Shafee Abdullah advised to act professionally


February 19, 2015

 Shafee Abdullah advised to act professionally

by Gurdial Singh Nijar@www.malaysiakini.com

COMMENT Several interviews in national daily newspapers given by the lawyer engaged as a prosecutor, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, have reignited issues surrounding the conviction of Anwar Ibrahim.

SHAFEE ABDULLAH_DIALOG_FORUM

In a rather brutal attack on Anwar, whom he helped put away for a five-year jail term, Shafee implied that the accused would have been torn to shreds if he had testified, instead of giving his ‘evidence’ from the dock. He labelled Anwar a ‘coward with something to hide’.

I do not recall any such condemnatory remarks being ever made publicly by the former lawyers from the Attorney-General’s Chambers who conducted the prosecution at the earlier two judicial tiers – the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

Such statements seem to be at odds with established ethical standards – as applicable to lawyers appearing as defence counsel or for the prosecution. Shafee was enlisted as a prosecutor only for this case – over the strenuous objections of Anwar’s legal team.

He remains a member of the legal profession and subject to the rules promulgated under the Legal Profession Act 1976. These Practice and Etiquette Rules 1978 have the force of law.

One particularly relevant rule forbids lawyers from publicising their feats. Rule 13 says that it is contrary to etiquette to solicit reporting of any matter in which a lawyer has been professionally engaged. The rationale for this is to prevent lawyers with money, or connections, or both from advertising themselves; and securing an advantage over other lawyers.

The Bar Council has in the past disciplined lawyers for infraction of this self-publicity rule.Secondly, a lawyer acting in his capacity as a prosecutor is a custodian of the public interest, as represented by the Attorney-General’s Chambers. He is there to present the evidence in an even-handed manner.

A lawyer has to act with fairness in a trial

The rules repeatedly make it clear that a lawyer is to act with fairness during a trial; not to insult or annoy witnesses with his questions. This must, perforce apply as well to situations after a trial.

It is not his role to overstate the case or seek vengeance, much less to savage an accused after he has been convicted. Shafee’s recent declaration that he is ready to swear to the guilt of the accused in a religious place is, with respect, way beyond a prosecutor’s professional brief.

Judicial history is replete with cases of miscarriages of justice occasioned by a prosecutor’s failure to appreciate the ambit of his role.

One such United Kingdom case was made famous by the award-winning movie ‘In the Name of the Father’, where convictions of eight accused persons were set aside when it was discovered, quite fortuitously many years after the conviction, that an over- zealous prosecutor had concealed exonerating evidence from the court.

This is not to suggest, for a moment, that the Anwar Sodom II case is similarly infected – although the defence maintains that it was precluded from presenting the full evidence on ‘conspiracy’.

A prosecutor must at all times be professional

It is to emphasise that a prosecutor must at all times maintain a professional and equanimous stance in the conduct of a case. And this must be clear at all times – not just before and during a trial – but crucially even after a case is concluded.

The rather brutal assault of the convicted Anwar goes beyond a self-congratulatory proclamation by Shafee of his forensic brilliance ‘if Anwar took the stand’ – predicated on an entirely hypothetical situation. (The Rules also forbid lawyers from referring to facts that they are unable to prove.)

It could be perceived (rightly or wrongly) as manifesting an implacable hostility to an accused. It leaves the public guessing as to how much of this could have influenced the conduct of the case – wittingly or otherwise.

Already leading members of the Bar, including several past presidents, have deprecated such conduct. Given the interest that this case has generated worldwide attention, would it not have been more prudent for this prosecutor to refrain from making comments that could needlessly erode the standing of the country and its judicial apparatus?

GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR is a law professor at University of Malaya.

The Speech from the Dock


February 19, 2015

The Speech from the Dock

by Zaid Ibrahim@www.zaid.my

http://www.zaid.my/current/that-speech-from-the-dock/

Anwar will never surrender

THE decision on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s case has drawn worldwide publicity and even condemnation in some countries. In Malaysia, it would have drawn wider coverage and publicity, if not for the demise of a personality more towering than Anwar, Tok Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat.

What many people did not comment on is the flowery and well-rehearsed statement from Anwar about the judges who convicted him. Did he know in advance that he was going to be convicted? Was his tirade against the judges on the spur of the moment, fueled by pain and fear of many more years of confinement, or was it prepared in advance by a good speechwriter who was preparing for posterity?

