Published: July 31 2008 17:51 | Last updated: July 31 2008 17:51
The FT’s Assif Shameen spoke to Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia’s opposition leader, about the sodomy charges that he faces and his intent to return to politics. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.
Financial Times: There are reports that you will be arrested and charged imminently. Clearly, you don’t think they have a case?
Anwar Ibrahim: First of all, with all the evidence that is now before them, I don’t see any reason why the authorities should continue with these investigations of alleged sodomy. There is this medical report, which is authentic, very clear. A doctor who examined the accuser clearly ruled out any alleged sodomy.
In any other system where there is justice and fairness, the powers would have by now shut down the investigations and cleared my name. But here in Malaysia, in our so-called police state, it is the intent of the officials, particularly the Inspector General of Police, Musa Hassan, which seems to matter most. This is the same man who was involved in my case in 1998 when I was blind folded and brutally assaulted. I have filed a complaint against him citing his involvement. But instead of addressing pressing economic problems like soaring inflation, the government is trying to divert public attention with this filthy sodomy charade.
Financial Times: The government says it must proceed with the sodomy complaint in accordance with law. If you are innocent, as you say, why not just cooperate with investigators?
Anwar Ibrahim: I am cooperating and I have cooperated. Even though I was never shown a copy of the complaint filed by the accuser or officially told exactly what I am being accused of, I have cooperated with the police and tried to answer all their questions. You have probably heard the reports of how they came to arrest me, how I was forced to strip at a government and how I was forced to stay in a cell overnight. All this was staged to humiliate me. On my part, I have provided them fool-proof evidence, alibi. There are no grounds whatsoever for them to proceed any further.
On the other hand, there is compelling evidence of a deliberate and persistent attempt to incriminate me. Why else would they not show me a copy of my accuser’s complaint after six weeks? Why else do they insist on my DNA or blood samples after they have seen a medical report that clearly says that the accuser was never sodomised? Because they want to fabricate evidence. This is what they did in 1998. Just look at their track record. The players are same, the police chief, the attorney general. Same people using same tricks.
Financial Times: Why do you think the authorities are doing this to you?
Anwar Ibrahim: Because they are terrified. Because their corrupt system is crumbling. You see, these are desperate people. [more]