Thursday, July 31, 2008

SPIN: Hospital: Anwar sodomy case report 'looks genuine'

By EILEEN NG, Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, July 30, 2008

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) --

A medical report that appeared to prove Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's innocence in a sodomy case "looks genuine," an official said Wednesday.

Anwar was accused last month of sodomizing his male aide, who filed a police complaint after being examined at two hospitals, first at the Pusrawi Hospital and then at the government's Kuala Lumpur General Hospital.

Anwar — who has consistently denied this sodomy allegation, the second against him in a decade — says he is a victim of a political conspiracy by the government to stop him from seizing power.

On Tuesday, Anwar cited a purported Pusrawi Hospital medical report, published by several news portals on the Internet, in which the doctor who examined the 23-year-old aide wrote he found no evidence of sodomy. The hospital confirmed Wednesday the report was authentic.

"It looks genuine," said Kamaruddin Ahmad, the medical director of the partly government-owned Pusrawi Hospital. But he told reporters that a sodomy examination must be done by a specialist.

The new accusation surfaced as Anwar seeks to unseat the government.

Anwar plans to contest a by-election in a northern state in a bid to return to Parliament about 10 years after his rising career was shattered by sodomy and corruption allegations. He is believed to be nurturing ambitions to be Malaysia's next prime minister.

Anwar's accuser went to the hospital on June 28, complaining of a stomach ache and a painful anus, and was examined by a general practitioner who is a Myanmar national but "not qualified to make any conclusions on sodomy."

He suggested the patient go to the government hospital and file a police report.

The accuser went to the government hospital for a second examination. It is not clear what transpired there, but the accuser filed a complaint at a police station against Anwar the same day.

Anwar is currently out on bail after being arrested on suspicion of committing sodomy, which punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

He was barred from contesting general elections in March — when his coalition made spectacular gains — because of a previous corruption conviction. The ban expired in April.

He was also charged with sodomy in 1998, but that charge was overturned in 2004.

Associated Press Writer Vijay Joshi contributed to this report.

NOTE: This report discredit the official statement of the Pusrawi Medical Director by displating his claim of genuity in inverted commas. By doing so, the news report is influencing the reader to dismiss the Medical Director's claim.

This is a glaring news spin. What basis is the journalist dismissing a Medical official and expertise claims?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

SPIN: Were the Anwar Sodomy Charges Faked?

See the rest of the Doctors report here

A medical report surfaces saying the male aide who filed charges against the opposition leader wasn’t molested

By Jed Yoong
Asia Sentinel, July 28, 2008

The doctor who examined a 23-year-old male aide allegedly sodomized by Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim found no evidence of tearing or scarring that would indicate penetration, according to a medical report leaked to local journalists.

If the document is genuine, it can be expected to raise further suspicions of complicity on the part of top government leaders in attempting to destroy Anwar politically. The charges against Anwar, filed by the youth on June 28, could end the opposition politician's political career and put him back behind bars, where he had spent six years from 1999 on similar charges, which human rights organizations across the world condemned as trumped up. Sodomy is a crime punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment and caning

Anwar was arrested two weeks after the youth filed the complaint and was jailed overnight on July 15 after police, some wearing balaclava masks, descended on his home, a move that sent Anwar's supporters into the streets around the police station where he was being held. He refused at that time to give a DNA specimen, charging that it could be misused.

According the medical report, which allegedly was filed at Hospital Pusrawi Sdn Bhd on Jalan Tun Razak in Kuala Lumpur, the aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, was examined by Dr Mohamed Osman on June 28 at 2 pm. After he had gone to the hospital to complain about pain he said he was suffering in his anus, he allegedly told hospital personnel that he had been assaulted by a "very important person."

After Dr Mohamad refused to write a report that Saiful had been sodomized, according to Malaysia Today, the doctor suggested that the youth obtain another diagnosis at a government hospital. Doctors at that hospital also refused to confirm a diagnosis of sodomy, according to the publication, although it did not name the doctors.

Nonetheless, Malaysia Today reported, Saiful filed the report of assault at a nearby police kiosk four hours later.

After Mohamad Osman made the report indicating no sexual assault had taken place, police picked up the doctor and detained him for three days to attempt to persuade him to change his diagnosis, according to Malaysia Today. The doctor, the publication said, has since gone into hiding with his family.

In a telephone interview with Asia Sentinel, Deputy Inspector General of Police Ismail Omar confirmed that Dr Mohamad had been questioned, but said he had never been detained.

