Not guilty!

I am pleasantly surprised that Anwar was acquitted. Perhaps after all, the judiciary is now much more independent than before.

The judge must be congratulated to come out with a ruling that gives the benefits of the doubt to the accused. Indeed for those who have followed the case, there are many doubtful points in the prosecution’s case, and as the judge has ruled,  since he cannot be sure that the DNA sample is not contaminated, the accused has to be set free.

The perception that most people have held is that this is a case of  political persecution. If indeed it is so, then it is really unfortunate, not only to Anwar Ibrahim who has to spend so much of his time preparing for his defence so much so that he is only half as effective as before politically. But it is also unfortunate for BN, since this is like a knife  that will ‘cut’ them no matter how the verdict is.

If the verdict is guilty, Bn will probably get a backlash and like in 1999, there will be sympathy and angry votes in favour of PR. If the verdict is not guilty, then many people will view this a a frame up. In either case, it is a no win situation.

Now that Anwar is free, and the ‘lion’ (some called him chameleon) is once again free to roam, AI should concentrate on gaining the rural votes. The urban votes are more or less  PR’s. But just with urban votes, it is insufficient to win. There must be sufficient rural support, as well as some support from East Malaysia for PR to win.

I applaud PAS decision to sack H. Ali. He has been shooting PAs feet all these while, and with him out of the picture, PAS will be able to present a more moderate ‘facade’ , which is necessary if PR is to rule.

Over to the DAP, the godfathers and the warlords have  closed rank. Whether it is temporary or not is immaterial; they must have realised that they need to close rank to fight  the most important battle of their lives.. If they split, they will just be doing an injustice to themselves and a service to the other side.

I hope that at this juncture, the top and second echelon leaders of PR should be careful about what they do and what they say. Any misstep now would definitely be exploited. They should at all cost avoid any pitfalls which may put their parties in difficult positions. The light is now visible at the end of the tunnel and they should just proceed carefully towards the lights, and avoid anything that may smash the lighting.

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30 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Phua Kai Lit
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 13:59:28

    Another judge with moral courage?
    (Like my former classmate,
    the original upright judge Komathy Suppiah who was removed from
    adjudicating the case).

    Now we need justice for other cases such as Teoh Beng Hock,
    Aminulrasyid etc.

  2. Gladthatitisoverfornow
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 14:38:16

    Dr Hsu sir.

    It is very funny to read your commentary about Malaysian judiciary.

    You are a very intelligent man, being in a profession that is highly esteemed by the masses of people and being involved in politics which required a certain level of “gutter” savviness to remain in one for a long time and yet your comment is that “the judiciary is now more independent than ever…”. Perhaps. Maybe, it is.

    Still, it is funny to read it.

    A good day to you sir.

  3. Purple Haze
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 15:12:10

    I was a litle disappointed that the judge did not rule that due to the absence of penetration, the case cannot be tried as Sodomy. Because that should have been the crux of the basis of the prosecution.

    Nonetheless, victory to the Malaysian Judiciary and Malaysia now looks like a better place to live.

  4. Kenny
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 15:31:12

    Did the judge act courageously on his own or did Umno realize that a conviction will do them more harm than good? We shall see which is which from whether the prosecution files an appeal.

  5. Phua Kai Lit
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 16:24:51

    Whatever the case may be, the Old Horse lost this battle!
    (But his war continues).

  6. Dr Hsu
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 16:34:42

    Gladthatisoverfornow

    I am sorry if my writing has caused confusion. When I said Perhaps the judiciary is now much more independent than before, the perhaps here conveys my hope that the judiciary is more independent , but I am not that sure yet, that is why I use the term ‘perhaps”. Even if this judge is independent, it does not means that the whole judiciary is too..

    So as Kenny said, we need to see whether an appeal is filed, and if so, we need to see how the appeal process is before we can say for certain that it is now much more independent.

  7. CYC
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 16:41:22

    Our judiciary is not FREE yet. A blind man can vouch for that.

  8. disgusted
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 17:02:47

    Dr. U r right. This is a unusual case, a political prosecution and a dinosaur law which is used against a political opponent, demeaning and unprincipled a rotten tactic. If there is equal justice then DVD president should face similar consequences under Act 377. But it is also foolhardy for Gerakan demand apology from Pakatan over questioning the judiciary independence. One swallow dun make a summer. The system is still rotten unless there is substantive revamping of the judiciary. I cannot understand BN leaders claiming judiciary independence when two sets of laws or judgements for the rich cronies and the ordinary poor Malaysians. U call this judiciary independence?

