A letter to Malaysiakini by K Bing practically says it all about the current predicament facing Anwar Ibrahim whose political destiny may very well be shot off-tangent by a young and unscrupulous fool.
First of all, I must say that I do not possess any information which is not already public knowledge. However, I have been following news of the new sodomy allegation against Anwar closely and I’m analysing this from the perspective of ‘reasonable behaviour’ and ‘balance of probability.’ Here are the reasons why I think Anwar is not guilty.
1. Is Anwar gay? A person who has fathered six children has established his sexual orientation firmly. Bisexuality is very rare and in any case he does not fit the mould. He has a loving family and his wife is standing steadfastly by him which says a lot.
2. The highly controversial sodomy conviction of 1998 failed to convince most people. A person in a position of power who allegedly cannot control himself to even keep away from his wife’s driver, must have a string of partners. One must ask, why has nobody else come out of the woodwork? Why was it necessary to coerce false confessions from two of his associates?
3. A person on the cusp of attaining political power would not be so stupid as to risk everything. If indeed one assumes that he cannot control his urge, where are the others that he may have violated or other consensual partners? With multiple partners, it’s a secret which is almost impossible to keep for a public figure.
4. Anwar’s anger and outrage at the new allegation is exactly how a wronged person will react. His body language when he speaks of the issue is consistent with his words.
5. When news broke of the police report against him, Anwar took refuge at the Turkish embassy. I believe he did so as he feared immediate arrest and not so much a threat on his life. This shows that Anwar believes there is a conspiracy against him rather than a private complaint which would not warrant immediate arrest. A guilty person would immediately assume it’s a private complaint.
6. Saiful’s resignation e-mail to Anwar did not suggest he had been sodomised and traumatised by his boss. This e-mail has not been denied by him.
7. The notion that a 61-year-old man can force himself on a 23-year-old youth is unthinkable. If threats were used, what can Anwar possibly threaten him with as he is not in a position of power?
Is there a conspiracy against Anwar? I believe there is for the following reasons.
1. The accuser, Saiful was obviously closely connected with Umno and has been photographed with a few Umno leaders including an aide to the deputy prime minister.
2. Saiful is obviously pro-Umno as had been revealed by his online postings. Why then did he induct himself into PKR as a volunteer if not for some ulterior motive?
3. His visit to the DPM’s office a few months before the incident was explained as him having gone there to apply for a scholarship. This is a very awkward explanation. As a college dropout, Saiful was not in the market for a scholarship and in any case, the DPM’s office is the wrong department to go.
And why would a scholarship applicant have his photograph taken with a senior aide? One must ask, why is it necessary to obfuscate and conceal the real purpose of his visit?
4. Najib at first denied he had ever met Saiful and later admitted that he met Saiful at his residence when a traumatised and sodomised Saiful came to ask for his advice. Why did Najib first deny and then admit later when under pressure? Was he trying to conceal something?
5. Najib said he listened to Saiful’s story and told him it’s up to him whether he wants to lodge a police report or not. This is not credible. Wouldn’t Najib have jumped at the opportunity to discredit his political nemesis and insist that Saiful make a police report?
It is wrong for anybody – much less a minister – who has been told a crime not to bring it to the attention of the law enforcement agencies. Why is Najib giving unbelievable explanations? Is he trying to divert all thoughts away from a conspiracy and overdoing it?
6. Najib said that Saiful visited him a few days before he made his police report. The report was made on Saturday and the sodomy was alleged to have occurred on Thursday. This means Saiful could only have visited Najib on Friday, one day before he made his report.
This is stretching the definition of ‘a few days’ to breaking point. Establishing when the meeting actually took place will shed light on the veracity of the allegation.
7. How easy is it for an ordinary person to drop in and see the DPM at his residence or office on such short notice? If he has been sexually violated, there is no need to hawk his allegation to politicians first before going to the police.
8. Saiful’s smiling and confident demeanor when he emerged a few days after his police report certainly does not indicate a man who has been sodomised and traumatised.
9. Saiful’s public challenge to Anwar to swear his innocence on the Quran is unbecoming of a real victim who would be expected to feel depressed and keep a low profile rather than play politics.
To round it up, let me deal with some objections.
1. It is too outrageous to imagine that Umno would weave a sodomy conspiracy against Anwar again as nobody would believe it.
Do you think negative public opinion will stop them? Umno controls the AG’s chambers, the police, the judiciary all of which are sufficient to convict a man of trumped-up charges. For good measure, they also control the mainstream press.
2. The allegations will increase sympathy for Anwar so a conspiracy is unlikely.
On the contrary, it could well discredit Anwar. The tactic could backfire but it is not beyond politicians to miscalculate the effects of their action.
3. Anwar stands to gain the most from it so Anwar must have planned all this.
Isn’t this even more outrageous than the above? No need to waste words on this.
4. Why sodomy again? Isn’t the script 10 years old?
What else can they pin on Anwar? He is not outwardly corrupt. A legal conviction is the most efficient way to get Anwar out of the political scene for good. After serving the sentence, he will have to wait another five years before running for public office by which time he may be too old to have any political ambition.
5. It is too transparent as Saiful has been photographed with high-level Umno politicians.
The plot may have been hatched after all those photographs. We have to be realistic, there are not many candidates who would do this.
6. Why did PKR take in a person without background checks?
He volunteered at a time when PKR was desperately short of staff. Once in, a person is not easily dislodged even when his previous pro-Umno leaning is known. There’s always the notion of fair play and judging a person by his work rather than his past.
In conclusion, when events really happen, details automatically fall into place. When there’s nothing to hide, explanations do not create more questions. A person’s demeanour and facial expression is a reflection of his inner thoughts.
All the bits and pieces collected together can create a complete picture. The picture is not complete but it is complete enough for me to decide that on the balance of probabilities, the incident never happened and Anwar is again facing another political conspiracy.