He attacked the judges in a flurry of well-chosen words. He described the judges as cowards bowing to the dictates of political masters.

He questioned why they had to take the “dark side” and drown their morals and scruples in a sea of subterfuge and falsehood. He asked why they did not take the opportunity to redeem the Judiciary, to right the wrongs of the past and put the judiciary on a clean slate. He lamented the lost opportunity by the Chief Justice and his brother judges to carve their names in posterity as defenders of justice.

The speech, although short, was crafted to sound like those historic speeches by Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi or Socrates. Anwar sees himself on the same level as those historic figures, a victim of continuous oppression but also a fighter extraordinaire. He needed to assure the public that he would not give in, hence borrowing Winston Churchill’s immortal words, “I will not surrender”, in the dock.

Federal Court JudgesThe Federal Court Judges

Here, I think, Anwar has gone too far. It’s one thing to disagree with the findings of the Judges, or to criticise their sloppy reasoning, but to accuse them of being complicit and active players in the political scheme to imprison him is without basis and deserves condemnation.

If Anwar and the defence team had ample proof that these Judges were planning in cahoots with the political leaders to oust and imprison him, then they should have applied to remove the Judges earlier. These Judges could not possibly become traitors to the cause of justice in an instant, because of their decision against Anwar alone.

Our judges are decent and honest characters; and our Chief Justice Tun Ariffin Zakaria is a man of the highest integrity and honour. I believe all the five judges decided to convict because they honestly believed the evidence warranted such a decision.

We can find fault with their finding, but that does not mean they were colluding with the powers-that-be. The public needs to remember these judges were not responsible for deciding to frame charges against a 67-year-old man for consensual sex with another man. They had no say in determining if it was in the public interest to do so. They just had to decide based on what was presented to them.

Was there some kind of soft pressure put to bear on them to decide in a certain way? Perhaps so, and I would not rule out the possibility that such pressure existed, but I believe the judges were not influenced in any way by those political pressure if any.

I even heard suggestions that large sums of money were paid to persuade them to decide in a certain way. If the accusers have some evidence to support such allegations, then at least I can understand Anwar’s attack on the judges, but in their absence the attack was simply because the decision was not to his liking.

It’s true that our Judiciary has suffered to some extent from judges lacking in expertise in some areas of the law. Their grasp of the law, especially in complex financial and business transactions, is sometimes wanting.

It’s also true that as humans they have their preferences and prejudices, stemming from their education and the environment they come from (as we all do). Many of them were from the civil service and naturally there is this tendency to view the thinking of the Government more favourably.

They tend to allow greater latitude for Government discretion and to be more sympathetic towards Government decisions and actions. That, however, does not mean that they disobey the law or concoct false principles to justify their actions.

That’s why, when framing the Judicial Appointments Commission law in 2008, I wanted more judges to be appointed from the private practice, as in other Commonwealth countries, but I was not successful.

Those from private practice tend to experience law in its raw form and are therefore able to apply the principles to the cases more correctly. They tend to be more in tune with the practicalities of the law. They will make better judges from these experiences. However, there are good people from the civil service as well and all we need is the right mix to improve the Judiciary.

The danger of making incessant and unjustified attacks on the Judiciary, as well as on other institutions of Government, is the backlash the opposition will get from the civil servants. The more outlandish the accusations against them, the more severe the repercussions.

They might be ultimately willing to become agents and servants of the politicians. If now, say only 10% of them are “agents and complicit partners furthering the agendas of the politicians”, reckless attacks on them will just bring more and more to the side of the ruling Government.

Even those who are proud to be professional servants of the country and distance themselves from the politicians will not be encouraged to remain neutral after this. The Opposition must learn to respect the civil servants, even if they continue to expose the wrongdoings of some of them.

In any event, there have been many times when unpopular causes and cases involving the opposition have been decided by the Courts in their favour. In fact, the record of success by the Attorney-General’s Chambers or the Government has not been impressive at all.

It’s unfortunate if we decide to paint the judiciary in one broad brush, just because the decision on Anwar does not meet with our expectation. Anwar won on several occasions himself, and if the judges were all “tools of the government”, then there would not have been an acquittal at all.

