Media Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, 6th August 2008: 

If Anwar is denied bail, the very morality and legitimacy of the Abdullah premiership will come under question – nationally and internationally

I was not surprised when I received a call from Anwar Ibrahim at 11.38 am informing me that he had been asked to appear to be charged in court at 10 am tomorrow.

But the expectation did not diminish one whit the shock and dismay at hearing its confirmation.

For while like most Malaysians, who are not really surprised that Anwar is being dragged to court for the second time on a sodomy charge, we also nurse the hope and wish that sanity will prevail in our land and the country spared another traumatic political trial where Malaysia’s yet-to-be launched judicial reform to restore our international reputation two decades ago where there is just rule of law and a truly independent judiciary would not come to an abrupt end.

Just like Anwar’s Sodomy I trial, any Sodomy II trial is not going to be just about Anwar as the nation and our future will be on trial.

Are we a nation which deserves international trust and respect for our high and unquestioned regard for the rule of law and a judiciary of independence, impartiality, integrity and meritocracy?

Are we a nation where investors can safely place their investments because we are a nation of laws and not of men?

When news go out to the nation and the world tomorrow of Anwar’s Sodomy II charge, it will be a sad and black day for Malaysia as it will be a clear and unmistakable signal that Malaysia has not dissociated from its recent dark past, where laws were used to suppress dissent and legitimate political and democratic challenge rather than to build a united, just, progressive and prosperous Malaysia.

Investor sentiments, both foreign and domestic, which are already worried about the national drift and lack of direction in the five months since the March 8 “political tsunami” as reflected in the 227-point drop in the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index from 1,355 on March 7 to 1,128 yesterday (August 5), are going to be even more negative.

Will Anwar be allowed bail tomorrow so that he could campaign for the Permatang Pauh by-election – with the nomination and polling dates set by the Election Commission on August 16 and 26 respective?

Or will Anwar be denied bail and has to campaign from behind the bars of Sungei Buloh prison?

If Anwar is denied bail, the very morality and legitimacy of the Abdullah premiership will come under question, nationally and internationally – which will be a very sad end for a Prime Minister who had started his administration with such high hopes and great mandate from ordinary Malaysians less than five years ago!

* Lim Kit Siang,  DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor