Khamis, 30 April 2015

Anwar Ibrahim

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Anwar Ibrahim

Anwar’s lawyers mull legal action to compel EC chief to allow Permatang Pauh vote

Posted: 30 Apr 2015 01:51 AM PDT


Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's lawyers said today legal action will be taken against Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof if the opposition leader is barred from voting in the Permatang Pauh by-election.

In a legal demand sent to Aziz earlier today, Anwar's lawyers said that the former Permatang Pauh MP had registered to vote before he was imprisoned and EC's refusal was a "breach of law".

"We are further instructed that you had in your capacity as the EC Chairman issued statements to news portal Malaysiakini on 27th and 29th April 2015 which you had denied our client's right to vote in Permatang Pauh by-election on May 7," the letter wrote.

"We are now instructed to demand that unless you confirm to us in writing that our client is entitled to vote in the by-election on May 7th and that he will be allowed to do so by the EC, within 24 hours hereof, we have instructions to file legal proceedings to compel you to do so without further reference to you."

In a statement, Anwar's lawyer N Surendran said Aziz cannot disregard Anwar's right to vote, citing Article 119(3)(a) and 119(4)(b) of the Federal Constitution.

The two laws stated that a person can be disqualified from voting if he or she is jailed at the time of registration.

This week, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was quoted by Bernama as saying that in the EC laws, any unsound mind or prisoners cannot vote.

"According to EC laws, there are a number of conditions including age limits and categories of people who are not allowed to vote, among them those who are insane and prisoners.

"I've have checked and found that no prisoners have been allowed to vote. This is not what I am saying, it's the law which is saying it," he said in the national news agency's report.

The Permatang Pauh seat fell vacant after Anwar was jailed for his second sodomy conviction on February 10.

‘I too am not alone’, fights back Azizah

Posted: 30 Apr 2015 12:58 AM PDT


PMTG PAUH Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail may be a petite woman, but now her fangs are out as she fights off claim after claim that threaten her chances of victory in Permatang Pauh.

In particular she is unhappy to be described as a “blind loyalist” to her husband, jailed PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim.

Last night at the anti-GST (goods and services tax) ceramah in Seberang Jaya, Azizah spoke with a firm voice and asked that she not be insulted during the campaign.

"Do not insult me, do not say I am a blind loyalist. I am not blind".

She was referring to allegations by a group of residents from Kajang, her constituency as assemblyperson, who claimed she merely obeys Anwar's orders.

"Anwar went through the same (sodomy) allegations twice – there were many things which were not right about his case," she said.

"Why should I follow BN and believe what they say about Anwar?" she asked the 500 who turned up for the ceramah.

Anwar was first jailed for abuse of power related to his first sodomy charge, from 2001 to 2006.

During his absence, Azizah contested his Permatang Pauh seat in the 1999, 2004 and 2008 national polls.

She was victorious in all three, but vacated her seat in July 31, 2008 to allow Anwar to recontest the seat for him to return to active politics.

She remained as PKR president since 1999, and her post was never challenged in the party's triennial internal elections.

Wan Azizah now faces three candidates – Umno's Suhaimi Sabudin, PRM's Azman Shah Othman and independent Salleh Isahak – vying for the parliamentary seat that goes to polls on May 7.

Early voting is on May 3. Anwar lost the seat when he failed to obtain royal pardon for his early release from jail.

'I am not alone'

Azizah also refuted an obscure news portal which alleged that Azizah was "lonely and alone" on her campaign trail, which has entered its sixth day today.

To show she was neither lonely nor alone, Azizah roped in several top Pakatan leaders to join her on stage as she delivered her short speech at the Tapak Expo.

Among them were PKR deputy chief Azmin Ali (right), central committee member Xavier Jayakumar, Seberang Perai assemblyperson Afif Bahardin, PAS deputy chief Mohamed 'Mat' Sabu, PAS central committee member Hatta Ramli, Penang PAS commissioner Mujahid Yusof Rawa, DAP's political secretary to the Penang chief minister Wong Hon Wai, Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto and Seri Delima assemblyperson RSN Rayer.

Last night at a dinner organised by PAS at Cross Street, Permatang Pasir, these leaders also sang Azizah's praises.

Azmin said Azizah is not an ordinary woman.

"A nation can be rotten because of corrupt leaders but Azizah lived a simple life compared to others," said the Selangor menteri besar.

Mahfuz (left) described Azizah as Permatang Pauh's "most suitable candidate" to take over Anwar’s baton.

"Her victory is not only important for Permatang Pauh, but also the whole country," said the Pokok Sena MP.

"All these years, Azizah and her family have suffered so much because of the struggle," he added.

‘You too, Muhyiddin?’

Hatta, who is PAS election director, reminded that Kak Wan was the founding president of PKR when the party was launched before the 1999 national polls.

She was also the country's first female opposition leader, he said.

She is committed to the struggle until now although her opponents, including Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, try to belittle her ability, he added.

Apart from BN's strategy to portray Azizah as living in her husband's shadow, Muhyiddin has kicked off a campaign to undermine Azizah by questioning her ability to juggle two constituencies.

However Hatta (right) called the DPM's bluff pointing out, "If they say she cannot take care of two constituencies, how about Muhyiddin?

"He is DPM in Putrajaya, but needs to serve his voters in Pagoh as he is the MP there," he said.

