“We will fight. When we take over the country, the first thing we will do is to bring down the price of fuel,” Anwar said.

Malaysia's Anwar to contest poll


The decision of Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, left, enables Anwar to contest her seat

The wife of Anwar Ibrahim, the Malaysian opposition politician, has resigned her parliamentary seat in a bid to allow her husband to contest her position.

Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said she vacated the Permatang Pauh constituency in northern Malaysia on Thursday.

She said her decision is intended "to make way for my husband to contest as a candidate for the People's Alliance [coalition of Malaysian opposition parties] in a by-election as soon as possible".

A by-election must be held within 60 days of a seat becoming vacant.

Anwar, who is an adviser to the Keadilan party, in which his wife is president, said: "I look forward to participating in the deliberations in parliament ... and be back on track in our efforts to see a new dawn for Malaysia."

Getting elected to parliament is Anwar's next goal in his bid to re-establish his political career, which came to a halt in 1998 when a sodomy allegation cost him his position as deputy prime minister.

He was accused of sodomy again last month by a former 23-year-old male aide.

Inquiry completed

According to Syed Hamid Albar, the home minister, police have completed the investigation into the allegation and submitted their findings to the attorney-general, who will soon decide if charges should be filed.

However, there are fears he could face imminent arrest.

"They may arrest him in the next 48 hours. It is aimed to prevent him from contesting a by-election," Tian Chua, Keadilan's information chief, said.

The government responded by saying it did not fear Anwar's possible return to office.

"We are not worried ... we will face it ... he is not a threat. It is a democratic process, good luck to him," Albar said.

Opposition support

Anwar said that leaders of the other two parties in the People's Alliance supported him.

"I will defend anyone who has been victimised, including Anwar," Abdul Hadi Awang, the president of the Islamic PAS party, said.

The People's Alliance made huge gains in the general elections in March, seizing control of five states and a third of parliamentary seats.

Anwar has said he will form a new government with the help of defecting politicians from the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.

A survey conducted by the Merdeka Centre, a research company, found that two-thirds of the 1,030 respondents polled viewed the charges against Anwar as politically motivated, while only 11 per cent believed the accusations.

Al Jazeera

Anwar’s Sodomy II charge - very imminent

What are your impressions when you read the following AP report today?

PM rules out emergency rule
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today ruled out imposing emergency rule if street protests broke out in the event that opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was arrested.

“I don’t think we are going down that road; definitely not,” Abdullah told Associated Press in an interview today.

“Why should (protests) get out of hand? That would be very unbecoming of the party that intends to be the government of Malaysia - to take laws into their own hands and demonstrate as they wish.”

There are fears that Anwar could be arrested in the coming days as the police wrapped up their investigation into a former aide’s allegation that he was sodomised by Anwar.

Abdullah said that the 23-year-old ex-aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, deserved justice as much as any other Malaysian.

“This man pleads for justice,” Abdullah said. “We care about (Anwar) more than we care about this man? That is very odd. He needs justice; that is what he is crying for. We cannot ignore that.”

The conclusions which one can reasonably draw from this AP report include:

1. That the widespread speculation of an impending arrest of Anwar Ibrahim on Sodomy II charge is strongly grounded;

2. That the Prime Minister has been briefed of police measures in the event of Anwar’s arrest; and

3. That the Prime Minister is privy to the decision that will be taken by the Solicitor General on the police investigation papers on Anwar’s Sodomy II allegation – which the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar told media today as having been submitted to the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

How does this square with the fundamental constitutional principle that no one, including the Prime Minister, should be involved in the exercise of the “sole discretionary power” to prosecute or not to prosecute which is vested in the Attorney-General under Article 145 (3) of the Constitution?

Or is this the latest example of the desecration of the doctrine of separation of powers in Malaysia?

My feeling after reading Abdullah’s comments in the AP report is that Anwar’s arrest to be charged for Sodomy II is most imminent.

This is fortified by the Bernama report on the threat issued by the Deputy Health Minister, Datuk Dr. Abdul Latif Ahmad that Hospital Pusrawi is liable to a fine of up to RM300,000 and its management being jailed for “negligence” which led to the leakage of information concerning the ‘medical report’ on Mohd Saiful Bukhari who had earlier claimed that he was sodomised by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Abdul Latif Ahmad said the penalties were provided for under the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998.

Furthermore, disciplinary action could also be taken by the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) against the doctor involved in the incident because issuing the report to the public went against the professional ethics of a medical practitioner, he said.

Lim Kit Siang

Sodomy mess: Set-up panel to clear police

The civilised world must be outraged by what is taking place in Malaysia. Justice is being trampled upon and truth is being sacrificed for political expediency without shame or remorse. And it is not fair that we have to suffer this humiliation.

Thinking Malaysians are perplexed how on earth the police went ahead to investigate Anwar Ibrahim for sodomy even though there were allegedly medical reports confirming that there was no basis for their action.

According to the medical report in the possession of Malaysiakini, Saiful was never sodomised by anyone, least of all by Anwar Ibrahim. Dr Mohamed Osman Hamid from the Hospital Pusrawi had confirmed this fact after physically examining Saiful on June 28

Yet four hours later, Saiful made a police report at the police pondok in Hospital Kuala Lumpur that Anwar had sodomised him. At 6pm on that day, Saiful went to Hospital Kuala Lumpur for his second medical examination which, according to an unverified report by blogger Raja Petra Kamruddin also confirmed that Saiful was not sodomised. Nevertheless, he made his police report against Anwar.

The police cannot claim that they were in the dark over the existence of these reports. In any case police are required to send victims of rape or sodomy for a medical examination to confirm the allegations and collect vital medical evidence for prosecution purposes.

When Saiful made that damning report against Anwar, he must have surely disclosed to the police that such an examination had already been carried out by doctors. That being the case, the police would have obtained these reports and must be fully aware that the police report made by Saiful was therefore without any merit.

Yet why was Anwar arrested, questioned and detained? Doesn’t this indicate that there was a plot to vilify him and convict him on false charges? If the police had acted professionally, would they have gone ahead with what they had done unnecessarily putting to risk their reputation and credibility? Or were they taking instructions from politicians who felt threatened and therefore were bent on destroying Anwar to preserve their power base?

The whole sodomy episode reeks with injustice and stinks to high heaven. This sordid affair brings to mind something that was said long ago, ‘Of all injustice, that is the greatest which goes under the name of law, and of all sorts of tyranny the forcing of the letter of the law against equity, is the most insupportable.’.

Under the circumstance, Aliran is horrified and revolted that the police have seemingly paid scant respect to the rule of law. They owe an explanation to the public.

There are reports floating around that Dr Mohamed Osman Hamid from the Hospital Pusrawi had gone missing because it is alleged that he is being harassed to change the report to implicate Anwar. Aliran would like to know if this is true.

- Aliran would like to know whether the medical report from Hospital Pusrawi and signed by Dr Mohamed Osman Hamid is genuine and a true and faithful copy of the original report that is with Hospital Pusrawi.

- Aliran would like to know whether the police are brave enough to make public the existing reports from hospital Puswari and Hospital Kuala Lumpur in order to end the rumours circulating that these reports have indeed vindicated Anwar Ibrahim

- Aliran would like to know in the event when these reports are verified as true and genuine whether the police would forthwith drop all charges against Anwar and stop hounding him as if he has a case to answer.

- Aliran would like to know when it is established that Saiful had made a false report to the police whether he would be arrested and charged immediately.

- Aliran would like to know the unseen hands behind this episode who had apparently used Saiful to frame Anwar for their political survival.

This matter has dragged on long enough and it is time to bring it to a closure without any further delay.

Will the prime minister, out of respect for the dignity of the human being and in fairness to justice, display common decency in setting up a commission of inquiry to bring to book all those who had tarnished our nation with their nefarious activities which had brought to question the credibility of our police force?

Aliran.

Anwar ups ante, takes battle to next level


KUALA LUMPUR: Parti Keadilan Rakyat advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim upped the ante Thursday, taking the battle for his political survival to a higher level.

The former deputy prime minister had his wife, PKR president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, vacate her parliamentary seat in the opposition stronghold of Permatang Pauh in Penang.

Political analysts contacted by Bernama regarded the opposition leader's move as one made "at the right time, at the right place" to go back to his former seat of Permatang Pauh.

"Anwar began his political career in Permatang Pauh. He also fell when he was still the Permatang Pauh MP in 1998. It looks like he wants to make a comeback, contesting the Permatang Pauh seat," said Penang-based political analyst Datuk Seah Chee Kim.

Seah said Azizah had only held the seat "on behalf of Anwar" since 1998 to ensure his continued political survival and her decision to relinquish her position was "not surprising at all."

However, there is a catch on Azizah concerning her political future; Article 48 (6) of the Federal Constitution states that any MP who resigns will be disqualified for five years from the date of resignation. This would mean that if Anwar is arrested and convicted, both husband and wife would be ineligible to contest at least in the next general election.

