Malaysia: Anwar Ibrahim sodomy trial

Malaysia’s opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is charged with sodomising a 23-year old male aide. Anwar believes the charge is politically-motivated. His supporters and partymates accuse the government of fabricating the crime. The sodomy trial, which has been postponed several times, is scheduled to resume next week.

This is the second time that Anwar was charged with sodomy. The first time was in 1998 which led to the imprisonment of Anwar. Kenny Gan, Suara Keadilan highlights the impact of the 1998 trial on Malaysian society

…the political, social and legal turmoil caused by the sacking of Anwar Ibrahim and his subsequent sham trials will forever be etched into our national consciousness with deep scars of shame and regret that will not easily heal.

Malaysian Mirror writes about the relationship of the internet and the Malaysian judiciary in relation to the Anwar trial

Given the vibrant liberated space of the Internet, all Malaysian judges are now working under the added pressure of the public gaze. Not giving a written judgement in any controversial case is ground for much uproar in cyberspace. Any written judgement is also swiftly posted on the Internet and dissected by one expert or another into smithereens.

You could say that, in this new age of digital instant communication, the judges presiding over Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy case are themselves on trial in the virtual court of public opinions, no matter how much they resent it.

linasoo for Sarawak believes that if Anwar is jailed, he will become a “celebrated martyr”

If he is found guilty and jailed, he would just go on to become a celebrated martyr for his cause…

He has proven to be a political leader extraordinaire, attracting a wide array of different but talented individuals to join in his political struggle, while whipping up mega crowds to feverish frenzy with his mesmerising oratory.

Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan asks if Malaysia can survive a second Anwar prosecution

The question is, can we, as a nation, go through a second Anwar prosecution?

The whole prosecution (1998) was a disgrace. I remember someone saying then that the trial robbed this country’s citizens, in particular our children, of their innocence, as we had a daily fare of sodomy, semen-stained mattresses and the like.

…it is my opinion that what we are doing to Anwar Ibrahim is starkly similar to what is happening to Aung San Suu Kyi. I ask, show me the difference between the two. I ask, how can we condemn the latter and do the former?

I call on the government to immediately review the Anwar prosecution in the public interest and because it is the right thing to do. If the government takes this step, it will certainly regain some credibility.

Farish Noor urges politicians to remove antiquated sex laws

Apart from civil society groups that have struggled for gender equality, hardly any of the country's mainstream political parties have ever bothered to highlight that some laws in Malaysia governing sexual difference and activities are antiquated. They do not, and perhaps never did, reflect the reality of sexual life in Malaysia.

So, while Anwar supporters come to his defence, no politician of note has had the courage to state bluntly that Malaysia has outdated laws in a country where a healthy degree of oral and anal sex is taking place, and has always taken place.

Are we to accept this prevalent attitude among our politicians who can cry “sodomy!” only when it suits their interests, but who would otherwise be quite content to allow the prevailing status quo to remain unchallenged?

Photographer Huey Mei was present during the Anwar trial last July 8. Check out the pictures of the trial. A sample of twitter reactions on Anwar’s sodomy trial

cabbageben: “So Anwar f**ked some a** GET OVER IT ALREADY! Fill our newspapers with something of more substance!”
ziadrazak: RT @tunfaisal: Anwar lost support of d rakyat? :) 150 turnout instd of 5k; all mobilised by bus? … may b they r off 4 sightseeing :)
mprakash98: Sodomy 2: PKR calls for 5,000 ppl in black shirts to turn up but only 15 turned up. March fizzles out.

Thumbnail image used from the Flickr page of Samsul.


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