North Door 37 Publishing

CHANGE is difficult.  In my 20s, I remember talking to an old school friend, who expressed her utter unhappiness at life as she knew it, the marriage, the child... To cope, she was taking drugs — to inure her from the pain of every day living.  It occurred to me that the answer was quite obvious and simple, so I asked: why don't you leave?  Her answer was perturbing:

I'm afraid that if I leave, I may find out that the problem isn't my situation, but me.  That I am just an unhappy person.

And so she stayed.  And over the years, we have lost touch because even though I write at least once a year to wish her a Happy Birthday, she has stopped writing back, and I have stopped insisting I need a reply so that I know she's okay.  It's to be expected, I guess.  After all, we are not sixteen any more and so many other people have come into our lives ~ to take up space, to insist they are top priority; leaving you so busy juggling you don't notice a whole day, two weeks, eight months, ten years have suddenly passed by.

I promised myself that I would never accept second-best.  That being alone was better than being with someone who didn't make you fulfilled.  Well, said the Universe, so long as you're going to do that let's just test your mettle with a nice cold dose of shite we call 'life.'  You can thank me later.

Have you noticed that?  That those who believe change is the answer are the ones that land up looking like they have been bird bombed with droppings?  Consider Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi, a political prisoner, under house arrest for 15 years, and still denied the presidency the people have voted for; South Africa's Nelson Mandela ~ 27 years in prison.

Yesterday, Malaysia's Federal Court ruled Anwar Ibrahim ~the country's first opposition leader to offer real political change since 1959~ guilty of sodomy.  A crime that is punishable by caning and imprisonment.  The inclusion of imprisonment in Anwar's biography ensures he will never be in a position to lead the country again.  Anwar and his supporters, which includes his wife, daughter, and the U.S. government, are crying foul — that Malaysia's judicial system is now as corrupt as its political system.

When Anwar told the five federal court judges, “You have become partners in crime in the murder of judicial independence,” (Ben Doherty, The Guardian) they stood up and walked out of the room.  As Malaysia's Star Online posted on Twitter: "Judges, including the Chief Justice walk out of courtroom before Anwar finishes his speech from the dock."

Actually, what one of the judges reportedly said as he walked-out was: “I don’t need to hear all this.”

An attitude that only gives credence to Anwar's position that there is no real justice to be found in his country.  This sodomy case has been ongoing for several years now and a High Court actually acquitted Anwar of the charges in 2012, citing lack of evidence.  There it should have ended.  But the Malaysian Government appealed.  As Phil Robertson, Deputy Director of Human Rights Watch (Asia Division) told Malaysian Insider as to why he believed Anwar would be convicted: "...the government has worked very hard to pursue this case through the system...."

Former American ambassador to Malaysia, John Malott was more direct.  He told Malaysian Insider: "This is a political trial.  Think about the fact that only seven cases of this kind have ever gone to court in Malaysia's history, and two of them involved Anwar."

Perhaps we are just a cynical world in seeing not coincidence but political manoeuvrings in Anwar's two arrests, which just happened to occur before an election.  Or perhaps it was apparent that Malaysian voters were ready for change, and ready to take the leap.  After all, how happy and safe can anyone feel at the threat of being arrested for sedition, or worse, just because you have an opposing view?

By the way, in breaking news, Star Online has posted on Twitter that the political cartoonist Zunar, who had had his office trashed earlier this month by Malaysian police (while he was in London), is now under arrest.  His crime?  Reportedly tweeting, "these lackeys in black are proud in sentencing (Anwar). There must have been attractive rewards given by their political masters." (The Star Online.)

Just in case there were any more foolish dissendents out there, City CID chief Senior Asst Comm Zainuddin Ahmad had the press report that the arrest was made in front of the cartoonist's house in Pantai Dalam.

Change is difficult.  Especially for a political party that has been in power since the formation of Malaysia.  It is jaundice that has us telling you that of the six Prime Ministers Malaysia has had since its formation, 'popularity' is what has allowed three members of the same family to sit in the power position of Prime Minister.  There is another name for this kind of rule but it escapes me right now.


For more reading on the formation of Malaysia ad its politics: Datuk R.G. Barrett

The reason I think he will be convicted is because the government has worked very hard to pursue this case through the system. We hope that the court will be independent and impartial, and make their decision based on evidence.

What the government has done is tarnish Anwar’s reputation for seven years through this charge, which is very explosive among Malay voters – they have cast him in the worst possible manner, (accused him of acts) contrary to the beliefs of many Malays on sexual orientation and gender, deliberate smearing him with a charge that shouldn’t be a crime, dragging it out, distracting him from his duties as the opposition leader, and trying to put him back in prison.

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Phil Robertson (pic), deputy director, Human Rights Watch Asia division - See more at:

Written by H B — February 10, 2015

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