In an earlier posting Anwar Ibrahim - accused sodomy to accused sedition I highlighted that the Kelantan Police called Anwar Ibrahim in for questioning, in relation to alleged seditious remarks he had made at the Pengkalan Pasir by-election campaign last year.
Seditious utterance is a crime falling under Section 4 of the Sedition Act 1948. The maximum penalty is three years’ jail or RM 5000 fine or both.
I tossed around a few possibilities as to why Anwar was hauled in. The 5th point I made was that perhaps he needs to be shut up, not so much for his criticism of the government and its policies, but for very very nasty information that he could have threatened to tell-all, or that UMNO feels that he could tell-all, that would have inflicted serious political or even legal damage to UMNO top wigs?
I speculated that the Police investigation could be a warning to him that if he doesn't observe the laws of UMNO omerta, he could end up behind bars for another 3 years, or more in Hotel Kamunting.
Anwar has left the Kelantan police in no uncertain doubts as to what he thinks of their ‘harassment’. By police ‘harassment’ he has implied that there were ‘powers’ behind the police motive.
Well, I am certainly glad he understands that a government in power could well conduct all sorts of 'harassment', as in the case of Aptet II conference in KL some 10 years ago, when a mob of UMNO Youth 'harassed' [violently] those delegates of regional NGOs who were attempting to work out a peaceful solution to stop Indonesian persecution of the East Timorese.
Some members of that thuggish mob are now with our former Deputy PM in PKR.
Anyway, enough of reminding him of his UMNO past - his lawyer, Sankara Nair said:
“In his statement, he (Anwar) told the police there were hundreds of reports which were far more serious including those against corrupt leaders but the police chose to act on a report which merely contained the opinion of one person claiming that he (Anwar) uttered seditious remarks.”
“The report did not even specify what the remarks were.”
Sankara revealed what the basic outline of the report against Anwar has been: “It stated that Anwar uttered derogatory words against the police, judiciary and Umno. It was a very general accusation... what was it exactly that was said, we have no idea. That is why we see the entire episode as an attempt to muzzle freedom of expression.”
I wasn’t aware that derogatory words against UMNO could be seditious? And my dear readers, everyone is criticising the police day in day out. As for the judiciary, they used to be despised until only recently, when they regained a wee bit of our respect after a few of their lordships began to adjudicate like their predecessors of pre-Mahathir days.
Anwar demanded that the police act more professionally. Then he said something in front of his admirers who gathered at his house that I consider very grandstand-ish (aiming for cheap popularity) – when criticizing the government for raising the price of fuel by 30 sen, he declared that the opposition would reverse this fuel price decision if elected.
Anwar knows that would be as unsound as capitulating to the IMF during the Asian meltdown.