Attempts to reach hospital officials were unsuccessful. They were said to be in a meeting. However, although the medical report could not be independently verified, a senior Pusrawi Hospital official told the Internet publication Malaysiakini this morning that the hospital had launched an internal investigation on how Saiful's medical report was leaked, which is widely considered as a major infringement of patient privacy.

When Malaysiakini showed the official a copy of the report, he refused to return it but he didn't describe it as fake, saying, "It's our document."

Anwar's party issued a statement saying that "the medical report leaked today appears to confirm what we have always believed - that the allegations against Anwar Ibrahim are without merit and politically motivated."

The existence of the report, the statement continued, "further erodes any confidence the public would have in the credibility of the police report that has been filed against Anwar Ibrahim, a report which remains shrouded in secrecy. Why has this medical report surfaced only today, over one month after the allegations were made, after (Anwar) spent a night in jail, and after the police have spent so much time and money on this case?"

Anwar and his three-party coalition, made up of his own Parti Keadilan Rakyat, the Democratic Action Party and Parti Islam se-Malaysia, are attempting to oust the ruling Barisan Nasional, or National Coalition, from 50 years of unbroken power. In March 8 elections, the opposition coalition broke the two-thirds hold the BN had enjoyed in parliament since independence.

Anwar was in the political wilderness for a decade after he broke with former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in 1998. Although the 1999l sodomy charge against him was later reversed, the 61-year-old former deputy prime minister was barred from running for political office because the corruption charge remained. That ban, however, has been repealed and Anwar expects to stand in a by-election. If he is victorious, he has repeatedly forecast that in mid-September he will lure enough pro-Barisan lawmakers this side to take over the government. Anwar has made numerous allegations of political corruption against top leaders of the United Malays National Organisation, the lead party in the three-party Barisan Nasional.

If the coalition indeed takes power, top members of the government, the judiciary and law enforcement have a great deal to fear. Anwar has already sought to have his original conviction reversed and has filed charges against Abdul Ghani Patail, the attorney general, and Musa Hassan, the chief of police for allegedly fabricating the evidence against him in the original case.

Malaysia Today earlier reported that a witness told the publication Saiful had met with Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, the designated successor to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Anwar's rival for political power, concerning the filing of the charges. Najib had first told reporters he had never met with the youth and later said he had only met him briefly for "career counseling."

Raja Petra himself has been a major source of embarrassment to the government, directly accusing Najib and his wife of being involved in the brutal execution murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu, who was shot twice in the head in October of 2006 and dumped in a patch of jungle before she was blown up with plastic explosive. In response, the government - although neither Najib nor his wife - has charged Raja Petra with both sedition and criminal libel, a statute that is very rarely used today and deals with the danger to national security.

Raja Petra, a member of the Selangor sultanate, has refused to back down, saying that if he goes to jail, he intends to take Najib down with him. Prime Minister Badawi has fully backed Najib and named him as his successor. Despite numerous attempts to get Najib into court for interrogation, the judge in the year-old trial of one of his best friends and two of his bodyguards for Altantuya's murder has refused to call him, most recently last week.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

CONSPIRACY: Seven sodomy conspiracy theories

Scott 'Please Dont ISA Me' Thong, Jul 2, 08 4:50pm

The recent sodomy accusations against Anwar Ibrahim have given rise to plentiful conjecture, analysis, and plain old blind guesses and rumour-mongering.

This nation-shaking controversy has dominated local media and blog coverage since it first erupted. What really happened? Who is behind it? Who stands to gain most from it? Who will triumph in the end?

But there is one word that is on everybody's lips: ‘conspiracy’.

This controversy is simply too complicated, and the timing too right, to be a simple and straightforward case. This must be the work of a sinister komplot! We must dig deeper to find out the truth behind this deep conspiracy! Or so they say...

Thus I present seven of these wild, totally unfounded, baseless and unproven - yet annoyingly popular - conspiracy theories that are popping up around the blogs and kopi tiam discussions.

Disclaimer: I myself am not part of the conspiracy. Really.

1. A certain political rival of Anwar is behind it.

This is probably the most popular theory among concerned Netizens. It says that a certain Prominent Politician, who is currently embroiled in his own controversy involving accusations linking his wife to a murdered foreign national, concocted the Anwar Sodomy Plot in order to shift the media spotlight away from himself.

