Lima hari sebelum Mahkamah Persekutuan menyampaikan keputusan sama ada beliau akan bebas atau ke penjara, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim tidak menunjukkan tanda-tanda lemah semangat.
Ketua umum PKR itu malah bergurau dengan wartawan supaya sentiasa ceria.
"Muram saja nampak. Saya OK," katanya sambil ketawa.
Beliau juga menceritakan betapa sibuknya sekarang sehingga tidak memakai stoking kerana sentiasa tergesa-gesa.
Menyentuh kemungkinan beliau kembali merengkok dalam penjara, ketua pembangkang berkata akan memanfaatkan masa itu untuk membaca buku digemarinya, termasuk karya-karya William Shakespeare.
Beliau bagaimanapun mengakui bahawa anggota keluarganya berasa bimbang dengan kemungkinan itu.
“Anak perempuan (Nurul) Izzah tanya saya, atuk, kenapa mereka cakap pasal penjara?
"Saya cakap pada dia, orang jahat nak sumbat atuk dalam penjara,” katanya.
Nurul Izzah yang juga naib presiden PKR anak sulung Anwar Ibrahim.
Keputusan kes Liwat II itu akan disampaikan pada Selasa depan.
Anwar sebelum ini merayu terhadap sabitan kesalahan dan hukuman lima tahun yang dikenakan padanya.
Sementara itu, Anwar Ibrahim menafikan penglibatan beliau dalam pertembungan dalaman Umno ekoran daripada kesediaannya bekerjasama dengan Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) bagi siasatan salah guna kuasa terhadap Tun Daim Zainuddin.
Menjelaskan situasi itu, Ketua Umum PKR itu berkata, dakwaan salah guna kuasa terhadap bekas menteri kewangan itu sudah lama dibuat iaitu sejak tahun 1999.
"Saya tak terlibat dalam pertembungan dalaman Umno. Saya bukan lagi ahli Umno. Kenyataan saya ketika itu merujuk kepada Daim.
"Ia sudah lama, sejak tahun 1999, saya pernah membuat laporan polis, saya keluar dokumen sebagainya, malah saya pernah serahkan dokumen ke mahkamah," katanya pada sidang media selepas merasmikan peluncuran buku Dr Syed Husin Ali, di Shah Alam hari ini.
SPRM kemudiannya berkata akan menyiasat Daim dan Anwar pula menyatakan kesediaannya untuk memberi kerjasama sekiranya dipanggil badan tersebut.
Sementara itu PAS disaran membentangkan cadangan pindaan terhadap Enakmen Kanun Jenayah Syariah (2) Negeri Kelantan dalam Mesyuarat Majlis Pimpinan Rakyat (PR) Ahad ini, sebelum ia dibawa ke Parlimen, kata Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Ketua pembangkang itu berkata ia masa terbaik membentangkan enakmen yang akan membolehkan pelaksanaan hukum hudud di negeri itu, supaya pemimpin DAP dan PKR boleh turut memahami dan menilai terlebih dulu cadangan undang-undang Islam itu.
Anwar yang juga ketua umum PKR berkata, PR juga sudah meminta kerajaan negeri Kelantan menunjukkan kepada mereka terlebih dulu kertas cadangan enakmen sebelum sebarang keputusan dibuat.
"Kita sudah minta dan sampaikan kepada kerajaan negeri, kalau diberikan sebaiknya dalam Mesyuarat Majlis Pimpinan PR," katanya pada sidang media selepas merasmikan pelancaran buku Dr Syed Husin Ali, di Shah Alam hari ini.
Anwar, yang tidak menyatakan secara jelas pendirian PR mengenai hukum hudud itu berkata, pihaknya masih belum melihat enakmen yang dipinda kerajaan negeri itu.
"Kita mahu lihat dahulu rang undang-undang tersebut. Walaupun tumpuan kita sebenarnya pada ketika ini ialah kepada pasca banjir, bantuan dan menyelesaikan perumahan, mesej kita ialah ke arah itu," katanya.
