Happy New Year?

January 5th, 1999

The first piece of news to greet me when I read the paper on the plane from a holiday in Thailand was the A-Gs admission of police responsibility for the Anwar beating. Not that there was any doubt of it in the Malaysian public's mind - did anyone seriously believe our PM's hypothesis that Anway pummelled his face with his fists in his cell? But to have it out in the open for the world to see was a disgrace to the country and it was a day of shame for every Malaysian. From being a first-class advanced, progressive, democratic nation in the eyes of the world, we are today being seen as no better than any third-rate tin-pot banana republic police dictatorship.

Just as I'm recovering from that, today we're hit with yet another bombshell. The resignation of the IGP further adds to the burden of guilt. Yet again, our darkest fears and suspicions were confirmed.

What about our other suspicions? Is our judiciary at the beck and call of its political masters? Is there really a political conspiracy? Is all of this merely just a desperate attempt by the crony class to preserve their political influence and ill-gotten wealth? Will *these* suspicions be confirmed in the next few months as well?

1998 was a helluva year. And 1999 so far promises to be another helluva year. So much for Datuk Mustapa Mohamed pronouncement a couple of weeks ago that Malaysia's political crisis has been "resolved".

Just look at the 'cetusan rasa' from ordinary Malaysians at Kempen Cinta Mahathir, oops, I mean, the Kempen Cinta Negara feeback at http://mail.rtm.net.my/ . What the powers-that-be expected to be an outpouring of rage at these Reformasi traitors has ended up to be an outpouring of rage at Mahathir and the government. If this 'Cetusan Rasa' reflects public opinion now, we can safely say bye-bye to UMNO and Barisan Nasional. Despite the millions of recession ringgits spent on plastic flags and tv ads by the now obviously bankrupt MBf. And the trial goes on. One side has painted this disgusting image of a man spraying his mattress with fountains of semen and a women drenching it with vaginal mucus. The other side painted an equally disgusting picture of policemen meticulously smearing handfuls of ill-gotten semen on the same mattress. There are those who firmly believe Anwar is innocent, there are those who just as firmly believe (who need to proclaim that they believe) that he is guilty. But it doesn't really matter - innocent or guilty, almost everyone *knows* he will be convicted. Just ask anyone at your workplace or your local teh tarik stall.

Tun Salleh Abas once said that "..the Judiciary has no army or police force to execute its mandate to compel obedience to its decrees ... the strength of the Judiciary is in the command it has over the hearts and minds of men ... it flourishes when judges are independent and courageous... but that independence is unlikely to flourish if the society itself does not show faith and trust in its judges."

When so many Malaysians already know what the verdict of the Anwar trial will be, how many of us can truly say that we have 'faith and trust' in our judges? After the IGP's resignation today, and all the 'turning over' and 'solid grip' antics of our guardians of the law, how many of us already have no 'faith and trust' in our police? How many of us have 'faith and trust' in our media? How many of us still have 'faith and trust' in our government?

Supporters of justice can only feel a calm satisfaction that, with each passing day, more people will learn the truth, more will people will see the evil that has pervaded our most hallowed institutions.

And with each passing day will grow a calm determination to ensure that this evil is forever crushed and extinguished from our beloved land.

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