“Why should he be unwilling to volunteer facts that can clear his name will be difficult for the majority of the rakyat to swallow. Today, everyone expects their leader to be of some high moral standing and opposition supporters are particularly demanding of this"
Zaid bin Ibrahim
Instead of doing a complete detour from his Sodomy Trial by trying again to sell a limp fish which has got nothing to do with his ongoing trial, perhaps Anwar should listen to this very sound advise from the man who knows his onions.
A report by the MI, a good advise from Zaid Ibrahim, former Minister and founder of Malaysia's biggest Law Practice:
KUALA LUMPUR, March 15 — KITA president Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has advised Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to surrender his DNA samples for the Sodomy II trial, predicting it would help the opposition leader prove his proclaimed innocence and boost his credibility.
The former PKR politician reasoned with his comrade-turned-rival that the public would find it hard to accept a leader who refused to furnish “facts that can clear his name”.
“Technical reasons can be furnished by the lawyers he engaged but only his courage to deal with the truth can protect him.
“Why should he be unwilling to volunteer facts that can clear his name will be difficult for the majority of the rakyat to swallow. Today, everyone expects their leader to be of some high moral standing and opposition supporters are particularly demanding of this,” Zaid wrote in an email statement to The Malaysian Insider yesterday.
He pointed out that like it had been during Anwar's first sodomy trial in 1998, public opinion and sympathy are still vital factors to the leader's popularity.
“It is still the most important factor for a politician aspiring to be in Putrajaya like Anwar. That is why I believe he should submit the samples requested by the prosecution.
“He has maintained he is innocent and if true, his innocence will be proven and he will once again be able to build on his image as a leader who had been unjustly treated by the Barisan Nasional conspirators,” he said. Zaid pointed out that in Sodomy I, the Federal Court had then acquitted Anwar on a 2-1 majority despite the damaging testimonies delivered during the trial.
“So Anwar got the public sympathy and his black eye experience helped him tremendously. Regardless of the verdict and the evidence given, it was clear in 1998 that the public was willing to accept Anwar as a victim of a cruel and unjust former prime minister (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) and there were strong grounds for that belief as well,” he said.
Zaid continued that this round in Sodomy II, Anwar's continued refusal to surrender his DNA samples could lead to a disappointed public and an eventual dip in support for the opposition leader.
“Regardless whether the court will accede to the prosecution's application for his DNA samples, the public will desert him and he will experience a meltdown like that of the Tokyo reactor,” he wrote.
Zaid, a trained lawyer and founder of the country's largest private law firm, predicted that once the prosecution in Sodomy II closes its case, the court would likely call for Anwar's defence due to the damning narration given by the case's complainant Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
“This is not because the court is part of the so-called conspiracy as alleged by Anwarists. The rejection by the trial judge of the evidence obtained surreptiously is proof of the court's impartiality,” he said.
Anwar’s Sodomy II defence lawyers recently won a ruling in which all evidence retrieved from his lock-up period from July 16 to 17, 2008 — a towel, toothbrush and mineral water bottle as well all DNA samples relating to the items — was expunged.
“But the defence will be called because Saiful's narration of the events is credible and freely given, and not obtained in a police lockup as was Sukma's confession in 1998,” Zaid added.
He was referring to Anwar's adopted brother Sukma Darmawan Sasmitaat Madja, who had been jointly tried during Sodomy I and sentenced with Anwar in 2000 for sodomising Azizan Abu Bakar, Anwar’s wife Datin Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail's former driver.
Anwar's conviction was later overturned in September 2004 by the Federal Court.
“Sukma's narration of his involvement with Anwar was detailed and elaborate. We can surmise only a participant would be able to do that.
“The testimony of the consultant psychiatrist in court who treated Sukma for severe depression was also revealing. Sukma was in depression because he felt jilted by his lover who was also involved with other young men.
“The evidence was given in-camera, hence the reason the public had little knowledge of these facts.
“Still the Federal Court acquitted Anwar because it felt that it was unsafe to use evidence obtained after many hours of interrogation in the lockup,” Zaid recalled.
With his experience from the first sodomy trial, said Zaid, Anwar should surrender his DNA samples as requested by the prosecution particularly since the opposition leader has continuously insisted that the latest sodomy charge against him was fabricated by his foes in a bid to topple him.
Zaid also called to question PAS's “deafening silence” in the case, asking if the Islamist party was prepared to allow the “moral lapses” of one leader for the sake of the coming polls.
“It is time now for Anwar and PAS to reflect on the ramifications of Sodomy II,” he said.
Read in full here.