Let’s work towards a better government and a better judiciary by making constructive and justifiable criticisms for the public good. The country will not be able to achieve good governance if we alienate good civil servants and destroy the trust of the people on public institutions simply because we ourselves are politically motivated.

Shafee Abdullah: What is Your Motive?


February 17, 2015

Shafee Abdullah: What is Your Motive?

| February 17, 2015@www.freemalaysiatoday.com

Rajawali- by M. Nasir

A widely followed blogger on UMNO politics finds it “extraordinary, strange and weird” that the Chief Prosecutor in Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy case should be so tireless in trying to justify the guilty verdict.

SHAFEE ABDULLAH_DIALOG_FORUMSheer Arrogance of the Man

Shahbudin Husin observed that Shafee Abdullah has been giving press statements and addressing several functions in which he was vigorously asserting his belief that Anwar was indeed guilty of sodomy.

“It is normal for those on the side of the defeated to keep voicing out their dissatisfaction and to press for justice, but it is certainly extraordinary, strange and weird that the winning side should keep trying to convince the public of the correctness of the decision already made by five Federal Court judges,” he writes.

“And why is there any need for Shafee to keep stressing that he was merely the chief prosecutor and not a politician? Is he, after all, not certain that the verdict was correct? Or has God tormented his soul with feelings of guilt?”

Shahbudin says the strangeness of Shafee’s current demeanour is reminiscent of the weirdness of the stories spread in public during the course of the trial.

He supports the call by former Attorney-General Abu Talib OthmanAbu Talib for Shafee’s service as Deputy Public Prosecutor to be terminated so that he will stop discoursing on a case that has ended.

He quotes Abu Talib as saying that such discourses would tend to bolster the argument that the case against Anwar was politically motivated.

Khairy_Jamaluddin_(cropped)Recalling one of the recent events featuring Shafee that was sponsored by UMNO Youth, Shahbudin wonders whether UMNO Youth leader Khairy Jamaluddin wants the public to continue regarding the case from a political perspective.

He speculates that in the coming days Shafee will be invited to UMNO functions throughout the country to speak on the subject of the Anwar verdict.

“Whether he is free or in prison, Anwar continues to haunt a lot of people with his aura and influence,” says Shahbudin.

Anwar will never surrender

Sajak Rajawali

 

UMNO Lawyer Shafee should not attack Anwar Ibrahim after Court Verdict, says Ambiga


February 15, 2015

UMNO Lawyer Shafee should not attack Anwar Ibrahim after Court Verdict, says Ambiga

by The Malaysian Insider@www.themalaysianinsider.com

muhammad-shafee-abdullahShrugging off calls by UMNO lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah to charge her with contempt of court for criticising the Judiciary, activist Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said he should instead reflect if his statements against Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim have undermined the court system.

“I am not intimidated in the slightest by the call by Tan Sri Shafee for the A-G to charge me for contempt. I have no problems facing it if indeed it comes to pass that I am charged. Let the truth emerge,” she said in a statement to The Malaysian Insider today.

Shafee, who prosecuted for the government in Anwar’s sodomy appeal, was reported by Utusan Malaysia’s weekend edition as saying that Ambiga was wrong in saying that the Barisan Nasional (BN) had made a “terrible mistake” by jailing Anwar.

Such a statement had insulted the courts by implying that the Judiciary and BN, the coalition which is in federal power, were the same, Shafee told Mingguan Malaysia today.

“I suggest that the Attorney-General take action,” he was quoted as saying today.When such a remark is made, should we not answer? If we don’t answer, the people will believe it,” he told the UMNO-owned Malay daily.

ambiga-sreenevasanAmbiga critcises UMNO Shafee Abdullah

Ambiga had on Friday criticised Shafee for continuing to attack Anwar even after the case had been settled with the Federal Court’s verdict on February 10. The Apex Court upheld his sodomy conviction and five-year jail sentence.

Ambiga had said that it was unprecedented for Shafee to attack an accused after the court had delivered its verdict. Since the verdict was issued, Shafee has been giving press statements and interviews to some media regarding the case.

In an interview with the UMNO-controlled The New Straits Times (NST) on Friday, the UMNO lawyer said if Anwar had taken the stand, the torrent of questions would have been so unrelenting that Anwar would have “fainted in the witness box”.