Anwar yang merupakan ahli Parlimen Permatang Pauh berkata, meskipun PR sudah ada pendiriannya sendiri mengenai hudud, ia tidak mempertikaikan hak PAS membentangkan rang undang-undang tersebut.
"Dalam ruang PR, kita ada beritahu tentang persetujuan hudud pada 2010. Tetapi, kita juga tidak pertikaikan hak PAS.
"Kita juga menghormati pendirian DAP, tetapi dalam hal ini, kita belum tahu apa yang dikemukakan dan apa yang ditolak," katanya.
Beliau berkata demikian apabila ditanya mengenai kenyataan Timbalan Menteri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Abdullah yang Kelantan merancang membentangkan rang undang-undang persendirian berkenaan di Parlimen Mac ini.- mk/tmi
Bad people sending grandpa to prison...
With five days left before the Federal Court announces its verdict that will determine if he is to be incarcerated or remain a free man, Anwar Ibrahim continues to portray a brave front.
He jokes with journalists, telling them not to look glum. "Muram je nampak (all of you look gloomy). I am okay," he said, drawing laughter.
In his speech later, Anwar even revealed that he did not wear socks because he was rushing for the function.
As far as the possibility of landing in prison is concerned, the opposition leader quipped that it would provide him with ample time to indulge in books, such as the works of Shakespeare.
However, Anwar admitted that his family are worried, and even his granddaughter has been asking him about his possible imprisonment.
"(Nurul) Izzah's daughter asked me, 'Grandpa, why are they talking about prison?' I told her that bad people are sending grandpa to prison," he said.
Next Tuesday, the Federal Court would deliver its judgement on Anwar’s final appeal against his sodomy conviction and five-year prison sentence.
Like the first sodomy charge in 1998, the opposition leader has claimed that the second was also fabricated by his rivals.
The government has denied this.
Meanwhile, Anwar, when addressing reporters today said he is "praying for the best" and prayed that "sanity will prevail".
Nevertheless, he said he had to be realistic this time around especially since it was easier when he was imprisoned in his twenties and fifties.
"It is certainly not easy when you are approaching your seventies. But that is the price I have to pay for sticking to my principles.
"And however painful it will be, I have to endure it. Hopefully they (the police) won't ill-treat or assault me.
"The current IGP (Khalid Abu Bakar) looks slightly more decent although quite aggressive," he jested.
Apart from reading Shakespeare, Anwar said his friends from all over the world had promised to send him "good, expensive books".
"Other than focusing on my prayers, I can finish a book in one day although the thicker ones would take longer ," he said.
Elaborating further on his wife. PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail's concern over him, Anwar said: "She's worried about my health.This is not just a sacrifice on my part, but on my family as well.
"She (Wan Azizah) is a bit disturbed, but she is ready (for the decision on Tuesday)," he said.
Meanwhile, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim says he has nothing to do with the infighting plaguing ruling party Umno despite his willingness to cooperate with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)'s probe against former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin.
The opposition leader said allegations of Daim's abuse of power had been around since 1999.
“I am not involved in Umno’s internal fight,” he said.
“I am no longer an Umno member. My statement at that time was referring to Tun Daim.
“It's been so long, since 1999, and I have lodged a police report previously. I even showed documents and submitted it in court,” he told reporters after launching senator Dr Syed Husin Ali's book in Shah Alam today.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) wants to meet Anwar Ibrahim on the evidence he purportedly possesses on former finance minister Daim Zainuddin.
However, the opposition leader told reporters that he cannot find the time, and invited the MACC officers to meet him either in the Sungai Buloh or Kajang prison, if the need arose.
"I have expressed my intention to cooperate with MACC, but now I am busy because all my relatives want to meet me for at least five minutes.
"If I am free after Feb 10, I will meet them. If not, I will invite them to either the Kajang or Sungai Buloh prison," he said.
"Langkah Kajang (Kajang move), langkah terus masuk Kajang (step straight into Kajang prison)," he joked.
Anwar said that MACC should not have problems in gathering evidence against Daim as it can go to the Treasury and other institutions to do so.
On another matter, the opposition leader described Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s call on Malays to boycott Chinese traders as "unacceptable, racist and flawed".
