08 August, 2008

US questions sodomy claims against Anwar

The United States on Thursday highlighted doubts raised over sodomy charges against Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, as a top Malaysian envoy was summoned to the State Department over the case.

"We take note of the many serious questions raised within Malaysia, including by the Malaysian Bar Council, concerning this case," a State Department official told AFP.

Anwar was released on bail Thursday after pleading not guilty to sodomy charges ahead of a by-election expected to return him to parliament this month.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim wants the United States to stop meddling in Malaysia's internal affairs as the country has its own set of laws.

He said Malaysian laws were passed by Parliament and there was no need for other countries to look down on Malaysia over the administration of its laws.

"Our Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code originate from the Common Law.

"Therefore, there is no reason whatsoever, for any power on earth to criticise another country's internal administration of justice,"

Meanwhile, Political scientist Dr Chandra Muzaffar said that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s attempt to become the prime minister through the "back door" by instigating massive crossovers is both unethical and undemocratic. "A Cabinet established through such an avenue will lack moral credibility. Parliament itself will be tarnished. Both the Executive and the Legislature -- two vital arms of governance -- will be perceived by the people as institutions that are bereft of integrity," he said.

In a nutshell, acquiring power through the back door would demean and denigrate politics, he said, adding that Anwar also had no mandate to oust the democratically-elected government of the day.

Anwar, he claimed, was consumed by a single-minded obsession to become the country's prime minister in the shortest possible time.

Cry, the beloved country !

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