"If Anwar had decided to go for any other seats apart from Permatang Pauh, people would have accused him of building a political dynasty with his wife and daugther, Nurul Izzah who is already an MP (Lembah Pantai).

"There is no alternative for him. He has to go for Permatang Pauh. Moreover, Wan Azizah had announced that she was only a temporary opposition leader after the March general election," he added.

Seah said that with the current political situation, the people were already doubtful that Anwar could make an effective political comeback, taking in account the looming sodomy charge levelled against him by a former aide.

"The way I look at it, it would tone down the sodomy talk if he won the election. Moreover since 1992, people in Permatang Pauh have been supporting him and his wife," he said, adding that Anwar was likely to use the high fuel price and inflation and the sodomy charge against him in his campaign at the by-election.

"It would also tone down the Umno-PAS talks which have the potential to destablise Pakatan Rakyat, the opposition front," he added.

Political analyst Dr Oh Ei Sun felt that Anwar's latest move would create a new political scenario in the country, especially when the seasoned politician goes to Parliament, if he win the Permatang Pauh seat.

He drew comparision with the current Taiwanese president, Ma Ying Jeou, when he was still an opposition leader in the Taiwan Parliament.

"When Ma was the chairman of the Koumintang Party (KMT), he made a bold decision by annoucing that he would be running for president when the Taiwan government, which was controlled by the Green party, charged him with corruption.

"The day he was charged, he announced he was running for president. Similarly, when rumours abound that Anwar would be charged (for sodomy), he announced that he would contest the Permatang Pauh seat," he said.

Dr Oh said that despite the bold move by Anwar, his political fate still depended on the voters of Permatang Pauh as " if people do not believe he is involved in sodomy, then he would win and if not, he would have a rough ride".

"This is not something new. It is an old trick which is improvised," said Dr Oh.

Another political analyst, Datuk Prof Shamsul Amri, described Anwar's latest move as a "desperate one".

First, he said, Anwar was taking advantage of his present popularity after a series of cross-country political campaigns in an effort to sidetrack the authorities from the sodomy investigations.

"Why now, all of a sudden, Anwar is taking advantage?. If he is arrested, then he can go around and say that the Barisan Nasional is trying to stop him from contesting and coming into Parliament," he added.

Prof Shamsul said this could be a political ploy on the part of Anwar after the opposition leader realised that he could not get 24 BN MPs to cross over to Pakatan Rakyat and form the next government.

"So, by contesting in the safe seat, which he would likely win, he can say the crossover is not a priority as he is already the opposition leader and taking over the government would happen at the next election.

"If the takeover does not materialise, at least he has substantial standing, which is to officially lead the opposition front in Parliament," he said.

Lastly, Prof Shamsul said, Anwar picked the safe Permatang Pauh seat knowing well that the BN election machinery would be going full steam in any other constituency.

Previously, Anwar had openly told the people that he was considering contesting several seats, including Bandar Tun Razak in Kuala Lumpur and Kulim Bandar Baharu in Kedah.

Shamsul said Anwar did not want to risk contesting seats which did not guarantee a win.

"It is a fact that it is a disadvantage for the opposition front to face any by-election unless in a seat where they are assured of winning. For the BN to beat him in Permatang Pauh, it is very tough," the political analyst summed up.

Wan Azizah resigned as Permatang Pauh MP with immediate effect to give way to Anwar to contest for the seat in a by-election.

Alan Ting
Bernama
01/08/08

Wan Azizah -- from homemaker to Opposition Leader


KUALA LUMPUR: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail was the reluctant politican who was thrown into the spotlight, following the detention of her husband, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on corruption and sodomy charges.

Wan Azizah, 55, a mother of five girls and a boy, gave up her government job as an opthalmologist to be on Anwar's side when he was appointed deputy prime minister in 1993.

When Anwar was dismissed from Umno and detained for corruption and sodomy charges in 1998, she led the Social Justice Movement (ADIL), a civil rights non- governmental organisation (NGO) fighting for the release of her husband with assistance from her family, close friends and supporters.

From an NGO, Adil became the platform for the setting up of Parti Keadilan Nasional (Keadilan) on April 4, 1999, a political party, initially fighting for Anwar's freedom.

Wan Azizah was appointed its pro-tem president and later elected as its party president.

A few months later, the novice politican contested her first general election to defend her husband's parliamentary seat, Permatang Pauh, against Datuk Ibrahim Saad, who was then Permatang Pauh Umno division chief and deputy minister of transport.

She won the seat with a majority of 9,077 votes.

In the 2004 and 2008 general elections, she maintained the parliamentary seat against former National Mosque imam Datuk Pirdaus Ismail of Barisan Nasional.

In the March 8 election, Wan Azizah won by a majority of 13,388 votes against the Umno Youth executive councillor. She garnered 30,338 votes against Datuk Pirdaus' 16,950 votes.

In August 2003, Keadilan merged with Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) to form Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and she was elected the new president, a post which she held until Thursday.

With the party's big win in the 2008 general election, Wan Azizah was elected by the opposition parties as their leader in the Dewan Rakyat.

On Thursday, after holding on to the Permatang Pauh seat for three terms, she is letting it go to allow her husband to contest in the upcoming by-election to be held soon.

Bernama
01/08/08

Malaysia PM: Anwar threats to seize power a bluff

Malaysia's leader on Thursday dismissed his rival Anwar Ibrahim's threat to seize power as a "bluff," but ruled out imposing emergency measures if street violence breaks out to protest a sodomy accusation against the opposition figurehead.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi also promised justice would be served in the sodomy case against Anwar, the second time he is facing such an accusation.

While denying any government conspiracy, Abdullah indicated that the complaint to police made by a 23-year-old former aide of being sodomized by Anwar would not be taken lightly.

"This man pleads for justice," Abdullah said. "We care about (Anwar) more than we care about this man? That is very odd. He needs justice; that is what he is crying for. We cannot ignore that."

The comment indicated that authorities would not be slowed down by a medical report by a doctor who examined the male aide on June 28. The doctor found no evidence of sodomy, and sent the aide to a government hospital for a second opinion.

The result of the second examination is not known, but the aide made the police complaint the same day.

Anwar says the charges were fabricated to stop him from challenging the government. After leading the opposition to spectacular results in the March general elections, Anwar has been threatening to bring down the government with parliamentary defections.

Asked whether Anwar was bluffing, Abdullah said that "so far, it is going toward that direction."

"Whether he bluffs or not (it seems) he wants to keep his popularity afloat all the time like a stock market share," Abdullah added.

He ruled out imposing emergency rule if Anwar's supporters hold street protests to denounce the latest accusation.

"I don't think we are going down that road; definitely not," Abdullah said. "Why should (protests) get out of hand? That would be very unbecoming of the party that intends to be the government of Malaysia, to take laws into their own hands and demonstrate as they wish."

Abdullah said he believes Anwar is trying to bribe government lawmakers to defect.

"I've heard so much stories, many stories of his buying, tempting them with monetary offers to cross over to the opposition," said Abdullah, whose ruling coalition holds a slim 30-seat majority over Anwar's opposition alliance in the 222-member Parliament.

"If it were true that money were being offered, to me it would be the worst form of corruption," Abdullah said.

He claimed that a majority of ruling party member are loyal to him. Asked if he has the support of 80 to 90 percent of party bosses, he said: "Certainly around that area."

Anwar denies the bribery accusation.

The sodomy accusation has revived memories of how Anwar was ousted from the Cabinet in 1998 after serving as former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's deputy for five years. Anwar was then accused of sodomizing his family driver and abusing his power to cover up the deed.

Anwar was convicted of both charges and sentenced to 15 years in prison, despite his claim that he was framed to quash his challenge to Mahathir. Malaysia's highest court freed Anwar in 2004 when it overturned his sodomy conviction.

The corruption conviction, however, barred him from contesting the March elections. The ban expired in April, and he is expected to contest a by-election soon in a bid to return to Parliament.
By VIJAY JOSHI and
Associated Press
2008-07-31 04:08 PM
Taiwan News Online

PAS rejects ties with BN or Umno


KUALA LUMPUR(July 31, 2008) : PAS decided today against any cooperation with the Barisan Nasional or Umno to form a government, either at the state or federal level, be it in the form of power-sharing or merger.

Speaking to reporters at the party headquarters after chairing a joint-meeting of the party’s Central Committee and Ulama Syura (Consultative) Council, party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said with this decision, "any offer from Umno to set up a joint-government at all levels does not arise".

He said the party will however continue to have talks or discussions with anyone, including political parties, non-governmental organisations, institutions and individuals in the interest of the country and ummah.

Abdul Hadi also reiterated PAS’ stand to remain in Pakatan Rakyat, a coalition of opposition parties that helms five state governments.

"I would like to reiterate our stand to remain in Pakatan by playing an active and positive role in line with our collective struggle, including our fight to change the government. In this context, we would like to invite Umno MPs to join Pakatan, either (through) PAS or PKR, so that we can support this struggle together."

He said the decisions reached during the five-hour meeting yesterday have always been the party’s stand all this while and were further reinforced during the discussions.

He said the question of "secret meetings" between PAS and Umno leaders does not arise as it is no longer confidential.

"There is nothing confidential now. We have said that we can meet and of course, the meetings would be made known to the party. And all these while too, they (previous PAS-Umno talks) have always been made known to the party," he added.

As to whether the meetings will be called muqabalah (face-to-face meeting) or muzakarah (discussion), he said: "I have used the word pertemuan (meeting) in general, it does not matter what term is used."

Asked when PAS will make its offer to the Umno parliamentarians, he said: "That you have to wait when the time comes."

To a question, Abdul Hadi said the party appreciates the support from non-Muslims, especially during the last general election, and in future, it plans to give a more substantial role for non-Muslim supporters to play within the political realm.

Asked his stand in relation to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy allegation case, he said he had stated before that PAS as an Islamic party wants the issue to be settled through the Islamic Syariah method.

"I refer to Article 121(a)(1) of the Federal Constitution that all cases related to a Muslim must be referred to the Syariah court. If this cannot be done, Umno must make the necessary changes. I don’t want for this issue to be politicised," he added.

Asked whether he supports Anwar, he said: "I defend whoever is being victimised (dizalimi) including Anwar, and according to the Islamic law, a person who is accused is not guilty (until proven guilty)."

Husna Yusop
The Sun
31/07/08

Raja Nazrin on what the younger generation wants in leaders

KUALA LUMPUR, THURS: The empowered and energised younger generation of Malaysians want a more moral, open, representative, equable, and equitable forms of leadership, the Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah said today.

“As a result of its successes in human development, Malaysian society has changed. The Malaysian development ethos today is no longer framed in purely materialistic terms,” he said at the 17th Tun Dr Ismail oration, at the 42nd Malaysia-Singapore Congress of Medicine, here.

He said the nation’s younger generation wanted leaders who could courageously cross sectarian boundaries and who relied on their intellectual and moral integrity and gravitas to attract and retain support, not just on political power and patronage.

He said one of the country’s enduring strengths had been its almost obsessive focus on effective leadership, one which had to deliver the goods to the people.

“This has been one source of legitimacy for leaders apart from personal popularity. The leadership process has also, to a degree, been open and inclusive and resulted in Malaysia emerging as a shinning model for development.

Other countries may have had as much, if not more, than Malaysia but they were able to accomplish very much less,” he said.

He said leaders of today must be masters of soft power because hard power, though still required to maintain law and order, was not well adapted in dealing with today’s complex and interdependent world.

“As with any change, there will be tensions. Progress may advance and at times, retreat, in line with changing circumstances. The pressures for transformational leadership, however, will be incessant and unremitting.

“Such leaders will emerge in the future I believe, but it is necessary to remember that they have been around also in the past. Tun Dr Ismail was one in the first wave of leaders who demonstrated an integrity that was beyond question,” Raja Nazrin said.

He said the nations of the world today needed what is known as transformational leadership, which strives to achieve higher ideals, nobler values and superior behaviour among followers.

He said transformational leadership encourages followers to rise above narrow self interests and to work in the service of others towards a common good and it also mobilises people to face, rather than avoid, rough realities, to tackle difficult problems and to make hard decisions.

“It does not turn away from the difficulty of problems by offering fake remedies. It elevates followers to a higher moral level,” he added.

He said while the world at large needed more transformational leaders, there was also a dire need for leaders who are capable of exercising “soft power”.

“Hard power is what we are all familiar with. For governments, it includes the ability to direct, punish, defend and invade. For companies, it is the power to hire and fire and to acquire and dispose of companies. Soft power, on the other hand, is non-coercive. It sets agendas, persuades, shapes preferences and harnesses voluntary actions.

“It is marked by participation, delegation and networking, not command-and-control. In short, soft power is about working with and through people. While both may be needed, there is greater need for soft power in today’s complex information-based world,” the Raja Muda said.

He said the reason why soft power is required in increasing measure is that people today are becoming increasingly empowered and countries were becoming too interdependent, to be ruled by hard power alone.

“Leaders who are not people-oriented will generally find it very hard to lead from the top, front or middle. By showing themselves to be open to feedback, leaders also establish a basis for trust. Leaders who listen are less likely to pursue illegitimate goals or actions.

“By having their ideas and perspectives considered, followers feel that they have a stake in the decisions made by their leaders. Consultation is essential because without it, leaders cannot make informed and objective decisions. Instead, they fall victim to the dreaded groupthink,” the Raja Muda said.

Another challenge for leaders, he expounded, was the need to deliberately surround themselves with the best and most capable people. “Ones who can bring different talents and insights to bear and who many not necessarily be the most compliant.”

“True leaders know, however, that they do not have all the answers and they must seek out those who are more competent and capable and delegate duties and responsibilities to them.

“If they do not, bad and poorly executed decisions can result, and this may end up eroding popular support for them. In order to be effective, they must have their eyes firmly fixed on achieving results,” Raja Nazrin added.

Bernama
31/07/08

Ezam dared to stand in Permatang Pauh

SHAH ALAM: PKR is challenging its former Youth chief Ezam Mohd Nor to stand against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in the Permatang Pauh by-election.

“We hope Umno will let Ezam to take on Anwar in the by-election.

“Let him come and contest if he dares because this is what the PKR wants,” said Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, a supreme council member and Selangor state liaison chief after a tea session with the media Thursday.

Last week, Ezam, who has joined Umno, said that he was willing to take on Anwar in a by-election and was not afraid to face his former boss if selected by the Barisan Nasional leadership.

Khalid, who is Selangor Mentri Besar, said the party congratulated and thanked PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail for stepping down as Permatang Pauh MP to make way for her husband to contest in the by-election.

When asked if Anwar’s decision to stand in Permatang Pauh was expected, Khalid replied: “Sort of, but Bandar Tun Razak and Kulim were always mentioned.”

Khalid also said he was starting the campaign immediately by calling the rakyat to choose a leader who would work hard to reduce their burden, especially in the face of inflation.

On PAS rejecting the possibility of it cooperating or forming a coalition government with Umno, Khalid said it was expected.

He said he had no problems with PAS if it wanted to hold talks with Umno because he believed PAS would advise him on how to run the state and ensure that Muslims and other communities were treated fairly.

CHRISTINA TAN
Star Online
31/07/08

Malaysia's Anwar to contest election for wife's seat


KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said Thursday he would contest a by-election for a parliamentary seat vacated by his wife in a bid to expedite his return to political office.

But party officials said his plans could come to a crashing halt next week, if police arrest him on sodomy charges that the former deputy prime minister says are politically motivated and aimed at derailing his comeback.

"I thank Wan Azizah (Wan Ismail) for stepping down as the member of parliament for Permatang Pauh. The decision was not easy," Anwar told reporters at his Keadilan party's headquarters.

Wan Azizah said she handed her letter of resignation to the parliamentary speaker on Thursday. Party officials said the by-election must be held within 60 days.

Anwar said he decided to contest his hometown seat in northern Penang state to speed up his return to parliament after a 10-year absence, adding that leaders of the other two parties in the opposition alliance supported him.

"I will defend anyone who has been victimised, including Anwar," the president of the Islamic PAS party, Abdul Hadi Awang, told reporters.

The alliance made huge gains in March general elections, seizing control of five states and a third of parliamentary seats.

Anwar has said he will form a new government with the help of defecting lawmakers from the powerful ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.

His by-election announcement came after his party said he could face imminent arrest on charges that he sodomised a 23-year-old male aide, charges similar to those that saw him jailed 10 years ago before they were overturned.

"They may arrest him in the next 48 hours. It is aimed to prevent him from contesting a by-election," Tian Chua, the party's information chief, told AFP.

The government responded by saying it did not fear Anwar's possible return to office.

"We are not worried ... we will face it .. he is not a threat. It is a democratic process, good luck to him," Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar told reporters.

Syed Hamid, who is in charge of internal security, also said police had completed their investigation into the charges against Anwar and forwarded the case file to government lawyers to decide whether to charge him.

But a defiant Anwar said the investigations should be dropped.

"Why should I be charged? For what? They have gone for one month on a fishing expedition and they have not caught anything," he said.

A survey conducted by the independent Merdeka Centre research firm revealed that two-thirds of the 1,030 respondents polled viewed the charges against Anwar as politically motivated, while only 11 per cent believed the accusations.

Anwar has rejected the claims by Mohamad Saiful Bukhari Azlan, calling him an "outright liar" who was working with others in power to frame him and block his plans to topple the government.

- AFP/ir
Channel Newsasia
31/07/08

Malaysia's Anwar may be arrested in the next 48 hours


KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's opposition figurehead Anwar Ibrahim may be arrested in the next 48 hours, a senior party official said Thursday, saying it is to stop him contesting a by-election.

Anwar has been accused of sodomy, which he denies, saying it is a politically motivated move to stop him challenging the government.

