Jumaat, Februari 05, 2010

Public confidence and the trial of Anwar Ibrahim

Certain features of the trial of Dato’ Sri Anwar Ibrahim pose a serious challenge to public confidence in the government. Public confidence is essential to the basic functioning of government.

1) The trial is being conducted in an overwhelmingly politicized environment. Part of its context is the earlier trial of Anwar on the same charge, a trial which was perceived worldwide as politically motivated. We do not longer live in an insulated world.

2) Pre-trial publicity by the local mainstream media has been so blatantly unbalanced as to convey the impression that the media are pursuing a political agenda. Since the local mainstream media is either government owned or tightly controlled, this translates into the impression that the government itself has an interest in its outcome.

3) Many Malaysians believe that sections of the executive and political establishment have an interest in this trial. There does not seem to have been any attempt to remove this suspicion.

In such circumstances the principle that justice must not only be done but seen to be done is breached. As in the case of the constitutional crisis in Perak and in the openly illegal denial of oil royalty payments to Terengganu and now to Kelantan, we as Malaysians suffer when our Government loses credibility domestically and internationally.

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah
Member of Parliament, Gua Musang
Press statement: February 4, 2010


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