All along, Barisan Nasional leaders headed by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had been accusing Anwar and his defence team of dragging out the trial, even castigating Anwar for faking headaches.
But suddenly, the Malaysian public gets the impression that the
table has turned, and it is the government which is doing its utmost to
delay and drag out the trial and Malaysians are asking, who is faking what?
Why has the Barisan Nasional government changed its stance from wanting to rush the second Anwar Ibrahim trial into wanting to delay it until after the general election?
The latest twist and turn of the Anwar trial is a confirmation of two things: that the Anwar trial is the political trial of the century - where the prevailing consideration is not law or justice but politics! Secondly, corruption and abuses of power run rampant in the highest reaches of government and political leadership.
It would appear that Anwar’s trial is one important factor in the last-minute decision by Mahathir to cancel his trip to attend the CHOGM meeting in South Africa and dissolve Parliament - in particular Anwar’s testimony naming names of the high-and-mighty in government detailing their corrupt practices and abuses of power and Mahathir’s fear of being sub-poenaed to take the stand in the witness box.
It is a great shame that two years after the passage of what had been described as the law to end corruption, the 1997 Anti-Corruption Act, corruption in Malaysia has become even more rampant with total lack of accountability. The Anti-Corruption Agency, though armed with more powers under the new Act, is even more irrelevant in the war against corruption than in the first 30 years of the ACA’s existence.
For this reason, the DAP is organising a public forum entitled "Corruption, Cronyism and Nepotism - Two Years After the 1997 Anti-Corruption Act" at Federal Hotel on Thursday, 18th November 1999 and the speakers include the Transparency International Vice Chairman, Tunku Aziz, Malaysian economist Professor Jomo K.S., DAP Deputy National Chairman Karpal Singh, DAP National Vice Chairman Dr. Tan Seng Giaw and myself.
I hereby publicly invite the ACA Director-General Datuk Ahmad Zaki Hussin to the forum to restore public confidence in the independence, professionalism and the integrity of the ACA.
If the ACA Director-General is afraid even to appear at a public forum on corruption, then the ACA has no independence, professionalism and integrity to talk about.
The issues which the forum will address will include the statutory declaration by former Bank Negara assistant governor Datuk Abdul Murad Khalid dated 26th October 1999 that former Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had amassed a fortune of RM3 billion while in government through 20 "Master Accounts" and the five police reports which Anwar had lodged naming names of those in high political places who had been guilty of corruption and abuses of power.
I am sure the forum would be extremely interested to know from the ACA Director-General whether the ACA has formed a special squad to root out the politics of money and corruption in the 10th general election so that it would not be the "dirtiest" election in the nation’s history.