"We will not rule out the possibility of Anwar being arrested. And it looks like they are planning to charge him by Monday," Tian Chua, Keadilan party's information chief, told AFP.

"They may arrest him in the next 48 hours. It is aimed to prevent him from contesting in a by-election," he added.

Anwar scheduled a press conference for 0700 GMT Thursday. Party officials said it is about his by-election plan.

Anwar said Wednesday he will fight a by-election later this year and form a new government despite the sodomy allegation hanging over him.

"There are thousands of criminal cases not properly investigated. Why pursue this with zeal and in an unjust way? Is it because I will participate in a by-election?" Anwar told reporters.

"You want me to withdraw? No. I will continue to pursue the change. Let's see if they want to charge me," he said after being interviewed by Islamic sharia enforcement officials over the allegations.

Anwar has said the claims of a young male aide, a repeat of charges that saw him jailed a decade ago before being overturned, have been fabricated to block his plans to topple the coalition that has ruled Malaysia for half a century.

He has demanded that police stop the investigation and called the aide, 23-year-old Mohamad Saiful Bukhari Azlan, an "outright liar" who was working with others in power to frame him.

-AFP/ir
Channel NewsAsia
31/07/08

PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

31 JULY 2008, PETALING JAYA, MALAYSIA: After deliberating with my family, the Keadilan party leadership and our partners in the Pakatan Rakyat, I have officially submitted my resignation as Member of Parliament of Permatang Pauh to the Speaker of Parliament YB Tan Sri Datuk Pandikar Amin Bin Hj. Mulia today to make way for my husband, Anwar Ibrahim, to contest as a candidate for Pakatan Rakyat in a by-election as soon as possible.

This is consistent with our goals towards securing a Parliamentary majority and forming a new government within this year.

This decision is the right decision for Malaysia.

The nation now faces some of the greatest challenges it has encountered since gaining independence. The UMNO-led Barisan Nasional government has mismanaged the economy and steered the nation towards a catastrophe. It has allowed the integrity of the justice system to fall into deeper infamy. It has stroked the flames of racism and driven a wedge of mistrust between Malays, Chinese and Indians, while thoroughly neglecting the needs of the indigenous peoples of Sabah and Sarawak.

Anwar Ibrahim has articulated a vision for Malaysia that has brought hope to the people. He has the experience and intelligence to reinvigorate our economy, and the charisma and integrity to unite the Malaysian people and restore credibility to our institutions of governance. I will continue to serve as president of Parti Keadilan Rakyat and as chairperson of the Yayasan
Aman (Peace Foundation).

I whole-heartedly thank my supporters in Permatang Pauh who have stood by me in the most difficult of times since September 1998 and have shared in the joy of victory we all experienced on March 8th. The future of our nation lies in the dedication and commitment to justice and freedom that I have experienced as your representative in Parliament and I look forward to many more years of serving you with sincerity and with humility.

DATUK SERI WAN AZIZAH WAN ISMAIL
President
Parti Keadilan Rakyat

Wan Azizah quits, Anwar to contest


PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and husband Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the press conference on Thursday where she announced her resignation as Permatang Pauh MP. She makes way for Anwar to contest in the by-election for the seat.


PETALING JAYA: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has resigned as Permatang Pauh Member of Parliament to make way for her husband Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to contest in a by-election.

At a packed press conference at the party headquarters on Thursday, Dr Wan Azizah said the decision was made after deliberations with her family, the PKR leadership and its partners in the Pakatan Rakyat loose coalition of Opposition parties.

"I have officially submitted my resignation as MP to the Parliament Speaker, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, to make way for my husband, Anwar Ibrahim, to contest as a candidate for Pakatan Rakyat in a by-election as soon as possible," she said.

Dr Wan Azizah, who showed no emotion during the press conference, said it was the right decision for Malaysia and that she would continue serving as PKR president and chairman of the Peace Foundation.

Together with her were PKR vice-presidents Azmin Ali and R. Sivarasa, her daughter and Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar, and Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai.

Dr Wan Azizah also thanked her supporters in Permatang Pauh who had stood by her in the most difficult of times.

"Anwar Ibrahim has the experience and intelligence to reinvigorate our economy, and the charisma and integrity to unite Malaysians.

"And I'm not saying this just because he is my husband," she added.

As to who would be taking over as the Opposition leader in Parliament, Dr Wan Azizah said that would be discussed with other Pakatan Rakyat leaders.

Anwar, under a police investigation for allegedly sodomising a former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 23, had previously said he would contest in the Kulim-Bandar Baharu parliamentary constituency, where an election petition is pending.

The case is scheduled for hearing on Aug 19.

On Thursday, Anwar said he had decided to contest in Pematang Pauh instead because the Kulim petition might take too long to settle.

He had previously said that he would have the numbers to form the government by Sept 16, and said the sodomy allegation was a part of a conspiracy to stop him from doing so.

He has denied the sodomy allegations and has filed a defamation suit against Mohd Saiful.

The Election Commission is required under the law to call for a by-election within 60 days.

Its chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said the Commission would start preparing for the by-election upon receiving notice from the Speaker.

Also on Thursday, Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar announced that the police had wrapped up their investigations into the sodomy case, and have sent their report to the Attorney-General's Chambers for further action.

ROYCE CHEAH
Star Online
31/07/08

Solicitor-General set to lead sodomy prosecution

KUALA LUMPUR, July 31 — He is unknown, an anonymous name in Malaysian legal circles. But Datuk Idrus Harun has one of the toughest jobs in the country — he is going through the investigation papers prepared by police officers and is slated to lead the prosecution team if Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is charged with sodomy.

The Malaysian Insider has learnt that the investigation papers were sent by the police to the Solicitor-General late yesterday.

Investigators say that they have sufficient evidence to make a prima facie case against the former deputy prime minister but the final call rests with Idrus.

This controversial case landed on Idrus’s lap after Anwar accused Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan of fabricating evidence against him when he was assaulted while in detention in 1998.

After this, the government decided that both Gani and Musa should not be involved in the probe into the fresh sodomy allegation against Anwar.

Idrus is seen as a straight shooter in the legal service but there are concerns that he is a greenhorn when it comes to criminal prosecution.

Despite this misgiving, government officials believe that those involved in the probe should not have the baggage of 10 years ago when Anwar was accused of corruption and sodomy and spent six years in jail for both convictions. He was freed after the Federal Court overturned the sodomy conviction in 2004.

The fresh sodomy accusation was lodged on June 28 by 23-year-old Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan against the opposition leader. The male aide claimed Anwar committed sexual assault eight times with the last being at a posh Damansara condominium on June 26.

The university dropout lodged a report after going for a medical examination at the Hospital Pusrawi in Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur. The doctor on duty sent him for a further check-up in the Kuala Lumpur Hospital where he duly reported the sexual assault.

The first medical report was leaked on the Internet early this week and has fanned a controversy as it states there was no evidence of sodomy on Saiful. However, the hospital administrators have said it is inconclusive as the doctor is a general medical practitioner.

The Health Ministry is investigating how the report was leaked and made public, adding it will stand by the report made by the Kuala Lujmpur Hospital.

Anwar has seized on the leaked medical report as a vindication of his innocence, calling on the police to drop the investigations as it clearly was meant to implicate him. However, the police are continuing with their probe and have recommended to charge the former deputy prime minister.

Saiful himself stands by his accusations and called on Anwar to swear his innocence by the Quran. Anwar has traded accusations with Saiful by lodging a qazaf or slander report at the Federal Territories Islamic Affairs Department where he gave a statement yesterday.

Anwar has also sued Saiful for defamation.

source: The Malaysian Insider

Racism of the UMNO's: deficit of oxytocin?

Moral Economics" contains the meaning of values and how it influences human morality and impacts the development of economies. It also explains how moral values is based on the workings of neuroactive hormone oxytocin acting on various parts of the brain to create the feeling of empathy, trust and trustworthiness leading finally to greater cooperation among strangers to allow the faster growth and development of economies.

This got me thinking about UMNO, their racism, the scarcity of successful UMNO cronies businessmen and the dearth of large scale successful Malay businesses. UMNO don't seem to be able to trust anybody, especially the non-Malays and especially the Chinese, to cooperate with them. UMNO is deliberately creating suspicions and hatred among the races of Malaysia ultimately with the aim of getting rid of all facilities that non-Malays have in Malaysia.

The Chinese and the Indians have been largely racially cleansed from Malaysia. The Indians saw their population reduced from some 15% in 1960's to some 7% today. The Chinese saw their population reduced from more than 35% in 1960's to some 25% today. In Sabah the Chinese population has been reduced from more than 30% in 1963 to less than 10% today. The Kadazan, Dushun, and Murut population has been reduced from some 40% in 1963 to less than 20% today due to the large influx of Muslims from Indonesia and the Philippines.

But since cooperation with non-kins are the hallmark of modern civilization and is absolutely necessary for the "specialization of labor and the generation of surplus in societies", it is clear why Malaysia is not developing as fast as Singapore and other advanced societies.

