Wednesday, July 16, 2008
KUTIPAN DARI BLOG THE SCRIBE A KADIR JASIN
A Kadir Jasin
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MALAYSIAN politics and the state apparatus that support it are fast becoming a joke, if it’s not already one.Just consider the midday arrest of Anwar Ibrahim today.Last night I heard on Bernama TV the Bukit Aman CID Chief Mohd Bakri Zinin saying something to the effect that Anwar had until 2pm today to give his statement to the police.The Star newspaper reported today that Anwar, who had agreed to turn up at 2pm today to give his statement, faced possible arrest if he failed to keep his words.But before the clock struck two, the police intercepted him in front of his Bukit Segambut on the outskirt of Kuala Lumpur and whisked him away in a police car. According to Malaysiakini the arrest took place at 12.55pm.
The de facto Parti Keadilan Rakyat leader was returning home after making statement to the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) over his criminal allegations against the Inspector General of Police Musa Hasan and Attorney General Abdul Ghani Patail.
It has to be a joke, if as reported by Malaysiakini, 15 police patrol cars were at Anwar’s house to escort him to the Kuala Lumpur Police Contingent Office.I would not dare speculate if the swift his arrest has anything to do with what he told the ACA. I don’t think so.I can’t imagine the ACA sharing real time information with the police – not when they were involved in investigating each other’s top officials in recent months.
Despite my opening remark, I am not about to trivialise Anwar's arrest into a joke.The arrest of a politician of Anwar’s reputation only hours after he had appeared on TV -- including the state-sponsored Bernama TV – in a milestone public debate (with Information Minister Ahmed Shabery Chek) cannot be a joke.It serves to attract more attention to him and his cause.The show-of-force, if there has been one, will not help to endear the people to the authorities. Instead it will generate sympathy for Anwar.But to some people, the whole episode is a joke. Consider the following SMS that I received from an Editor-in-Chief of a very important mainstream newspaper:“Anwar Ibrahim is expected to come out of police station wit(h) two black eyes. One from igp n (and) another from ag. However both will be self inflicted.”I think this is in bad taste and wholly inappropriate.
The country’s reputation cannot trivialised into an SMS joke unless we intend to make Malaysia the laughing stock of the world.