Young Saiful Bukhari, familiar to Prominent Politician's own aides, was groomed for this mission. He conveniently volunteered to help out in Anwar's campaign just when extra hands were needed. When the time was ripe, he released his allegations from within the very midst of Anwar's team.

Being a mole sent by Prominent Politician, it is little wonder that telling photographs linking Saiful Bukhari to various members of Prominent Politician's team have been uncovered.

After all, this theory says, the best case scenario for Prominent Politician would be for Anwar to be shamed or arrested out of the running to be Malaysia's prime minister, thus opening the way for himself to take the reins of power unchallenged.

2. Anwar himself is behind it.

The Prominent Politician from Theory #1 responded to such allegations by publicly revealing his own theory - that Anwar had long planned this whole show in order to gain the public's sympathy as the wrongfully persecuted underdog.

To wit, this theory says that Anwar carefully selected Saiful Bukhari and sent him to mix in among the rival politicians, gaining their trust and taking lots of photographs with them - including an aide to Prominent Politician himself.

Then, just when the foreign national controversy was already stirring up the mud, Anwar played his hidden joker. Of all the accusations of wrongdoing that could be made, the sodomy allegation was chosen - an allegation that had already been overturned by the courts once, and brought to mind the black eye and massive support for reformasi. No safer and more emotionally stirring choice of an accusation could be made.

This theory makes out Saiful Bukhari's police report, PKR's indignation at the allegations, and Anwar's taking refuge in the Turkish Embassy for fear of his life to be just one big sandiwara - nothing more than a political drama meant to fool the naive and gullible public.

3. Both of them are behind it.

Perhaps the strangest theory is that both Prominent Politician and Anwar are using the same ploy simultaneously! This theory says that since both sides have something to gain from this ho-ha, both sides may be behind it.

The theory continues that although it is unknown who got to him first, Saiful Bukhari was independently approached by both parties to carry out their secret plans. The young aide reaped a double windfall by accepting both offers and the accompanying pay-offs without the other side's knowledge. Now all he has to do is keep on his toes and keep both sides in the dark about the other's plot.

A conspiracy theory worthy of Hollywood, to the point where you almost expect Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt to burst through the windows!

4. Saiful Bukhari is acting alone.

A much more reasonable conjecture than Theory #3, and for that same reason, no one seems to be very eager to adopt it.

This theory simply says that Saiful Bukhari is in it alone and for himself. He made up this whole thing in order to gain fame or a large payoff. All the unfounded theories about this side or that forging a conspiracy are the work of overly active imaginations. You media and blogger types should be ashamed of yourselves.

Yawn... Let's move on before we lose our readership.

5. One of their close aides is behind it.

Other than Prominent Politician and Anwar, the other people who stand to gain from this convoluted controversy are their respective aides and right-hand men.

This theory says that since the controversy has adverse effects on both politicians, therefore neither of them is actually behind it. Instead, one of their aides is making a grab for power by tarnishing his boss's public image and playing the big shots against each other.

By blending this theory with Theory #3, you get a plot within a plot where the aides from both sides are aiming to take their bosses down, working together in order to climb the steps of their respective ladders of power.

6. An even bigger player is behind it

Apart from those next in line to be Prime Minister In The Running, there is another figure who stands to personally (if not politically) gain from the removal of both Prominent Politician and Anwar. A figure whose influence runs deep and connections reach far. A figure whose very name conjures forth dark and fearful visions of the police knocking on your door at 3 am.

This figure has repeatedly and publicly expressed his personal dislike for both of them, as well as the boss of one of them. He is displeased with the direction the country has been heading since he released his grip on power, and foresees only ruin if Prominent Politician or Anwar takes the reins.

Rumours have it that he may even be positioning his own carefully-groomed protégé to skillfully snatch the helm of leadership.

To that end, this theory says that the fallout from continuous media circus surrounding Prominent Politician and Anwar will keep them busily distracted and hobble their campaigns to win public and political support.

And if they permanently destroy their reputations in their paranoid accusations and bickering... well, so much the better. The puppet master suffers not dissent.

7. The biggest conspiracy of all - it really happened

Man, I'm not even gonna go there, so unpopular is this theory. I mean, it's... it's... boring! So by definition, it cannot possibly be true.

NOTE: This is a clear case of someone who has preemptively decided that Anwar is innocent without listening to the proof and court process. He wants to believe what he wants to believe.

If the court were to find Anwar as guilty, he has decided ahead before the trial starts that it cannot be possibly true for Anwar to commit sodomy.

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