Anwar said it was within the power of the federal government to control monopolies.
On the Prime Minister's Office which had said that Ismail had not targeted Chinese traders alone, he said: "It is unfortunate that the Prime Minister's Office had responded as such. The PMO should go back to the facts and advise Ismail accordingly."
He added that the government should first deal with monopolies of goods such as rice and sugar.
"And why doesn't the government talk about rich cronies amassing profits in the billions?” he asked.
Meanwhile, when asked to comment about Kelantan’s plan to table a private member’s bill on hudud in March, Anwar confirms that they had asked the PAS central leadership as well as the Kelantan state government to view the bill.
As such, the coalition’s leadership council this Sunday would be the best platform for PAS to explain the matter further.
“The best time for them to explain would be at the meeting (this Sunday).
Anwar also admitted that both PAS and DAP had their own respective positions over the matter.
“We cannot deny PAS’ right to table the bill nor DAP’s position against it. But at this point, we don’t know what is to be presented and what is being opposed... We need to study this first,” he said.
Kelantan Deputy Menteri Besar Nik Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah was yesterday reported as saying that the state government plans to table a private member's bill in Parliament in March to seek approval for amendments to the Syariah Criminal Code II 1993 to enable hudud to be implemented in the state.
PAS and DAP’s spats over the matter are not a secret, with both parties at loggerheads over the hudud issue.
Next Tuesday, the Federal Court would deliver its verdict on the opposition leader’s final appeal against his sodomy conviction and five-year prison sentence.
Anwar also said that the issue concerning Daim was not related to the tussle in Umno.
Since the mainstream media provided space for Anwar and PKR to launch attacks on Daim, a strongman of former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, speculation has been rife of a realignment in political forces.
Some have claimed that Anwar has joined hands with Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to counter the latter’s opponents in Umno.- mk/tmi
February 10 is an important date for this country. That is the day Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will know if he is going to be a free man or if he will be incarcerated for sodomy for a minimum of five years.
The way the verdict goes will tell the world a few things about Malaysia. That’s the reason I have urged my friends from Kota Bharu to come to the city to witness this important event. The night before that, they will have an opportunity to hear Anwar speak at a rally in Putrajaya.
If the case is acquitted (as I hope it will be), then it means the justice system upholds the basic tenet of giving the benefit of reasonable doubt to the accused. Much has been made about why Anwar’s alibis did not materialise or why he elected to give his statement from the dock and not under oath.
But those are his choices and he has a right to make them. We may draw any inference from them that we want but they do not amount to evidence against him.
The primary evidence, on the other hand, is all in tatters. The DNA samples were tampered with, although some will point out that what was tampered with or torn was just the plastic bag the samples were kept in and not the samples themselves.
Well it’s clear that the person who was responsible for this tampering was a policeman investigating the case, and not a chemist or someone not involved with the prosecution.
I hope the judges will view the investigating officer’s conduct with suspicion and draw an adverse inference on this point and release Anwar Ibrahim. A good criminal lawyer can give other valid reasons why he should be acquitted.
If it’s a guilty verdict, then I would say this country is ripe for a political tsunami once again. For the first time since independence, we would be sending someone to prison for five years for what is a moral offence, at best.
How can we condone that, and then feel no revulsion over the way Altantuya Shaariibuu was murdered? How can we feel no necessity to explore the motives behind the heinous killing?
I applaud DAP for at least making some effort to highlight the importance of a public inquiry into her murder. It can reveal to us how the system of government operates, as well as how the police and our justice system will manage such cases— where there is some connection to top leaders—in future. Understanding what happened to Altantuya holds the key to understanding many things that are wrong with our country.
In this regard, I would not waste time waiting for Parliament to agree to such an inquiry. It’s best that we secure several retired judges as members of a public inquiry panel to examine the case in greater detail.
It’s unlikely that any key witnesses will come forward with any new information, and this panel will not have the powers to compel attendance. Still, such an inquiry can help lift, even if only slightly, the cloak of secrecy that engulfs our Government.
For example, the Registrar of the Court may be unwilling to explain why the first judge that was appointed to hear the Altantuya case was changed. But a retired Registrar somewhere may be willing to explain how judges are allotted to hear cases, under what circumstances they can be changed and by whom.