UMNO simply cannot trust others and cooperate with the Chinese and the Indians and the other non-Malays. Therefore, there is no large scale "specialization of labor." And without the "specialization of labor," surpluses cannot be accumulated in Malaysia. And without surpluses, there is no funds to develop technological advances. And without technological advances, there is no increases in the living standard for the people of Malaysia - especially for the common Malay.

But in the neighboring Singapore, there is no discrimination based on race. All are encouraged to work as hard as they can on equal conditions. Therefore, all races are working closely together regardless of race. This means all races can benefit from the specialization of labor regardless of race which then leads to abundant surpluses to fuel technological advances resulting in the high increases in the standard of living. This shows the differences between Singapore and Malaysia where racism is stagnating the economy of Malaysia while the racial equality in Singapore is fueling rapid economic advances.

UMNO should do some serious thinking and ask themselves whether they want to be ruled by the racist dogma of UMNO that seeks to rank the Malays as the superior master race. The Malays should understand that ultimately the dogma of Malay supremacy will only stagnate the Malaysian economy which will keep the common Malays poor.

Currently, Malaysian per capita GDP is only 1/6 of Singapore. And even this low level of per caapita GDP is obtained only because Malaysia is producing some 500 million barrels of oil a year which accounts for some 10% to 30% of Malaysia's GDP depending on how the Malaysian GDP is calculated. Obviously without the oil Malaysian economy would collapse as the oil not only directly contribute a significant part of its GDP but the multiplier effect from the oil incomes magnifies its contribution to the economy by two to three times. From this, it is safe to say that without the oil - which comes mostly from Sabah and Sarawak - Malaysian economy and especially the Malayan economy will quickly sink down to the level of Indonesia.

I don't know why UMNO is so racist. Maybe it is because UMNO has a lower level of oxytocin. Or maybe it is just a cultural phenomenon that the UMNO politicians use racism as a means to scare up support for their rule. But it is obvious that without trust and cooperation among the races, the economy of Malaysia will continue to stagnate.

The effect of oxytocin and other neuroactive hormones that generate a sense of guilt against advantageous iniquity or the unwarranted superiority of the Malays would ultimately make many Malays feel stricken by their conscience. Or they could finally understand that the racist hatred propaganda produced by UMNO is ultimately not true and counterproductive in advancing he standard of living of the common Malays. And hopefully they will understand that trust and cooperation based on equality and justice is what's best in the interest of the common Malays themselves.

NEP an Umno gimmick to rob Malays

The entire polemics on the issue of the NEP is clearly an attempt to deflect attention from the basic fundamental issues of growth development and distributive justice. Those who are questioning the validity, the relevance and the wisdom to continue the NEP are not only the Chinese but also more concerned Malays.

The vast majority of Malays now begin to understand that the New Economic Policy is now becoming a gimmick for those in power in Umno to virtually rob wealth opportunities for themselves, their families and their cronies.

The vast majority of the Malays did not benefit from the APs, from Scomi, from ECM Libra, from Patrick Lim in Terengganu, et cetera, et cetera. So we must understand that we need to engage and continue this dialogue rationally. We need to promote a policy and agenda that would treat Malaysians as Malaysians and to defend the rights of the Malays, the marginalised and the poor.

We must also defend the rights of the Chinese, the Indians, the Ibans and the Kadazans as Malaysians.

Why the hypocrisy that we are one family, we are one nation, warming up to each other, kita satu keluarga (we’re one family), while at the same time, UMNO promotes this defeatist racist agenda?

That is why Malaysians are not totally surprised that a few of this rich Malays in Umno, including Umno Youth, are taking this up as a major battle. To attack the non-Malays, to threaten them because they want to defend, not Malay interests, but the interests of themselves, their families and their cronies.

Malaysians must openly challenge them to rationally debate this issue based on facts. Not based on racist propaganda. If UMNO were to come and tell Malaysians that they are not ready to talk about a Malaysian agenda’, Malaysians must tell them that we have been independent for the last half a century. If UMNO are not ready, they are not competent, UMNO @ Barisan Nasional have to resign. Let a new team of competent, fair-minded just Malaysians to take over the helm of this country.

Anwar not worried about arrest

KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 - Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today he is not worried about the possibility of being arrested again over the allegation of sodomy against him although he hoped the police would not do it.

"Nobody wants to be arrested or detained. But with the Pusrawi hospital's (leaked medical) report, I wonder why they (the police) want to pursue this case," said the Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader.

The former deputy prime minister also said there was no basis for the accusation against him, and he questioned the authorities' strong interest in wanting to charge him.

"This country is not run by small segment of police leaders headed by (Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri) Musa Hassan who has a personal vendetta against me.

"Let me remind this government and the authorities that this country is not a police state. The decision must be based on facts and law, not based on Musa Hassan's personal wishes, and vendetta from 1998 to 2008," he said.

He added that his reform agenda and his intention to run for Parliament were still on track despite the possibility of being charged.

"I will continue; let's see if they decide to charge. Remember this is not 1998 when the system was tightly control. At least in 2008, there is some space."

Anwar said he was also not worried with the results of the Kuala Lumpur hospital report.

He added that if the medical examination and investigations were done professionally, like the one done by Pusrawi, he believed the authorities would come up with the same conclusion that he did not sodomise anybody.

When asked whether he had seen the KL hospital report, he said: "No."

Anwar was speaking to reporters after giving a statement to Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Islamic Affairs Department (Jawi) on his complaint to the department over the accusation by his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan that he had sodomised him.

Anwar lodged the complaint with Jawi on July 9.

He spent about two hours to have his statement taken by the Islamic authority and he had informed Jawi officials about the leaked medical report.

"They (Jawi) certainly will refer to the doctor to take his statement," he claimed.

Jawi officials also asked to explain why he thought the accusation against him was baseless, to which he replied:

"(I was asked) what other evidence you can be adduced to substantiate (my claim) other than medical evidence and alibi, and I have done all these, which is somewhat similar to normal criminal cases conducted by the police."

He added that the Jawi investigators were more professional compared to the police.

"You can sense the manner questions are being raised and asked is more professional, wanting to know the facts, and not in an accusing tone," he said.

When asked whether he prefers the Syariah court or the civil court, the founder of the Malaysian Muslim Youth Movement (Abim) said, "I wouldn't have any preference, given a choice, every allegation must be substantiated, it should not be politically motivated."

He also presented to the Jawi investigators the view of an usul fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) expert Sheikh Taha Jabir al-Ulwani, a professor at the Al-Azhar University, who had said that qazaf (false accusation) could be applied to sodomy and adultery cases.

Adib Zalkapli
The Malaysian Insider

Sodomy case against Anwar faced with conflicting medical examination records

Radio Singapore International - Malaysia’s de facto opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has demanded that the police drop the ongoing sodomy investigation against him.

This follows the emergence of a medical report that was done before the supposed second one which investigators have based their charge against Anwar on.

Malaysia’s Director-General of Health says the medical record that has been leaked should have been kept confidential.

And Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar is also calling for action to be taken against the person or persons who leaked the report.

Yvonne Gomez speaks to lawyer Sankara Nair, who is one of the members of Anwar’s legal team to find out if patient confidentiality rules apply when it comes to important evidence that can be used in a legal trial.


SN: The issue of the legality of the report or any information that comes to trial matters not because the Court, in the English system, unlike America, whatever that comes, even if it’s illegally obtained, can be admitted, if it is true.

How does this leaked medical examination record complicate the sodomy case against Anwar?

SN: It doesn’t complicate out case. It complicates the case for the possible prosecutors, because there is this evidence that has been available then itself, from the beginning, and it was not acted upon then, and then the investigation should’ve stopped because if at the first instance there is no evidence of sodomy, then why, in the first place, probe further, unless you are considering persecution, rather then prosecution.

The Health Ministry, however, has said that it stands by the findings of the other medical examination conducted by doctors from the Kuala Lumpur hospital. What happens in legal cases when two conflicting reports like this emerge?

SN: Clearly then, the benefit of the doubt must go to the accused, because that is, again, our system of English law that we practice in Malaysia. Whenever there is, even in a trial in a court of law in Malaysia, and in Commonwealth countries, evidence that is favouring the accused, then the benefit must be given to the accused. The benefit here, as I said, must go to the accused. So if there are conflicting reports which would then suggest that it would be unsafe, then the second report that’s going to be coming out, providing they are going to start prosecuting, will be rather suspect isn’t it? The result of which is that the court will always go in favour of the accused, you see?

As lawyers for Anwar, how would you and your team try to downplay the other report and call it that into question, if this goes to trial?

SN: We will obviously have to submit that there is, in the first instance, the police are investigating and then they come across a report which suggests that there’s no sodomy, and then comes a subsequent report. So we have to shoot holes into that report because why would the second report be then used for prosecution? It’s the motive that counts for a lot, doesn’t it? So that would be the main thrust of the argument. Secondly, we’ll obviously have to cross-examine very, very deeply into the fact of how the doctor submitted something new when it was not there in the first place. So there is a conflict and this is crucial evidence, you know?

