I am quoting part of the editorial of Asian Wall Street Journal below (in dark blue print) on Anwar’s case . For the full article , you can view at Malaysian Insiderwebsite, as AWSJ is subscription based. I am paraphrasing the article, with my comments below each paragraph.
Anwar’s arrest adds to political Risk
JULY 18 — The last time Malaysian democrat Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was prosecuted on a trumped-up sodomy charge, we wrote that the government’s “crude measures will exact a heavy price in terms of lost credibility.” Ten years later, Malaysia’s current political leaders should take note.
On Wednesday afternoon, Anwar was picked up by policemen in ski masks and hauled to police headquarters. He was interrogated for six hours, stripped and asked to supply a DNA sample — a request he refused. He spent the night on a concrete floor without furniture and was released on bail yesterday morning. Malaysian media report that the government is exploring ways to compel Anwar to give DNA.
In the first place, why not wait until 2pm and only arrest Anwar when he failed to turn up at IPK at 2pm? Why arrest him one hour early?
The government could have used normal CID personnel to detain Anwar. By using SWAT team, it is really melodramatic, and this will create a perception that this is persecution and not prosecution…. Anwar is a civilian, and why not use the normal procedures for civilian arrest in this case? If Anwar resists arrest by force, which I really doubt he would, the public opinion may turn against him. As it is , the way of arresting him has cast the authority in a very bad light…. I am no Anwar supporter, but I really feel that the method employed is not right.
Anwar’s accuser — his former aide, Saiful Bukhari Azlan — is under police protection. It’s not a stretch to imagine Anwar’s DNA finding its way onto his clothes as “evidence,” as that’s the tactic the police used back in 1998. Anwar wryly noted at a press conference yesterday that while stripped, the police measured his “necessary parts.” Again, that kind of detail would be helpful in a show trial
‘ It’s not a stretch to imagine Anwar’s DNA finding its way onto Saiful’s clothes as “evidence” ‘ This sentence is not written by me but by a foreign journalist with AWSJ, a reputable publication read by influential people in many countries. How low has Malaysia’s reputation sunk? Even foreigners are skeptical of our government’s neutrality….. The perception here is that Anwar is right to refuse DNA tests as his evidence might be tempered with…What happens to our Institution of Law and law enforcement? We used to laugh at Philippines and Indonesia, now we are joining their ranks, and become a laughing stock of the world.. Buck up Malaysia.
The same cast of characters from 1998 are in positions of influence today. The Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan, was the lead investigating officer into Anwar’s 1998 case, and Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail was the lead prosecutor. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak competed with Anwar for the leadership of Umno in the 1990s. Then, as now, Anwar’s popularity is a threat to the deputy PM’s political future.
The government denies the prosecution is politically motivated. Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar called the arrest “not a political move,” while others have suggested that Anwar has nothing to fear from a “fair” trial. Malaysia’s state-run media have fallen into line, too. One headline in the New Straits Times reads: “Trust in the authorities needed to restore calm.”
But it’s trust in the system itself that’s lacking here. Given Anwar’s treatment in the judicial system the last time around, it is difficult to believe he would get a fair trial. His arrest is likely to stimulate more support for his cause of a more democratic and free Malaysia. The government obtained a court order barring Anwar and the public from going within 5km of Parliament on Monday, the day he was planning to attend a key parliamentary debate.
Even before Anwar’s case goes to court, the world has already made up its mind that Anwar would not be able to get a fair trial. Perception is everything in politics, and being a member of the global community, what others view us is very important. So, what I have advocated the past 2 days in my previous posts about getting foreign experts to investigate make a lot of sense in the light of all these development.