Hatta said Pakatan works as a team in Parliament, so the question of whether Azizah can serve Permatang Pauh as MP and Kajang as assemblyperson at the same time does not arise at all.


Carpet factor in Anwar’s judicial review bid

Posted: 30 Apr 2015 12:57 AM PDT


Claiming a miscarriage of justice, ?PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim today filed an application for a judicial review of the Feb 10 Federal Court decision on Sodomy II, for which he has been jailed for five years.

Anwar cited the unusually prompt statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office following his conviction and the Umno roadshow held after that featuring his case prosecutor Muhammad Shafee Abdullah (below, left), among reasons for the application.

He said he believed there was nothing before the court for it to convict and sentence him, owing to the conflicting evidence on the carpet – purportedly where the alleged incident occurred – which was moved to another unit.

His application for the review was filed by lawyers N Surendran and Michelle Yesudas. Also present was Anwar’s daughter, Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar.

Anwar, 67, wants the rulings of the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court in convicting him to be set aside.

His lawyers cited Rule 137 of the Federal Court Rules for the review of the application that was filed about 11am today.

Anwar, in his affidavit supporting the application, questioned the swiftness of the PMO in issuing its statement on the Federal Court verdict of Feb 10, which he argued gave the impression to the public that the PMO knew the decision before its pronouncement.

Shafee’s conduct at roadshows questioned

"Further it is not a practice for the PMO to issue such a statement in a criminal appeal and it has not happened before in the past in any case. There is no special reason in issuing such a statement.

"I respectfully say it is the abnormality in the conduct of the PMO has caused me grave injustice," the former opposition leader said.

Anwar further questioned Shafee’s conduct in having the roadshow following his conviction alleging that it was backed by Umno the ruling party.

He maintained that Umno is part of the claim of political conspiracy made against him, which was made by none other than Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak himself.

On the carpet used as evidence, defence counsel and former Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram said the alleged offence was said to have taken place in condo unit 11-5-1, but the carpet submitted to the court was seized from unit 11-5-2.

‘No evidence carpet was moved’

"The prosecution claimed that the carpet was moved but there is no evidence to suggest that. I do not believe in flying carpets," the senior lawyer had said.

Based on this matter alone, Gopal argued, the sodomy incident did not occurred.

Anwar further cited it was wrong for the court not to accept the evidence of an independent witness Dr Mohd Osman Abdul Hamid, as he was not a witness with any interest in the matter.

He further claimed inconsistency in Saiful’s evidence, in which the accuser testified that the underwear he wore on that fateful day was washed by his mother, but yet the prosecution tendered another of Saiful’s underwear with seminal stains on it.

"Incredibly, the underwear tendered was not the underwear Saiful wore and this renders his evidence as totally unreliable," Anwar argues in his application.

He also questioned investigating officer DSP Jude Blacious Pereira’s conduct in removing the samples taken from Saiful, which had been placed in a plastic bag, and re-labelling them.

"Yet the Federal Court ruled there was no break in the chain of evidence," he said.

Anwar also questioned the court’s rejection of defence witness Dr Thomas Hoogland’s evidence that he (Anwar) was labouring intense back pain and could not have committed the purported (sex) act, but yet it accepted evidence from Hospital Kuala Lumpur’s Dr Jeyaindran Sinnadurai.

Later, outside the court, Nurul Izzah told reporters that they would continue to fight for Anwar, whom she described as a political prisoner as the family believed him to be innocent.

Claiming ‘miscarriage of justice’, Anwar asks Federal Court to review sodomy conviction

Posted: 30 Apr 2015 12:53 AM PDT


Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today filed an application with the Federal Court to review his recent sodomy conviction and five-year jail sentence, in yet another attempt to exonerate himself after failing to secure a royal pardon earlier.

Anwar's lawyer N. Surendran said that an application was filed this morning to seek a fresh panel of judges at the Federal Court to review its previous decision.

"The reason is grave miscarriage of justice in the first decision," he told reporters here when explaining the grounds of the review bid filed under Rule 137 of the Rules of Federal Court 1995.

“The court has powers to review its own decision when there has been injustice,” the PKR vice-president added, also arguing later that the Anwar was wrongly imprisoned.

PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar, who was also present, maintained the PKR de-facto leader's innocence and said he is a political prisoner.

“That is the sentiment of the family: ‘We will never surrender’,” Anwar eldest daughter said, noting that the family will not give up on seeking his release through existing legal avenues, despite hardships such as only being allowed monthly visits to the 68-year-old.

On February 10, the Federal Court sentenced Anwar to five years' jail when it upheld the Court of Appeal's 2014 ruling that had reversed Anwar's acquittal of sodomising former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

With the sodomy conviction, Anwar was barred from appearing in Parliament and was disqualified as a federal lawmaker.

According to the application today sighted by reporters, Anwar wants both the Federal Court and Court of Appeal’s decision against him to be set aside.

Alternatively, Anwar wants to have his appeal against the Court of Appeal’s conviction reheard on its merits.

In the same court document, Anwar stated two grounds for his review bid, including his view that the Court of Appeal’s March 7, 2014 decision to convict him ought to be set aside “to prevent injustice”.

Anwar also said the Federal Court’s judgement had been rendered “objectively unsafe” by both the Prime Minister’s Office’s statement on the same day of the apex court’s decision and the conduct of the lead prosecutor after the ruling.

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