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Not a great day for justice

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The days have long gone when we should be excited at something which was the norm in Malaysia from independence until the 1980s: true freedom enjoyed by institutions in the country, writes Ali Kadir.

Photograph: themalaysianinsider.com

I have to break up the party but it is a sad day when we Malaysians are celebrating an acquittal which would have been an acquittal in any democracy.

Please stop calling the judge (in the Anwar Ibrahim trial) a hero or brave person or hailing the government for not interfering in the judiciary. It is embarrassing because we once had one of the most respected judiciaries in the Commonwealth and now we are celebrating one enlightened decision.

This is the equivalent of being Olympians at football and then celebrating a win at regional level. (Oh sorry, we actually did this also.)

I don’t know Anwar Ibrahim and I think Anwar is a poor judge of people (Mahathir Mohamad, Eskay Abdullah, Zulkifli Noordin, Ezam, Saiful, etc) but this sodomy case was very weak. The alleged offence was consensual but Saiful alleged that he was forced into the act and then there were the multiple screw-ups.

If the judge had applied his mind properly, the defence should not have been called. If I recall correctly, he read out a long judgment in court where he seemed to have made up his mind on
Saiful’s evidence even without the benefit of other evidence.

The defence was called and the government’s expert witnesses were shown up badly. By the way, should we even bother to trust the government’s DNA expert?

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So today the only possible outcome was reached and the government issues a statement saying that the decision shows the independence of the judiciary. So is the government saying that before this decision there was interference from Putrajaya?

Others are saying that this court decision shows the potency of the administration’s reforms. But didn’t the government hail judicial independence.

The days have long gone when we should be excited at something which was the norm in Malaysia from independence until the 1980s: true freedom enjoyed by institutions in the country.

May I also remind those claiming a victory for reform that such a sentiment was also exuded after the Federal Court freed Anwar under Abdullah Ahmad Badawi… need I remind Malaysians about the power grab in Perak after that.

So, enjoy the freedom of one man but don’t read too much into anything.

Source: themalaysianinsider.com

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