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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sodomy twist thrown into the Kajang mix


Following the surprise announcement that the Kajang state seat has been vacated and Anwar Ibrahim will contest, political pundits have been burning the midnight oil to churn out a slew of speculations.

Chief among them is the alleged plot to unseat Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim and to quell factionalism in the state PKR involving party deputy president Azmin Ali.

On the Umno social media front, there were also those who suggested that it is an attempt to distract attention from the marriage woes of Nurul Izzah Anwar.

However, former MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek is convinced that it is a political charade orchestrated in relation to the prosecution's appeal against Anwar's acquittal in the Sodomy II case.

The appeal hearing is slated for Feb 12 and 13.

"I believe it is related to his court case.... It would also put pressure on the judges since the person in the dock would be an election candidate.

"And if the appeal is eventually upheld, the opposition would paint the town red with criticism of the judiciary and accuse the government of a conspiracy," he told Malaysiakini.

Chua added the by-election had been forced down the throats of the Kajang electorate to serve the personal political agenda of one man.

"And this is not the first time Anwar has done this," he added, citing the Permatang Pauh by-election, where his wife and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail quit for her husband to reclaim his stronghold.

The former MCA president said Pakatan Rakyat leaders had always spoken out against abuses of the democratic process.

"What is this then? Isn't this a blatant abuse of the democratic process as well?" he asked.

Anwar had been accused of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan but was acquitted by the Kuala Lumpur High Court in 2012.

The prosecution had since filed an appeal while Anwar too is appealing against the decision to disallow his application to recuse lawyer Shafee Abdullah from heading the prosecution team.

Anwar has always maintained that the sodomy charge, like the previous one against him in 1999, was a political conspiracy authored by his rivals. BN has denied this.

Meanwhile, Chua also said that the by-election would give Anwar and the opposition a platform to run-down the government.

"Now when they criticise the government, the people say that the general election has just ended (and so the issues gain little traction). But with a by-election... There is a new platform," he added.

On a related matter, Chua disagreed with another former MCA president Ong Tee Keat that the current MCA chief Liow Tiong Lai should contest against Anwar in Kajang.

"I don't see the need for Liow to do that... It would serve no purpose," he added.

However, Chua stressed that his successor must lead the charge and not delegate the task to others.

"This is the first by-election for MCA since Liow took over as president.... Therefore he must show that he is the captain of the ship," he added.

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