March 24, 2011
More on the Johari Abdul Expose
Comment by Kee Thuan Chye
So, those who surmised that the sex video revealed by ‘Datuk T’ was a political ploy have been proven right. The people behind it – three of them – have confessed to it.
They were forced to reveal themselves because PKR’s MP Johari Abdul had earlier spilled the beans on them. It all unravelled like a cheap soap opera.
Former Malacca chief minister Rahim Thamby Chik, businessman Shazryl Eskay Abdullah and Shuib Lazim, treasurer-general of Perkasa, have come out to say they are ‘Datuk T’. And they have the cheek to call for a royal commission of inquiry into the sex video.
In the first place, they have transgressed Section 292 of the Penal Code for possessing and distributing pornographic material. Regardless of who the person in the video is, the trio are culpable. Exposing a politician’s sexual activity does not protect them from the law.
After their intended target, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, had lodged a police report, the inspector-general of police, Ismail Omar, announced that the case would be investigated under Section 292.
That being so, the police should now logically arrest all three for possession and distribution of pornographic material and have them charged in court. They should have moved in right after the trio gave their press conference to reveal themselves.
If the trio were the authors of the statement given out to the media calling on the politician (said to be in the video) and his wife to quit politics, they should also be charged for blackmail.
So what’s holding the police back? Are they awaiting further instructions from Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein? If so, Hishammuddin should observe the rule of law. He should not protect these people because they are UMNO members or pro-UMNO. This is where the public can judge how sincere the government really is.
If the trio go scot-free, it will be a sure sign that the government practises double standards. The trio’s call for a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) into the sex video is unwarrantable. Why should there be one? In the case of VK Lingam in 2007, there was ample cause for an RCI – the issue of the fixing of judges was of immense public concern as it affected one of our country’s institutions.
Where is the public concern for a case involving a man, even though he may be a public figure, visiting a prostitute? How does that affect the public? It’s his own private concern, and the public is no worse for it.
In calling for an RCI, the trio appear to be trying to distract us from the offence they have actually committed. In fact, if they were also the ones who masterminded the videotaping, it would mean they are far more immoral than anyone who merely visits a prostitute. They would have no moral right to cast stones at others.
Their actions would have to be seen to be nothing less than repulsive. Even inhuman. For what kind of human being would do something as despicable as this to destroy another human being?
A larger force at work?
But for now, they have not said they were behind the videotaping. They maintain that Shazryl discovered the four cameras and recorder in the hotel room where the sexual liaison took place when he was asked by the politician to go back there and retrieve his Omega watch.
If that is so, who set up the cameras and recorder? Who wanted to catch the politician in the act? And why? There might be a larger force at work here. Finding out who or what it is would be finding the key to the mystery that surrounds the whole drama.
Another key question is why, after discovering the video, Shazryl hooked up with Rahim and Shuib to expose the politician. Why did Shazryl not ascertain the source of the videotaping before deciding to go public with the video?
He admits he was also in the tape but refuses to say why he was at the hotel where the sexual liaison took place. Does this mean he was caught on tape unknowingly or was he in on the taping as well? From his saying that he had felt “used by Anwar for far too long”, could it imply that he wanted to get back at the man by setting the whole thing up?
The association with Rahim is most intriguing. He was the Malacca chief minister who had to resign in 1994 over allegations of his sexual relations with an underaged girl.
At yesterday’s press conference, he indicated he had a score to settle with Anwar by accusing the latter of lying to him. He urged Anwar to take responsibility for his actions by stepping down, like he himself did in 1994.
Did Shazryl go to Rahim after discovering the video, or was Rahim also in it from the beginning? Is all this part of a plot to exact revenge?
Onus now is on the police
Is the sex video also aimed at luring PKR MPs to defect? As PKR’s Johari Abdul has revealed to the media, he was invited to privately view the sex video on Monday by the trio, after which they made him offers of financial incentives, suggesting that he defect.
He says they also offered to take him to meet Prime Minister and UMNO president Najib Razak, and asked him to bring more Pakatan Rakyat MPs to see the video. He inferred that the trio wanted to also turn them against Anwar.
If all this is true, we are seeing yet another instance of gutter politics being practised. The sort that is as dirty as that perpetrated in the Perak coup of 2008.
As it has turned out, the soap opera has apparently not unfolded as it was scripted, and this whole ugly and sordid drama could actually hurt UMNO and BN. Even if Rahim and gang were acting on their own, we have now managed to see further evidence of what UMNO (and PERKASA) people can resort to.
Besides, we still don’t know who actually masterminded the videotaping. There could be deeper and more sinister implications. There could even be a larger conspiracy. This is a mystery the police must solve.
But first, the police must also do what’s right. Already, the public has lost much faith in them. If they don’t act against the trio in accordance with the law now, they will be seen to be mere puppets of the BN.