Saturday, August 16, 2008

Legal pursuit of Anwar destroying Malaysia-MALAYSIAKINI

John Berthelsen, Asia Sentinel Consulting, July 21,08- Tarabulsi

"It is about time for Malaysia to drop the charade. Attempting to convict opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim of forcible sodomy is an embarrassment in contrast with the completely ignored and much more serious allegations linking the deputy prime minister to the execution-style murder of his reputed former girlfriend.

As has been reported widely, two sworn declarations have been filed that raise reasonable suspicions that the October 2006 murder of Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu is tied directly to Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his wife, Rosmah Mansor. Yet instead of this high profile politician being in the dock to explain himself, one of those who filed a sworn declaration about his actions is about to go on trial for criminal libel. The other was dragooned into recanting his statement before he fled the country.

The courts and the legal system have deliberately overlooked allegations of Najib’s complicity in the Mongolian woman’s murder, and considerable related evidence of massive corruption on his part in the purchase of three French submarines for the Malaysian military - a purchase that Altantuya apparently participated in as a translator. This has been pushed under the carpet repeatedly and now the nation is being distracted by accusations of Anwar’s peccadilloes, real or fabricated.

Mahathir Mohammad, the long-serving prime minister who quit in 2002, had a single ambition - to reach developed-nation status by 2020. But you cannot be a first-world country with a legal system whose main characteristics are shared by the likes of Zimbabwe , Burma and North Korea . Mahathir, of course, bears a major part of the blame for the legal system, starting from his destruction of the judiciary in the 1980s. But what is going on now, six years after he was succeeded by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, is nothing more than the United Malays National Organisation’s manipulation of the system a la Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. This has nothing to do with ideology but with the dubious necessity of maintaining a political party in power.

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