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Date [ 2014-03-12, 05:40 ]

The question now is, whither the coming Kajang By-Election.

(Kuala Lumpur=Koreanpress) by RamaniRathir =Just when you thought it was all peace and quiet,Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim had the sodomy trail looming over his head. There was a chance that the Court of Appeal would overturn his acquittal.

He took an early lead to fight for his innocence by going on a nationwide tour on January 3, 2013,to proclaim his innocence and clear a path for the next coming general elections.

The opposition leader began an eight-state, six-day tour in Johor and planned to end in a courthouse rally as a fitting finale for the January 9th verdict. This would bring to an end the nearly two-year-old trial.

Well, Anwar was freed and the country went on towards the 2013 General Elections. When the dust had settled, the Barisan National government was still in power but the Opposition, though it had lesser states, held a prime jewel – Selangor.

The richest state in Malaysia was soon embroiled in internal struggles and a water tussle with independent water suppliers like Syabas. Then came the Kajang By-Elections with voting set for March 23, 2014. It was quite a surprise for many when Anwar entered the fray. But it soon took on the appearance of a circus with a number of independents stepping in as candidate, one of them a former ‘dangdut’ singer.

Now independent Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has decided to withdraw from the by-election. His explanation “Khalid’s (Selangor MB) position is secure and therefore the state government will be stable.”

Meanwhile, the BN after much dithering, finally put in an MCA candidate, Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun. In the pipelines are house-to-house campaigns, group gatherings, meet-the-people-sessions, all with the full support of the MCA Youth and Wanita wings.

Just as the battle fronts and strategies were put in place, came the shocker.  The Court of Appeal overturned the earlier ruling on Anwar where he was freed and instead now sentenced him to five years of imprisonment. He was penalized under Section 377B, read with Section 377A of the Penal Code.This effectively pulled him out from the Kajang By-Election.

Datuk Anwar protested and is appealing. Meanwhile, in a swift move, Pakatan Rakyat presidential council announced Anwar’s wife as the candidate for the Kajang By-Election.  Datuk Seri Dr.Wan Azzizah Ismail will now enter the fray and is looked upon as a heavyweight too.

Meanwhile the Malaysian Bar Council announced it was deeply troubled byAnwar’s conviction. Bar Council President, Christopher Leong told the Sun, “A law is only good and just if it is consistently and equally applied and enforced.

It is extraordinary that Anwar has been prosecuted and convicted twice, in a country that has rarely seen a prosecution and/or conviction for an offence of consensual act between adults under Section 377A, read with Section 377B of the Penal Code.

To the man in the street it was simply a move to get Anwar out of politics, and more so from the forthcoming Kajang By-Elections. Expect some surprises come March 23, 2014.


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