We can also call retired police officers who might be willing to volunteer other relevant information, such as when commandos like Azila and Sirul are used. They can explain to us the chain of command and who the bosses are. We can also understand better how explosives like C4 are kept and who can authorise their use.
Let’s not forget the Immigration Department: we might be able to get retired immigration officers who are willing to explain under what circumstances immigration records can be deleted and who can make such an order.
I am sure Sirul will volunteer, or that his lawyers will be able to enlighten us of the information his client will allow us to know. I am sure the wife of private investigator P. Balasubramaniam knows a thing or two. The fearless Amerik, the late Bala’s lawyer, will also be eager to attend and can give some juicy tidbits about Tan Sri Cecil Abraham’s conversations with him.
Critics will say that this inquiry will only be able to unearth hearsay and double-hearsay. They will label it all rubbish speculation to a straightforward murder. It’s true that such an inquiry may not reveal the whole truth or bring us any closer to know the motives or circumstances of Altantuya’s murder. But the inquiry is not aimed solely at discovering what happened to Altantuya; more importantly, it’s to show that the secrecy by which this Government operates will not be tolerated by the people of this country.
It’s an opportunity to show that there are enough Malaysians who are willing to stand up to accomplish this. If the people of this country have the conviction to want a democracy, transparency and accountability, and feel enough revulsion for the current secret style of governing, then Altantuya would have contributed immensely to the cause.
Let’s not let her death be in vain. Let’s have a public inquiry funded by the public for the benefit of the public, so that one day we will have a Government that is willing to explain anything strange that may happen. At the moment they do not have to, because we the people tolerate secret operations and a secret system of government! - Zaid Ibrahim @zaid.my
Ismail Sabri and the Oldtown Fiasco...
Superman Ismail Sabri had singled out the OldTown White Coffee café chain owned by OldTown Bhd, because he claims that opposition DAP Ngeh family owned shares in the company. That’s quite amusing, because from the rumours we heard, heavyweight Rosmah actually owned Oldtown White Coffee through her Chinese nominees (*grin*). Well, in case Ismail didn’t realise it, the chairman of public-listed Oldtown is a Malay – Datuk Ahmed Tasir.
For the financial year ended March 2014, Oldtown registered revenue of RM382,171,650, of which RM16,038,755 in taxes were paid to the government. If Oldtown goes bankrupt because of Malays’ boycott, Najib administration would have less RM16 million in taxes to plunder. And where would be the Malays’ next destination of boycott? What about McDonald’s and Starbucks? After all, Vincent Tan, a Chinese, owned these restaurants.
Going by Ismail’s brilliant logic, McDonald’s and Starbucks should be boycotted as well. McDonald’s hamburgers were less tasty but more expensive than Ramli Burgers. And Starbucks latte beverages were crazily priced, so much so that a Grande Latte costs more than 10 glasses of Mamak Teh Tarik. There’re more – all the 4D / 5D / 6D betting outlets are also Chinese-owned, of which the Malays are crazily in love.
UMNO hypocrites such as Ismail Sabri conveniently targeting Oldtown even though he knows very well that all public listed companies are also partly owned by UMNO-Malays. We mention UMNO-Malays because the ordinary Malays do not get the chance to receive free shares in such companies, the same way UMNO warlords such as Ismail himself does. So, has Ismail just joined the proxy war between PM Najib and tycoon Mahathir?
The fact is Oldtown business relies on other cost factors. Oldtown is the second tier business entity which passes cost to the consumers. There is transportation cost, of which PLUS needs to be paid. There is electricity cost, of which TNB needs to be paid. There is labour cost, of which under table money needs to be paid in order to secure the Bangladesh workers. There is raw material cost such as sugar and rice, of which Syed Mokhtar needs to be paid.
So, why only targets the second tier but not the first tier suppliers such as PLUS, TNB, Tradewind, Bernas, Petron Malaysia Berhad, and whatnot? Ahh, because all these first tier corporations are heavily owned by UMNO. Needless to say, these suppliers will not start the chain reaction of passing the benefits of cheaper gasoline to the average Ahmad, Ah Seng and Ramasamy.