In Mingguan Malaysia today, Shafee also said he was willing to swear to Anwar’s guilt in a mosque or in Mecca. DAP legal bureau chairman Gobind Singh Deo today said Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail should stop Shafee from making further commentary and criticism on Anwar, or it would show that the A-G was going beyond what was required of him in law and ethics as a public prosecutor.

Ambiga said today Shafee’s “incessant” barrage of comments on Anwar were a disservice to the administration of justice and to the office of the Attorney-General.

“I have never seen the Attorney-General or anyone in his Chambers, do this. Whether or not these statements amount to a contempt, there is no doubt that the personal attacks on someone who is in jail and cannot defend himself, are contemptible,” she said.

She said this gave rise to some troubling questions, including the independence of the A-G’s Chambers. “How do these personal attacks on DSAI impinge on the independence of the Attorney-General’s Chambers in prosecuting the case? If the fiat has terminated, can Tan Sri continue to speak for the Chambers? Can he give instructions to the AG?” she asked.

 

The World Reacts Negatively to the Anwar Ibrahim Verdict


February 14, 2015

The World Reacts Negatively to the Anwar Ibrahim Verdict

by John R.Malott@www.malaysiakini.com

COMMENT Many Malaysians have commented on the speed withJohn Malott which the government responded to the Federal Court’s verdict last Tuesday, in which the jurists found Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, guilty of sodomy and sentenced him to five years in prison.

Less than 20 minutes after the Chief Justice announced the court’s decision, an official government statement was sent to the media, both Malaysian and international. For a government whose usual response is either “elegant silence” or to send out short and callous “tweets” about important and highly charged topics (like the fate of the victims in the Malaysia Airlines crashes), this was indeed remarkable.

In its “defence”, the government said that it had prepared two different statements, depending on which way the verdict went. We did the same thing when I was in the US government, so I will accept the government’s explanation at face value. But that does not excuse the content of the government’s statement, which was seriously flawed.

Let’s take a look at the government’s claims. First came the assertion that:

“The judges will have reached their verdict only after considering all the evidence in a balanced and objective manner. Malaysia has an independent judiciary, and there have been many rulings against senior government figures.”

But does the world believe that Malaysia has an independent judiciary, and that the court was balanced and objective?

Anwar Ibrahim

The court’s decision was immediately criticised by the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Germany, and Switzerland, among others, as well as the European Union.

The embassies and high commissions of these countries sent observers to cover Anwar’s trials over the past many years. They all concluded that the verdict raised major questions about the independence of the Malaysian judiciary.

Likewise, respected international human rights organisations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the International Federation for Human Rights said the same thing.

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) also condemned the court’s verdict. Especially telling were the comments of Mark Trowell (above), a Queen’s Counsel who represented the IPU, LAWASIA, and the Law Council of Australia. He said the decision of the Federal Court “was unconvincing and lacked a detailed analysis of the facts.”

Further blasting the court, he said that “in reaching these conclusions, the court rejected or ignored the evidence that raised serious doubts about the reliability of so-called independence evidence and the credibility of the complainant.”

In the most damning statement of all, Trowell said, “If the court had proper regard to the facts and the law, Anwar Ibrahim should never have been convicted.”

As for the ICJ, it said, “Anwar Ibrahim should never have been investigated, charged with, tried, let alone convicted of and sentenced for such charges.”

World press, too, speaks out

Some of the most prestigious publications in the world, such as the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the Economist also have spoken out.

The Washington Post wrote in an editorial, “The criminal case used to imprison Mr Anwar, who has been one of the foremost advocates of liberal democracy in the Muslim world, was as morally reprehensible as it was farcical…

“The case against him was thin enough to be dismissed by a court in 2012. That Mr Najib’s government managed to have that decision reversed by an appeals court and upheld by the Supreme Court demonstrated only that Malaysia still lacks an independent judiciary.”

Calling the verdict ‘Malaysia’s Anwar shame,’ the Wall Street Journal said, “UMNO’s decades-long vendetta against Mr Anwar has brought discredit on Malaysia’s government and political culture. It is likely to accelerate the ruling party’s loss of support from a maturing population repulsed by such dirty tricks. Prime Minister Najib Razak’s failure to call an end to this farce is a stain on his legacy.”

