by Terence Netto
June 29, 2008
PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim reached for the rapier in preference to the bludgeon in describing yesterday’s police report of sodomy against him as a “tottering regime’s last gasp attempt to delay its doom”.
An Anwar aide, 23-year-old Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, had lodged a police report yesterday alleging that he was sodomised by the former deputy prime minister. Police are expected to arrest Anwar soon to press charges against him.
“It’s surreal that this is happening,” said Anwar in remarks to Malaysiakini this morning. “But you can never know the nadir to which the desperate would descend.”
Anwar was charged with sodomy and corruption in separate cases brought against him in the aftermath of his sacking from the deputy prime minister’s post and the deputy presidency of Umno in September 1998.
In light of what was shed by the sensational Lingam video clip which Anwar released last September that was the subject of a royal commission report earlier this year, the court cases against Anwar a decade ago look decidedly shaky.
He was sentenced to six years jail on the corruption charges and nine years on the sodomy charge. He was acquitted on appeal in the latter case after having served a total of six years.
His sacking from government and Umno, his initial detention under the Internal Security Act, and subsequent jailing for corruption and sodomy became not just a national but an international cause celebre.
Anwar: Welcome to Kafka land!
“You would think that the authorities would be chastened by the shocks dealt them at the general election last March such that they would not stoop this low to defame me this time.
“Well, welcome to Kafka land!” asserted Anwar sardonically while holed up in a hotel in Shah Alam where he was closeted with PKR and Pakatan Rakyat officials for a two-day meeting.
Franz Kafka was a renowned Czech novelist who wrote dyspeptic novels that evoked the dread faced by innocent people charged with crimes they did not commit.
Kafkaesque is a term that has entered the lexicon to convey the existential angst of the innocent before some surreal and impending disaster.
Anwar’s lawyers are planning to lodge a police report imputing allegedly damning conduct to present Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan and current Attorney-General Gani Patail in connection with the corruption and sodomy cases of a decade ago against Anwar.
Musa and Patail were then a police investigator and a top prosecutor respectively – both on the rise within the criminal justice system.
“Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold,” trailed off Anwar, reaching for some resonant lines from the poetry of WB Yeats in trying to come to terms with the latest twist in a personal-cum-political saga that started a decade ago and whose reverberations continue to dog the Malaysian body politic.