Anwar has mentioned something about the authorities wanting to collect new DNA samples from him. Where does that fall into this investigation?

SN: Right now, from what we hear from the media, they are going to use the old samples. We’ve stated very clearly why we will not give it this time around because they already have the old samples. This has happened before in the earlier trial where we went through the whole process and we were going to debunk the DNA story and as soon as it was going to be evident, they withdrew the whole evidence and expunged it from the record. I was involved in the first trial itself and this being the trend, clearly we’ve advised out client not to give it.

What does the failure of the police to disclose this other medical report suggest for the bigger picture?

SN: This is where the conspiracy theory comes in. the police’s job is to investigate independently and neutrally and not to go in for prosecution. That should not be the attitude. If they see something that is in favour of the person they are investigating, they should then immediately call in the parties and say look, I think we can’t go further because this is in favour of the accused the A-G will then have to make a complete withdrawal of the whole matter.

Malaysia's Anwar insists on participating in by-election


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's opposition figurehead Anwar Ibrahim insisted on Wednesday he will fight a by-election later this year and form a new government, despite fears he will soon be charged with sodomy.

"There are thousands of criminal cases not properly investigated. Why pursue this with zeal and in an unjust way? Is it because I will participate in a by-election," Anwar told reporters.

"You want me to withdraw? No. I will continue to pursue the change. Let's see if they want to charge me," he said after being interviewed by Islamic Sharia enforcement officials over the sodomy allegations.

The former deputy prime minister admitted that his family and friends will undergo the same suffering they experienced in 1998 if he is "victimised, arrested and jailed".

Anwar has said the allegations of a young male aide, a repeat of charges that saw him jailed a decade ago, have been fabricated to block his plans to topple the coalition that has ruled Malaysia for half a century.

He has demanded that police stop the investigation and called the aide, 23-year-old Mohamad Saiful Bukhari Azlan, an "outright liar" who was working with others in power to frame him.

Police, however, have said they will continue sodomy investigations on Anwar despite a leaked medical report which he said had vindicated him as it showed no evidence that his accuser was sodomised.

A senior hospital official on Wednesday said the report "looks genuine" and said the doctor who examined Saiful was not a specialist.

Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar said the medical report was part of a whole chain of evidence which police were investigating, the Star daily reported.

"We have to let the police complete their investigations, submit their investigating papers to the prosecutor and let the prosecutor decide if there is a case," the home minister was quoted as saying by the newspaper on Wednesday.

Sodomy even between consenting adults is a crime punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment in mostly Muslim Malaysia.

Anwar aims to return to parliament for the first time in a decade if a court orders a by-election near his home town – the next step in his political rehabilitation after being sacked in 1998 and later jailed on sodomy and corruption charges.

A high court in Kedah state will hear a challenge on August 19, asking it to invalidate the result in a seat that was won by his Keadilan party in March 8 general elections.

Anwar described the police investigations as a "political vendetta" against him and reminded the security authorities that Malaysia was not a "police state".

"They accuse me of being a person planted by the Americans. They accuse me of wanting to sell this country to China. I advise the police to probe (the allegations) based on facts," he said.

- AFP/so
Channel Newsasia
31/07/08

Kenyataan Pusrawi: Tidak Mengejutkan! (malay language)

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim pagi semalam telah mengadakan satu sidang media berhubung laporan perubatan yang dibuat oleh Dr Mohamed Osman Abdul Hamid terhadap Saiful Bukhari Azlan. Laporan itu jelas menunjukkan bahawa tuduhan yang dibuat merupakan satu fitnah jahat yang tidak berasas dan bermotifkan politik. Tuduhan itu bertujuan membunuh karakter Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim dan berhasrat untuk menggagalkan aspirasi rakyat yang inginkan perubahan.

Kita sememangnya menjangka dan tidak terkejut akan ada satu tindak balas bagi menunjukkan Dr Mohamed Osman dan laporan yang didedahkan semalam tidak mempunyai wibawa. Petang ini Pusrawi telah mengeluarkan kenyataan lima perenggan menafikan bahawa seorang doktornya telah melakukan pemeriksaan terhadap Mohd. Saiful Bukhari Azlan berhubung aduan liwat pada 28 Jun lalu. Kami merasa dukacita kerana Pusrawi turut diheret sama bagi mempertahankan pertuduhan fitnah tersebut.

Kami mengulangi kenyataan Datuk Seri Anwar yang berpandangan negara ini berada dalam kedudukan yang tenat dari aspek ekonomi dan sosial dan pentingnya untuk kita melangkah ke hadapan bersama bagi menjayakan agenda perubahan.

KAKITANGAN PEJABAT DATUK SERI ANWAR IBRAHIM

To Charge Or Not To Charge?

I assume that the whole world is aware of the medical report. According to the report, there is no evidence that Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan had been sodomised. It should be a relief to his family, particularly his beautiful wife.

The police and the hospital did not say whether the report was genuine. Just like the whole family of the private detective, the doctor has disappeared.

How strange it is as both the key figures of the two sensitive issues have mysteriously disappeared? This reminded me of a drama, X-files. Any human who has seen aliens would disappear. Could it be aliens are actually very interested in Malaysian cases and picked them up with an UFO?

I sincerely hope that they are safe regardless whether they have been borrowed by aliens for human studies or they have gone to an unknown destination for a long vacation. Of course, I do hope that they can show up when they are needed to give testimony and reveal the truth.

We wonder why the police did not mention about the medical report as they already knew it earlier?

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said that the exposure of the medical report was intended to confuse the public. In fact, he does not have to worry as the people will only get the clearer picture when they access to more information. Moreover, it will be good if the medical report can help in clarifying the sodomy case.

If that is the case, would it be the time to make a decision – to charge or not to charge?

Even Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar said that the police should make the decision as soon as possible.

If they have substantial evidence, then just charge him. Otherwise, just put an end to the case. Only more suspicions will be created if they keep delaying it. After all, the country's international image and the people's perceptions should be take into account.

(By TAY TIAN YAN/ Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE/ Sin Chew Daily)
30/07/08
source: My SinChew

Hamid, what are you doing to carry out your basic duty?


Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar - What are you doing to carry out your basic duty as Home Minister to make the public places, streets and homes safe for Malaysians, tourists and investors?

Hamid declared yesterday that investigations into Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan’s sodomy allegations against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will not be dropped.

Hamid has a lot of time for the sodomy charge against Anwar. But has he got time to restore to Malaysians, tourists and investors their most basic human right to be safe in public places?

Has Hamid read or been informed of the following letter which appeared in today’s Sun and can he declare what he has done about it? Or has he just got no time for these mundane things as compared to the sodomy allegation against Anwar?

Hamid, waiting for your public response to the following letter in the Sun today:

Shaken by experience with gang of youths

ON Saturday (July 19), two of my foreign colleagues (a man and a woman) and I went in to work as there was a project to rush.

After dinner at KLCC, at around 8pm, we walked back to the office at Etiqa Tower, which is opposite the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

On the way, on the slightly sloping road between the hotel and our office (which has an open air car park adjacent to it), we saw a gang of about 15 youngsters walk towards us from about 50m away.

We felt apprehensive looking at the group – consisting of about 20 or so-year-old male and female youngsters – but still continued on our way to the office. When we got closer to them, we picked up our pace to pass them, but one of them purposely walked into my colleague and then moved away.

We tried to hurry past, but to my horror, I saw another guy walk towards my colleagues from behind holding a metal water pipe and hit my colleague on the arm before walking away. We were in shock and unable to act because there were so many of them.

Then, regardless of how many and how fast the cars on the road, we took the risk and ran across, hoping to get as far away from the group as possible.

Luckily, they walked away in the direction of the hotel. But I saw a Chinese lady become their next victim. They walked close to her and started to disturb her. I saw her scream at them and run away.

Look at what has happened to our society today. There wasn’t a thing we could do about our experience, only feel that it was our bad day. I felt sorry that I was not able to protect my colleagues on what was their first trip to Malaysia.

So I write to warn others walking around Kuala Lumpur to stay alert at all times.

Lim Kit Siang

Racial eyesores on the Malaysian landscape

Racism is an integral part of the Malaysian socio-political system. The ruling coalition is still dominated by racially-defined component parties, the United Malays National Organisation (Umno), the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) and the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC). These parties compete for electoral support from their respective constituencies by pandering to 'racial' interests. Invariably, their racist inclinations are exposed at their respective party congresses.

Some opportunistic opposition parties likewise pander to their constituencies using racist propaganda to win electoral support and they have also contributed to the vicious circle of racial politics which has characterised Malaysia all these years.

Umno, the ruling party, continues to insist that 'Malay unity' and even 'Malay dominance' is essential for national unity. 'Malay dominance' is invariably used interchangeably with 'Malay privileges', which the ruling Malay elite justifies through the Federal Constitution.