In describing the verdict, Murray Hiebert at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC, which normally is sympathetic towards Malaysia, told a German television network that “it’s pretty much a travesty of justice and an attempt to sideline an opposition politician who has been challenging the ruling party in recent years.”

Josh Kurlantzick of the Council on Foreign Relations, without doubt the most prestigious foreign policy institute in the United States, tweeted that “any belief in Najib Razak as some kind of reformer should now be fully and totally extinguished.”

And Dan Slater, a Southeast Asia specialist at the University of Chicago, told the Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper in Canada that when the government decided to appeal Anwar’s acquittal in the High Court, the government’s actions became “nothing better than a witch-hunt.”

Fabrication of evidence

So here’s a question for the public relations masters in Putrajaya. You can claim that “Malaysia’s judiciary is independent” until you are blue in the face. But can you name one foreign government, one international human rights organisation, one international newspaper, one foreign think-tank, or one overseas academic who agrees with the decision – and who concurs with your assertion that the verdict was the just conclusion of an independent judiciary?

I don’t think so. But I am also sure that you are now coming up with more multi-million dollar proposals for the government to try to sway world opinion. Save your money. Remember all the wasted dollars you spent on Jack Abramoff, APCO, FBC Media, and Paul Stadlen. They all failed totally to achieve their paid objectives.

The government’s press release then went on to say:

“The Police report against Anwar Ibrahim was brought by a private individual – Anwar’s employee and personal assistant – not by the government. As the victim of a serious sexual assault, he had every right to have his case heard in court.”

Yes, it is true that the initial Police report was filed by Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, but only after he had met with Najib and wife Rosmah Mansor, as well as the infamous police official from Sodomy I, Mohd Rodwan Mohd Yusof.

 We know about Najib and Rosmah, but just to remind everyone about Rodwan – according to a Malaysiakini report in 2008, in the 1998-1999 trials, Anwar experienced the phenomenon of fabrication of DNA evidence.

We had senior assistant commissioner (SAC) Rodwan illegally removing DNA samples from forensic custody. In cross-examination of the prosecution’s witnesses, it was exposed that DNA taken from blood samples was planted on the infamous mattress.

When confronted with this fact, the prosecution amended its charge and persuaded the late judge, Augustine Paul (who was later promoted to the Federal Court), to expunge the entire DNA evidence from the record, preventing Anwar Ibrahim’s lawyers from responding.

Back to the present. Even after Saiful, a college dropout, met with the then Deputy Prime Minister and filed the Police report, it was up to the government to decide whether to file charges against Anwar. So from that moment forward, it was the government’s case, not Saiful’s.

And when Anwar was acquitted, it was the government that decided to file the appeal, not Saiful. At that point, it was clear, as Professor Slater of the University of Chicago said, that the government was on a “witch-hunt”. They were once again determined to remove Anwar as a force in Malaysian politics.

Saiful as the victim?

The government’s press release also calls Saiful “the victim of a serious sexual assault.” But wait a minute – wasn’t the charge “consensual sex”? And didn’t Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail just say that the reason Saiful also was not charged for consensual sex was because he had turned state’s witness and agreed to testify against Anwar?

So if it was consensual, why does the Prime Minister’s Office call Saiful a “victim” of sexual assault?

 If you say that Saiful (above) was assaulted, then we are back to square one – the government’s original and totally unbelievable claim – that a young, strong, strapping man was raped time and time again by someone who was 40 years older than he was – but somehow was never able to escape.

Baloney. Finally, as I wrote this, I saw that the Federal Court’s written judgment has now been released. They said that the testimony of distinguished DNA experts like Dr Brian McDonald and Dr David D Wells was not credible.

But they said that Saiful was a credible witness. They chose Saiful over these distinguished Australian academics. And then I remembered Saiful’s alleged affair with the Deputy Public Prosecutor during the course of the trial.

When others talked about Saiful’s affair with the government prosecutor, they asked, did it compromise the government? Did they share legal information during their pillow talk?

I see it in a different way. I think about the fact that Saiful was engaged to another woman at that time. He had promised to marry this young woman. And yet he betrayed her and engaged in an affair with another woman, who was on the prosecuting team.

