29 June 2008

Anwar Ibrahim -- New Sodomy Claims

One wonders why people want to get into public life and public service in the first place, but to be subject to constant allegations of sexual misconduct and to be able to keep the course and stay focused and want to stay in public service takes a person with a special level of conviction and call to duty.

The de facto Malaysian oppostion leader, Anwar Ibrahim, has been accused of committing sodomy against his 'special assistant'. Anwar is de facto opposition leader because he is not a parliamentarian as his previous corruption conviction meant that he was not able to run for a seat at the last election. However, it was expected that a seat would have been made available and a by-election held. Nevertheless, the latest claims throw this immediate plan into some disarray.

What the special assistant does will become clear over time I guess. However, I would not have thought that the 'special' part related to "special" services. Yet, who knows the truth? I do not, so I will be watching and reading with interest where this goes.

I guess, even though the original sodomy charges against Anwar back in 1998 were finally overturned by the Malaysian High Court in 2004. Anwar has consistently denied the original allegations and has denied these most recent ones. He contends it is an attempt to deflect attention away from claims Anwar was going to make against the national police chief and the attorney general for their alleged role in having him accused of corruption and sodomy in 1998.

Anwar has stated that he obtained evidence that implicates the Inspector General of Police, Musa Hassan, and the Attorney General, Gani Patail, of misconduct and fabricating evidence against him in 1998. This evidence is yet to be released but could be a bit of a bomb shell if it is.

This latest drama and series of allegations will continue the current turmoil in Malaysian politics. It is always interesting to see what lengths politicians will go to maintain their relevance and influence. This is particularly the case for the Barisan Nasional (National Front) which although retaining a simple majority were decimated at the last General Election.

I cannot help but wonder whether the special assistant is seeking to gain something and did not get it so a good old case of sodomy seems as good as anything else to run with as Anwar would seem to be an easy target on this front or is this a case of where there is smoke there is fire?

The Anwar saga takes another turn in an old direction and as I said I will be watching with interest as to how the story develops.

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