Consequently, we have witnessed the periodic controversies over the alleged challenges to Malay special privileges every time sections of Malaysian society call for non-racist solutions to Malaysian problems. The recent fracas over the appeals by the Chinese Associations of Malaysia (Suqiu) is a case in point. There have been other cases in recent Malaysian history in which the ruling party has allowed racist reactions to be used against the non-Malay communities.

Racism and racial discrimination are also manifested in the way indigenous peoples are uprooted from their traditional homelands and displaced to ill-planned resettlement schemes to make way for dams, plantations and other industrial projects. Many development agencies do not respect their native customary land rights. The underlying assumption in official circles is that their cultures and way of life are backward and they need to be 'modernised'. They are rarely properly consulted over these projects and their fate is tantamount to 'ethnocide'.

The ruling party Umno prides itself on the supposedly 'successful' affirmative action in favour of bumiputra. Bumiputra literally means 'princes of the soil', the official epithet for Malays and other indigenous peoples but which excludes the original peoples, i.e. the Orang Asli of Peninsula Malaysia. This has been the cornerstone of development plans since the New Economic Policy was started in 1971.

Consequently, while this populist bumiputra policy has been applied to the benefit of bumiputra as a whole, the new Malay ruling elite is strategically placed to reap the full benefits of this racially-based policy.

It is time for Malaysians to reaffirm the non-discriminatory basis of the Federal Constitution and to uphold human rights principles which are strictly anti-racist.

Article 8 (1) of the Constitution clearly spells out the principle of equality of all Malaysians while Article 12 (1) allows no discrimination against any citizens on the grounds of religion, race, descent or place of birth.

Article 153 on the special position of Malays was inspired by the affirmative action provisions of the Indian Constitution to protect the minority under-privileged class of harijans. Ours is fundamentally different from those provisions because the ethnic group in whose favour the discrimination operates in Malaysia happens to be the one in political control, the Malays.

At the time of Independence in 1957, four matters in relation to which the special position of Malays were recognised and safeguarded were: land; admission to public services; issuing of permits or licences for operation of certain businesses; scholarships, bursaries or other forms of aid for educational purposes. The Constitution certainly does not adhere to any notion of "Ketuanan Melayu" (Malay dominance), which is a totally racist concept.

When the Constitutional (Reid) Commission was considering whether such a provision should be included in the 1957 Constitution, it made the following comments:

"Our recommendations are made on the footing that the Malays should be assured that the present position will continue for a substantial period, but that in due course the present preferences should be reduced and should ultimately cease so that there should be no discrimination between races or communities." (Report of the Federation of Malaya Constitutional Commission 1957, Govt Press, para 165, p.72)

After the Tunku was deposed in 1971, the new Malay ruling elite felt that adequate opportunities had not been made available to Malays, especially in education and that there should be a larger proportion of Malays in the various sectors. In 1971, under Emergency conditions, Article 153 was duly amended to introduce the quota system for Malays in institutions of higher learning. Clause (8A) specifically provided for the reservation of places for bumiputra in any university, college and other educational institutions.

Nevertheless, the quota system was not intended to be the totally non-transparent and non-accountable and unfair system we know it today:

Firstly, Article (8A) makes it clear that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong can only order a reservation of a proportion of such places for the Malays. It would therefore mean that the quota system is applicable only on a faculty basis and more importantly every faculty or institution should reserve places for students of every race. No faculty or institution under this provision could cater for the Malays alone to the exclusion of the other races.

Years after the implementation of this racial quota system, there was no trace of any such order being made by the Agong nor was there evidence of any such order having been gazetted. Such a directive would thus seem to have been made by the officials of the Ministry of Education.

Thus, it is not clear whether the quota system is made applicable on an institutional basis or on the basis of the total number of places available in a particular course of study of all the universities in the country. To apply the quota system on the total number of places available in any particular university will again be a wrong interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution.

Article 153 (8A) does not authorise the administrators of any university to refuse admission to any student of a particular race. It only allows a proportion of the places to be reserved for Malay students. On such a reasoning, the constitutionality of institutions like the Asasi Sains in the University of Malaya or the science matriculation course of the Universiti Sains Malaysia which cater only for bumiputra students is doubtful.

Furthermore, the Constitution of the University of Malaya expressly prohibits discrimination on grounds of race for the admission of any student to any faculty or institution of the university. In this context too, the constitutionality of other institutions which admit students of a particular race only to the exclusion of other races is also doubtful as it violates the equality provision of Article 8.

From the above, it is clear that the question of the constitutionality of the quota system as it has been practised since 1971 especially in totally bumiputra institutions has never been tested.

We know what the original intentions of the 'Malay special privileges' provision in the Merdeka Constitution were, but to maintain that it is a carte blanche for all manner of racial discrimination as we have witnessed since 1971 is a violation of the spirit of the Constitution.

International law sets major limits on affirmative action measures. Notably, affirmative action policies must be carefully controlled and not be permitted to undermine the principle of non-discrimination itself nor violate human rights. Holding the equality principle uppermost, the raison d'etre and reasonableness for differential treatment must be proven.

Another important criterion to ensure successful affirmative action and synonymous with international law is that such special measures should be introduced for a limited duration as was suggested by the Reid Commission in its Report of the Federation of Malaya Constitutional Commission in 1957.

A consequence of the so-called affirmative action policies up to now is that for the poor of all ethnic communities, including the indigenous peoples in Malaysia, these objectives of wealth redistribution for their benefit have not been met.

While it is widely recognised that racial polarisation exists in many Malaysian institutions such as schools, universities, the civil service, it must be stressed that this is not a 'natural' consequence of a plural society.

On the contrary, through the years there have been deliberate attempts by those in power to create divisions among the people. There is general agreement that racial polarisation has its origins in the colonial divide-and-rule strategy. This has been well-documented in studies by W R Roff (The Origins of Malay Nationalism, 1974:24) and Hua Wu Yin, (Class and Communalism in Malaysia, Zed Press 1983)

The racialist formula was institutionalised in the Alliance at Independence and perpetuated by the Barisan Nasional to the present day. Attempts at creating racial discord among the people continue to be perpetrated in public institutions and the mass media whenever it suits the politicians.

These instances have been well-documented. (See Kua Kia Soong (edited) 'Polarisation in Malaysia: The Root Causes', K Das, Ink, KL 1987; 'Mediawatch: Use and Abuse of the Malaysian Media',Huazi Research Centre 1990 )

Of all the official policies and public institutions which practice racial discrimination, there is none more pervasive than the New Economic Policy (NEP) which was implemented as a fait accompli after the Emergency was declared in 1969.

Although its specific objectives were 'restructuring of society to correct the economic imbalance of wealth holding which led to the identification of race with economic function' and 'eradication of poverty irrespective of race', the NEP has been implemented these 30 years in a racially discriminatory way with little transparency or accountability.

Just 10 years after the NEP was implemented, the 1980 census showed that more than 80percent of all government executive officers were Malay; Malays held 75 percent of publicly-funded tertiary education places; and 96 percent of Felda settlers were Malay.

By 1990, it was widely held by observers that the wealth restructuring policy objective was very much on target if nominee companies listed under 'other Malaysians' were analysed. It is also well-known that many of these nominee companies have been formed by the bumiputra elite.

By the mid-80s, it was found that the top 40 shareholders in the country owned 63 percent of the total number of shares in public companies; the top 4.4 per cent of investors in the Amanah Saham Nasional had savings amounting to more than 70 percent of ASN's total investments.

The ASN is a prime example of a savings institution, secured by Malaysian taxpayers irrespective of race, but which blatantly discriminates against non-bumiputras. This racial discrimination extends to loans, end-financing, purchase of housing, shares
allocation, etc.

Racial discrimination in the education policy is manifested in unfair financial allocations to the different sectors and language streams and the reluctance of the government to allow development of the mother-tongue schools of the non-Malays.

Thus the number of Chinese and Tamil primary schools in the country have actually dropped from 1,342 and 888 at Independence to 1,284 and 535 today respectively, even though the population of the communities has doubled in the last 44 years. The government has continued to ignore the grave problem of the shortage of qualified teachers for these schools for years.

By 1990, the realities of the racially discriminatory quota system in education were as follows: an average of 90 percent of loans for polytechnic certificate courses, 90percent of scholarships for Diploma of Education courses, 90 percent of scholarships and loans for degree courses taken in the country and almost all scholarships and loans for degree courses taken overseas were given to bumiputras.

Regarding the enrolment of students in residential schools throughout the 80s, 95 percent of them were bumiputra. The enrolment in Mara's Lower Science College, the Maktab Sains Mara, was almost 100 percent bumiputra throughout the 80s.

Racial discrimination in the realm of culture is seen not only in the education policy but also in the discrimination against non-Malay cultures and religions in the National Cultural Policy. Non-Muslims face obstacles in their freedom to build places of worship and access to burial grounds, among other complaints.