  9. kittykat46
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 17:06:28

    My workplace is in the Permatang Pauh constituency. There are over 2,000 employees in the building..
    This morning when news of the “Not Guilty” verdict was announced , there was a roar like when a football team scores…, from Production operators to Senior Directors…

    No need to guess who they were supporting…
    It was truly a 1Malaysia moment, though not in the way Najib would have liked, I suppose…

  10. Dr Hsu
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 17:58:08

    kittykat46
    Thanks for sharing this. It reinforces my belief all along that Penang is beyond BN’s hope to win back.

    Those Gerakan Penang leaders are fighting so hard to be the state chairman, hoping that with Gerakan winning 2-3 seats and UMNo winning 16 seats, and MCA and MIC contributes one each, BN can scrap through and form the government and that one of the seat winners from Gerakan will be CM.

    This thinking is wrong because BN is not going to win, and even in the most unlikely scenerio that BN wins on the above formula, can Gerakan CM be independent if the party hs only 2 -3 seats compared to 16 UMNO seats?

    They are willing to be puppets.

  11. A true Malaysia
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 20:12:39

    When I bumped into you last night, I thought of telling you my ‘NOT GUILTY’ thought.

    Now it’s real. ‘NOT GUILTY’ judgment is still political to me. Judiciary is still not indepedent until Altantuya, TBH, Kugen, Amirulrasyid get their justice.

    Maybe perhaps the Judge found his conscience after the death of the ‘hacks’ judge and the recent one?

    Rakyat is the final judge to put our Judiciary in place. We must go the same ABU direction.

  12. Kenny
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 21:42:04

    A crucial factor to note is that judge Zabidin had already applied for early retirement so he cannot be enticed with promotion to a higher court. The political environment now with a strong opposition may also have emboldened him in contrast to Mahathir’s climate of fear. I am inclined to think that he broke free of political control to judge on merit as his swan song. Based on what I know of Umno’s culture of vindictiveness and infantile preference for direct benefits over future indirect ones, Anwar would be unlikely to get off scott-free. He would at least have been given a fine sufficient to disqualify him from politics.

    But it does not matter whether it is one brave judge or Umno coming to its senses because the verdict is a victory for the people. It could not have happened under Mahathir. It shows that we have moved ahead from the autocratic rule of the old horse. We have become a more democratic and more civil society if only by degrees. It shows what a strong opposition which is able to put fear in the ruling party can do. We are on track to a 2 party system where the ruling party does not ride roughshod over public opinion just because it can.

  13. BeWildered
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 07:32:22

    Hopefully, with this verdict on Anwar, there is a better chance to establish a two alternative political system in Malaysia, and this will effectively push all the racial based politics to the trash bins. And politicians from either side need to work very hard to serve the country than themselves and their cronies.
    While we see much dirts and fumbles on and from BN, Pakatan is not without its problems.
    With all these angry feelings cooked up inside Anwar, the question is whether he can be an effective PM to do the right things for Malaysia? Or will he be busy seeking vengeance and forgone the future of Malaysia. Thinking back on the 916, it does appears Anwar was overly ambitious and lost the perspective of strong foundation for long term won.

  14. Phua Kai Lit
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 08:05:22

    I am intrigued by Khir Toyo’s previous cryptic statement about January 9.

    He probably means either (1) I want to boast to you that I already know that
    DSAI will be released on January 9. I am an influential UMNO insider!

    or

    (2) Watch out you guys (my political enemies)! If I go to jail, my hordes of supporters will take to the streets and all hell will break loose – just like all hell will break loose after Anwar Ibrahim is convicted on Jan 9!

    What do you think Kenny? I am inclined to think it is (2), based on what I have read about the personality and previous behaviour of this man

  15. Phua Kai Lit
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 08:55:37

    I should add to point (1) above the following:

    “I know that, just like the case of Anwar, I will not go to prison!”

