Speech Outside The Courthouse of The Trial of Anwar Ibrahim

Dec 14, 1998

(Adapated from 'Mark Anthony's Speech Over The Body of Julius Caesar', from the play 'Julius Caesar' by William Shakespeare)

Friends, Malaysians, countrymen,
Lend me your ears;
I come to see Anwar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft forgotten while they live;
So let it be with Anwar.

The noble Mahathir hath told you that Anwar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grevious fault,
And greviously hath Anwar answered it.

Here, under leave of Mahathir and the rest
- For Mahathir is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men
- Come I to speak at Anwar's trial.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Mahathir says he was ambitious;
And Mahathir is an honourable man.

He hath brought many men of trade from afar,
Whose gold did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Anwar seem ambitious?

When that the poor have cried, Anwar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Mahathir says he was ambitious;
And Mahathir is an honourable man.

You all did see that some in the General Assembly
Thrice presented to him the UMNO crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?

Yet Mahathir says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Mahathir spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then to mourn for him?
O judgement! thou are fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason.

Bear with me;
My heart is in the trial there with Anwar,
And I must pause till it comes back to me.

.........................................

If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
You all do know this coat:
I remember The first time ever Anwar put it on .....
Look, in this place ran Rahim Noor's dagger through:
See what a rent the envious Daim made:

Through this the well-beloved Mahathir stabbed;
And as he plucked his cursed steel away,
Mark how the blood of Anwar followed it,
As rushing out of doors to be resolved
If Mahathir so unkindly knocked or no:
For Anwar, as you know, was Mahathir's angel:
Judge, O you Gods, how dearly Mahathir loved him!

This was the most unkindest cut of all;
For when the noble Anwar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitor's arms,
Quite vanquished him: then burst his mighty heart;
And, in his coat muffling up his face,
Even at the base of Justice's statue,
Which all the while ran blood,
Great Anwar fell.

O, what a fall was there, my countrymen!
Then I, and you, and all of us fell down,
Whilst bloody treason flourished over us.

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