Racism and racial discrimination have dominated Malaysian society for far too long. Now that the Malay ruling elite has clearly gained control of the Malaysian economy, it is high time for a new consensus based on non-racial factors such as class, sector and need to justify affirmative action.

It is time for all Malaysians who hunger for peace and freedom to outlaw racism and racial discrimination from Malaysian society once and for all and to build real unity based on adherence to human rights, equality and the interests of the Malaysian masses:

Non-racial solutions to Malaysian political institutions


1) Political parties formed on the basis of race to further the interests of their respective races should be outlawed as such practices are inconsistent with international conventions against racism and racial discrimination;

2) Ratify all the international covenants and UN Conventions that have not been ratified by the Malaysian government to ensure that all legislation in the country abide by international human rights standards;

3) Enact a Race Relations Act and institute an Equal Opportunities Commission to combat racism, racialism, and racial discrimination in all Malaysian institutions;

4) Delineation of constituencies must be based on the principle of 'one person, one vote' and there should not be wide discrepancies between the number of voters in different constituencies;

5) Reintroduce elected local government so that problems of housing, schools, etc. can be solved in non-racial ways;

6) Ensure that there is no racial discrimination in the civil and armed services and that every ethnic community has equal chance of promotion;

7) Establish an Independent Broadcasting Authority which is fair to all ethnic communities in Malaysia;

Non-racial solutions to Malaysian economic development

8) There must be full transparency and accountability to ensure that contracts and shares are not dispensed on a racial basis through nepotism, cronyism or corruption;

9) Public money must not be used to bail out failed private businesses under the guise of affirmative action;

10) Government policies should be strategically aimed at reducing income disparity between the rich and poor regardless of race, religion, gender, disability or political affiliation;

11) Small and medium industries, the backbone of national industrialisation, should be developed without racial discrimination;

12) Fair and adequate support should be provided to all sectors including pig farmers especially during times of crisis;

13) Land should be fairly distributed to farmers of all ethnic communities;

14) The racially-based quota system should be replaced with a means-tested sliding scale mechanism for deserving entrepreneurs;

Non-racial solutions to Malaysian social development

15) Modernise the 450 or so New Villages in the country which have existed for more than 50 years, in which many of our small and medium industries are located and where basic infrastructure is inadequate;

16) Improve the living conditions (e.g. a guaranteed minimum monthly wage) and basic amenities such as housing, education and health facilities of plantation workers;

17) Ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and members of their families;

18) Set up an Equal Opportunities Employment Commission to address all forms of discrimination in the workplace;

19) Gazette all communal lands of the Orang Asli and other indigenous peoples so that they can control their own land resources and choose their own way of life;

20) Enact laws to confirm the rights of urban settlers and obligations of developers to provide fair compensation and alternative housing to urban settlers;

21) Cater to the special needs of women, children, senior citizens and the disabled;

22) Provide more recreational facilities for the youth regardless of race to allow them to develop positive and healthy lifestyles and to encourage tolerance and awareness of cultural diversity and equality;

23) Establish a housing development authority to direct construction of low and medium-cost public housing for the needy irrespective of race;

24) Poverty eradication programmes to benefit the poor of all ethnicity must be seriously pursued;

Non-racial solutions to Malaysian education


25) Special assistance must be based on need by under-privileged sectors and classes and not on race;

26) Institute a means-tested sliding scale of education grants and loans for all who qualify to enter tertiary institutions regardless of race, religion or gender;

27) Recognition of educational certificates, diplomas or degrees should be dealt with by the National Accreditation Board / MQA on strictly academic grounds and not politicised or subject to racial discrimination;

28) Schools using the mother tongue of Malaysian minorities should be built as long as there is a demand for them in any catchment of these ethnic communities and they should not be racially discriminated against in financial allocations;

29) Establish a long-term solution to the crisis of teacher shortage in the Chinese and Tamil schools;

30) Amend the Education Act 1996 to reflect the national education policy as originally stated in the Education Ordinance 1957 ensuring the use, teaching and development of the mother tongue of all Malaysian ethnic communities;

31) Make available compulsory Pupils' Own language (POL) classes within the normal school curriculum as long as there are five pupils of any ethnic community in any school;

Non-racial solutions to Malaysian cultural policy

32) Promote knowledge, respect and sensitivity among Malaysians on Malaysian cultures, religions and ethnicity;

33) All places of prayer and worship for all ethnic communities should be gazetted in their areas of domicile free from any encumbrances and there should be no arbitrary restrictions on these places of worship;

34) National artistic and literary awards and scholarships considerations should be for all works by Malaysians regardless of the language in which they are written;

35) All ethnic Malaysian cultures should be fairly represented in official cultural bodies and the media.

DR KUA KIA SOONG

William Pesek: Malaysia's "reality show" hurts its economy

It's becoming the highest-rating program in Asia: Malaysia's crime scene investigations.

Just like its wildly popular American counterparts, this crime drama — call it "CSI Malaysia" — features sex, murder, DNA samples, cover-ups and a colorful cast of characters wondering who's guilty of this or that.

At the center of Malaysia's CSI franchise is Anwar Ibrahim, a former deputy prime minister who did time on corruption and sodomy charges. Recently, Anwar was arrested on new sodomy claims. He accuses Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak — who denies sexual-misconduct allegations related to a 28-year-old Mongolian woman killed two years ago — of manufacturing the charges to discredit him.

The story line is captivating this nation of 26 million people, most of whom are Muslim. It's sparking steamy and decidedly awkward debates about how one defines sodomy and whether it should be a crime. (It is under Malaysian law.)

Surreal subplots abound. Mahathir Mohamad, the man in power when Anwar was jailed a decade ago, has been fighting a very public war of words against his successor, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, over corruption allegations.

Events in Kuala Lumpur would be far more entertaining if they were confined to a television screen — and not denting the image of one of Asia's most promising economies.

Shifting in their seats
Many Malaysians aren't quite sure what to think. Are the charges against Anwar trumped up to keep him from toppling the government? Is the male aide who claims to have had sex with Anwar telling the truth? If Anwar is innocent — he claims he has never engaged in sodomy — why not submit a DNA sample and clear himself? If you were Anwar, would you trust authorities not to taint the DNA test?

It was impossible to avoid this issue at a Bloomberg panel discussion on July 17, the day after Anwar was arrested (and the day on which he was released). On the panel were bigwigs from the likes of Malaysia Airline System Bhd., Maxis Communications Bhd. and CIMB Investment Bank. You could see them shifting nervously in their seats as the issue of sodomy came up.

If Malaysians don't know what to make of Anwar's plight, you can imagine what foreign investors think. "Summer of Discontent," is how Deutsche Bank AG analyst Teoh Su-Yin titled a recent report on Malaysian stocks.

It is hard to find an analyst who predicts a quick resolution to Malaysia's fragile political backdrop. Nor could I find anyone in Kuala Lumpur who felt markets had fully priced in the negative impact of higher inflation on the economy and corporate earnings.

The world won't wait
What's so frustrating about Malaysia is the obvious potential. Its natural-resource-rich economy has achieved great things in the 50 years since independence from Britain. Twenty-five years ago, this was a tropical backwater. Today, Malaysia's modern, skyscraper-filled capital is home to the world's tallest twin buildings: the Petronas Towers.

Yet the world is moving ahead at a rapid pace, hastened by the rise of China and India. It won't wait for Malaysia, and the current scandals preoccupying the government are coming at the worst possible time. Malaysia should be acting boldly to increase its global competitiveness.

Nations as diverse as China, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam are working to raise their global influence. Five years from now, any of these economies might harness specific advantages, from low costs to human capital to technology, to challenge Malaysia's growth prospects.

Leadership vacuum
Malaysia should start by fixing a key weakness: a four-decade-old affirmative-action program favoring the predominant Malay community. It limits investment, stifles competition and keeps the economy from becoming a meritocracy. It's a third-rail issue and isn't discussed seriously.

The leadership vacuum in Kuala Lumpur means Malaysia is squandering time its economy doesn't have. Its $151 billion economy is becoming a smaller blip on investors' radar screens, and politics deserve much of the blame.

Abdullah is under pressure to quit after his coalition's worst-ever election result in March. Earlier this month, he announced plans to stay in power for two more years as his chosen successor, Najib, faces sexual-misconduct allegations. What has the makings of a trashy novel has become reality, and it's not clear Malaysia's leaders see that.

Unstable situation
Malaysia, it seems, is being run for the sole benefit of those in charge. The nation has become more about Abdullah's party, the United Malays National Organization, than the welfare of its people. That's not being lost on overseas observers.

"Investors are already considering the situation as unstable," says Tricia Yeoh, director of the Centre for Public Policy Studies in Kuala Lumpur. "They are already reconsidering their options in the country. The new investors are possibly not looking at Malaysia as a viable option, and previous investors would be thinking of extracting their funds to be put in more stable and viable locations."

Financiers may be perfectly happy to watch "CSI" at home. They are far less keen on exposing their money to a whodunit playing out on Malaysia's national stage.

William Pesek is a Bloomberg News columnist.
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