  16. klm
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 09:41:50

    JIbby is chicken
    his future is threaten
    He has to let Anwar free
    Else his bola hangs from a tree

  17. Jong
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 10:00:52

    Most of us were pleasantly surprised by the verdict we had hoped for and truly glad for him and his family now that he is a free man physically and psychologically. If you will agree, the biggest ‘casualty of the day’ must be none other than RPK now left standing all alone, high and dry and lost everything he stood for, no?

  18. Taikohtai
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 10:06:55

    When LGE took the dive, Zahid ran away.
    When the judge delivered his verdict, Najib was at the other side of the world.
    When the going gets tough, Pakatan gets going.
    But in BN’s case, they bolt faster than Usain.

  19. CYC
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 10:17:09

    Phua,

    KT does not have that kind of influence. He will be a forgotten man once he fails to overturn the verdict and loses his chance to stand for election in the coming GE.

  20. Dr Hsu
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 11:29:10

    In driving, we have to adopt defensive tactic in Malaysia.

    I hope that after this episode, AI will learn to be more careful, and never goes to any condominium or places without 2-3 companions, preferably older men.

    Those who learn from history are wise men… never get into any situation that can be exploited.

  21. Jong
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 12:47:54

    It sure was a hard 19 years lesson for him!
    Yeah, let’s hope he learns from it and be mindful of every steps he takes, not to fall into traps again.

  22. Li Li Fa
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 14:20:23

    As part of the lyrics to the song by Sting:
    “Every breath you take,
    Every step you make;
    I’m watching you.”,
    seems to be haunting AI all this while, since the day he collided with the old horse.
    Even more so, now that he is acquitted from the above trial.

    AI said that he can now concentrate on the affairs of the coming GE. I would like to venture to say that this decision not only sends jitters down the spine of BN
    but also jostle up their resoluteness to do anything possible to deny AI occupying the Putrajaya seat. BN will not only watch his steps but will also block his path to premiership.

    But there again, the Rakyat will decide on who to put into government (in a democratic voting process) which the whole world is watching with bated breath.

  23. Phua Kai Lit
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 14:30:35

    Dear CYC

    Reality does not matter to people who have “delusions of grandeur” !

    I was just struck by KT’s statement to the press to wait until January 9.

  24. Nick
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 14:47:23

    Its a beautiful day for Malaysians!

  25. Kenny
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 14:57:26

    Phua,

    I think KT’s statement that Anwar will not go to prison is just a shrewd reading of the prevailing political sentiment. It would be entirely counterproductive to send Anwar to prison due to the political damage to BN. However it doesn’t mean that he expects Anwar to be acquitted, it could be a fine, suspended sentence or imprisonment but freed on bail.

    Umno used RPK to intimate that Anwar may be gay and of loose sexual morals a few days before the verdict so it may be a surprise to Umno as well. At best I would expect Anwar to be discharged not amounting to acquittal so that his name is still smeared but acquittal is just not Umno’s style.

    Hence I still think the unexpected verdict is due to one brave judge who decided that enough is enough!

  26. Dr Hsu
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 15:18:35

    Prof phua,
    I really do not get what KT is trying to convey when he refered to 9January.

  27. Phua Kai Lit
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 15:26:01

    I agee with your analysis in paragraphs 2 and 3, Kenny.

    Cheers.

  28. CYC
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 16:16:27

    Dr Hsu,

    Hope you will give the other speakers especially OTK and TCK some “spike” in the coming forum at Klang. They are not so used to being apolitical. All the best to you, Dr.

  29. mycuntree
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 16:28:01

    Hi Doc,
    I think it is a little premature to bring out all the razzle and dazzle to celebrate the judge’s decision in pronouncing Anwar not guilty. The element and gist of the not guilty verdict is that the DNA may have been contaminated. In so far as we know, that seems to the judge, the one and only reason for his decision. How should we read that?

    Is he alluding to the fact that all other evidences that we know/heard/read of is either irrelevant or points in the other direction? My take is that the judge has made a momentarily and politically convenient verdict that actually leaves a high degree of doubt as to Anwar’s innocence of the charge. That leaves plenty of leeway for an appeal of the decision later.

    For those who harbour the belief that that same decision is a harbinger of a judiciary on the right path to reforms, that to me is still very illusionary.

    History and experience calls for cynicism.

  30. Kenny
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 19:38:28

    mycuntree, DNA is the only evidence presented by the prosecution other than Saiful’s word of mouth.

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