Obviously, Mr. Ismail Sabri was barking the wrong tree. He should have called everyone, regardless of race, to boycott PLUS, TNB, Tradewind, Bernas and whatnot. And if Oldtown refuses to do the right thing even after electricity, rice, flour and sugar prices are lowered, then it’s time to boycott Oldtown and other similar businesses. To be a racist, Ismail is no better than Ibrahim Ali or Mahathir who had called for boycott on American products.
Perhaps Ismail Sabri and other minion ministers should think twice about trying to be Superman wanting to screw Wonder Woman. For every time they wish to satisfy their lusts, there’s always an Invisible Man (UMNO) already lying down doing nothing but milking easy money from various cashcows. Unless Ismail Sabri doesn’t mind, what he gets is only the Invisible Man, not Wonder Woman (*tongue-in-cheek*).- financetwitter.com
Ismail Sabri boycotting HSBC,but the bank has not closed shop or changed its policies...
Over the past two days, a gaffe by a member of the Cabinet has made the seven-letter word the most talked-about issue.
Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob's remark is no ordinary howler like those we hear from political wannabes and attention seekers.
The consequences of those words he posted on Facebook will continue to haunt him. But they also send a dark message to the masses and add yet another chapter in our history – race and religion will continue to dominate the scene despite slogans like 1Malaysia or Putting People First.
Sticking labels on the conduct of businessmen and traders based on ethnicity is idiotic, to say the least. Ismail Sabri should have known better. Having been previously the consumer affairs minister, it is common knowledge that boycotts have hardly worked in this country.
Remember the first US invasion of Iraq? Owners of Indian-Muslim eateries proclaimed that they would be boycotting American cola beverages. It never worked.
More recently, following the Israeli strikes on Palestine, more bird-brained ideas came to the fore – boycott US products. And of course, in the front line were a popular cola beverage and a leading fast food chain. What have they got to do with Israel?
Demonstrations were held outside a fast food chain's outlet and there were even reports that its delivery staff were threatened.
And Ismail Sabri is not new to this kind of spectacle. In August last year, he posted a picture of himself cutting his credit card and boycotting a foreign bank in response to its policy of closing the pro-Palestinian activists' accounts in the UK.
"(The bank) closed accounts belonging to an Islamic organisation that supports Palestinians. So, I took the decision to cancel my account and credit card with (the bank)," Mi'raj Islamic News Agency (Mina) quoted him as saying.
So, has his boycott worked? The bank has not closed shop or changed its policies. In many countries, people power brings down prices and even governments.
But in Malaysia, calls for boycott have been made once too often with no justification whatsoever. It has often been misused by publicity seekers, politicians and power brokers who want their five minutes of fame.
This writer is not defending or condoning Ismail Sabri's words. Having known him since 2008 when he was sports minister, he has never dabbled in race or religion.
He had always advocated himself as people-friendly and, perhaps, this is the first time he has crossed the line, so to speak. His colleagues from law school speak volumes about him and his character and conduct.
But even if it was an unintended or inadvertent mistake, he should have deleted or retracted the offending remarks. However, Ismail Sabri has made it more difficult for himself by insisting that he was referring to rogue traders.
A moot point to add – if the inspector-general of police had his way, you would not have read this column. Why?
According to Bernama, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar wants all parties to stop making any statement on boycotting businesses over this issue.
On his Twitter page, Khalid said such statements could disrupt racial harmony in this country. "Boycott issue, @PDRMsia ask all parties to immediately exercise restraint in making public statements. It hurts our racial harmony," he said.
Agreed Tan Sri, but there have been more toxic chants by racists and supremacists which you have not addressed.
Discussion on this matter cannot be stifled or curtailed as it affects all Malaysians, irrespective of race, religion or creed.
It should be discussed openly in an intelligent "can agree to disagree" atmosphere. It gives Joe Public the opportunity to understand the mindsets of many of our leaders who shout the unity slogan but never practise what they preach.- R. Nadeswaran,firstname.lastname@example.org