KUALA LUMPUR: Ahead of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s final sodomy appeal tomorrow, Malay daily Utusan Malaysia sought to paint a picture of an isolated politician with no more support. Utusan Malaysia said yesterday that Anwar had failed to galvanise international support ahead of his appeal in the Federal Court to overturn a sodomy conviction.
Using the pseudonym “Awang Selamat”, Mingguan Malaysia’s collective editorial byline, said it was clear that other countries were not interested in interfering in Anwar’s private affairs. Awang said PKR’s campaign for solidarity for Anwar, #RakyatHakimNegara, had also failed to garner the hundreds of thousands of supporters it was meant to attract. “These developments have made Anwar anxious, but Awang believes he will not give up and will do anything to drag the people into his amoral affairs.”
Human Rights Watch and other international groups have spoken out against his prosecution, as well as Putrajaya’s recent sedition blitz against opposition lawmakers, academics, preachers and activists. They say Putrajaya is practising selective prosecution.
Last Tuesday, The Sydney Morning Herald called Anwar’s sodomy case a “sham trial” and said Malaysia is moving backwards, even as Indonesia takes a step forward in democracy.
In an interview with the Time magazine last Friday, Anwar said his chances “don’t look good”.
“Most of Malaysia does not believe that I will get a fair trial or a decision based on the facts of the law,” he told the US weekly.
Awang said PKR’s support for Anwar contrasts heavily with the support PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Abdul Awang is receiving over his defamation suit. He said Hadi, who also has a separate court hearing tomorrow, had received overwhelming support from his people, who plan to turn up at the Kuala Terengganu High Court. — The Malaysian Insider
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 27, 2014.