To betray your fiancée, the woman you promised to share your life with, the woman you said you loved and promised to marry, means that you are a liar and a cheat. It means that you are deceptive and your words cannot be relied on.

And Saiful was doing this – lying and cheating – at the exact moment the trial was being conducted, when he was testifying. And yet the Federal Court called this liar and this cheat a “credible witness.”

Is it any wonder the world doesn’t believe a word that the Malaysian public relations machine and the Malaysian courts are spitting out these days?

JOHN R MALOTT is former United States Ambassador to Malaysia.

 

Anwar Ibrahim’s Imprisonment, and what it means to be Malaysian


February 12, 2015

This article by Zaid Ibrahim was written before the guilty verdictKamsiah and Din by the Federal Court to send PKR’s Ketua Umum, Anwar Ibrahim back to prison in Sungei Buloh for another 5 years on  the charge of sodomy.

Zaid’s message should be read by all who visit this blog from different parts of the world. It is important that we speak up at a time when those in power seek to silence us.

What has happened to Anwar for the second time on February 10  has left decent and law-abiding Malaysians in state of shock. They believe Anwar should be given the benefit of the doubt and then set free. We are truly sad that the Apex Court, the last bastion of justice in our judicial system, has let us down badly.

To Dr. Wan Azizah and members of the Anwar family, Dr. Kamsiah and  I extend our good wishes. We urge them to remain strong and united in this time of personal adversity and sadness.–Din Merican and Dr. Kamsiah.

Anwar Ibrahim’s Imprisonment, and what it means to be Malaysian for Justice

by Zaid Ibrahim (February 9, 2015)

http://www.zaid.my/current/anwar-ibrahim/

ZaidWhat is now commonly referred to as the Sodomy 2 case involves the Government’s prosecution of Anwar for his allegedly homosexual activities with one Saiful Bahari in 2008. Many of us are fed up that so much of the country’s time and resources (Anwar’s legal woes have dragged on for 17 years now) have been spent on trying to prove that Anwar is a homosexual.

In this Islamic country, no one has been prosecuted for this offence except Anwar. Why has there been no one sent to jail for this offence since Merdeka? The only conclusion is that the Government is so afraid of Anwar and his friends in the Pakatan Rakyat that they need to put him behind bars. Commentators somehow like to ignore this point, as I have mentioned before.

Pelukan terakhir Anwar

One aspect to this case that is deeply troubling is the mandatory jail sentence that the judges will have to impose if they find him guilty. It’s harsh and cruel to send a man—and old man at that—to jail for at least five years for a sexual conduct. Parliament should take out the mandatory period prescribed in the Penal Code and leave the sentencing to the wisdom of the trial judge.

If Parliament has a bigger appetite for change, then they should repeal Section 377A altogether. It’s just a matter of time before another political opponent is prosecuted and sent to jail for offences “against the order of nature”, if this provision remains. This section, which includes many sexual activities even the top guys in Putrajaya probably find irresistible and indulge in, is totally archaic and should be repealed, in line with other modern countries.

Anwar will never surrender

Anwar’s speech in Permatang Pauh on Saturday 8 February reminding Muslims and Malays about the dangers of extremism was both timely and true. Even if they incarcerate him, do not despair. There is no one who can replace his charisma, but there are many who will not abandon the struggle he has led.

Although the present Government have maligned him and managed to convince some Malays—including those in PAS—about the “dangers” of his leadership, I believe there will be many more who will see no alternative to UMNO’s destructive hegemony, except through the political beliefs that Anwar has started. Even if he is imprisoned, his friends in the Pakatan as well as those outside the political framework will collectively shoulder the task of rebuilding our now tattered country.

In the end, it matters little whether Anwar goes to jail or not, except to himself and his family. The fascists have not succeeded anywhere, although they were able to inflict much harm and caused loss of lives. The human spirit and its quest for justice and fairness for all is a much stronger force than the clever lies of the racists and religious bigots. No amount of falsehood and propaganda, whether couched in racial or religious terms, can ultimately divide this country for ever. Malaya and now Malaysia has tasted the wonders of unity and harmony, albeit in relatively short spells, but the people want to be united again.

Anwarm your message and your dream have broken the barrier erected by your erstwhile colleagues in UMNO and they will not be able to resist it for much longer. Time will bring to fruition a united and happier Malaysia once again.