Is Najib so cruel, callous and heartless as to want Anwar to be jailed for 20 years and not released until he is an octogenarian?

I find it shocking, unbelievable and outrageous that the Attorney-General is counter-appealing against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s five-year jail sentence in the Sodomy II case when the Federal Court sits on Tuesday and Wednesday to hear Anwar’s appeal against his Court of Appeal conviction and sentence on March 7.

It has been reported that the prosecution has counter-appealed and wants Anwar to be jailed for more than five years contending that the Court of Appeal’s five-year jail sentence is “manifestly inadequate”, “does not reflect the gravity of the offence” and “fails to serve the ends of justice from the perspective of public interest”.

There are forces among those in power who want to get rid of the Opposition, by “hook or by crook”, but I want to ask the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak whether he is so cruel, callous and heartless as to want Anwar to be jailed for 20 years and not released until he is an octogenarian?

Is this in conformity with Najib’s preaching of wasatiyyah or moderation with its emphasis on the principles of justice, balance and excellence?

Here we see another glaring difference in the political ethos and culture between Malaysia and Indonesia.

In Indonesia, it is become commonplace for the movers and shakers of the political elite, including Ministers, to be convicted and sent behind bars – not for the most far-fetched of offences, but for clear and specific violations of the law such as corrupt practices, like:

*the former Youth and Sports Minister Andi Mallarangeng sentenced to four years in jail in July for receiving Rp 4 billion ($330,000) and $550,000 in bribes connected to the construction of the Hambalang sports training centre in West Java and his appeal was rejected a few days ago;

*in early September, the former Energy and Mining Minister Jero Wacik named as a suspect in an alleged extortion case to raise nearly Rp 10 billion ($585,000) for his ministerial operational fund;

*and in late September, the former chairman of President Susilo Bambang Sudhoyono’s Democratic Party, Anas Urbaningrum sentenced by the Corruption Court to eight years in jail, fined Rp 300 million (US$25,200) demanded restitution payments of Rp 57.5 billion and $5.2 million.after finding him guilty of corruption and money laundering.

KPK (Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission) had challenged and appealed against the eight-year jail sentence for Anas as being too lenient.

Malaysians and Indonesians can understand the Indonesian authorities appealing against Anas’ sentence to eight years in jail, which was less than half of the 15-year prison term sought by the Indonesian prosecution.

But what could be the “public interest” in the Malaysian prosecution in appealing against Anwar’s five-year jail sentence, apart serving the ulterior political objective of the powers-that-be to kill off the Parliamentary Opposition Leader?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah