This is why for instance the New Straits Times today carried the screaming front-page headline: "Query over Anwar’s urine test" although it carried a second and less-noticed heading: "MMA: Proper procedure not followed, only inquiry can shed light on doubts".
The New Straits Time front-page headline story started as follows:
"Malaysian Medical Association president Dr. P. Krishnan said although it was not unusual to send specimens overseas for testing, one should not use another person’s name for such tests.
"’The specimen should carry the name of the person concerned,’ he said at the MMA headquarters.
"Anwar’s urine sample was purportedly labelled under the false name and sent to the Gribbles Pathology Laboratory in Melbourne on August 18 where it tested positive for arsenic poisoning.
"Dr. Krishnan said the alleged poisoning case also left several other questions unanswered.
"How was the urine sample smuggled out of prison? And are Anwar’s fellow inmates suffering from arsenic poisoning? These are questions which a thorough inquiry can shed light on."
Although Dr. Krishnan also correctly said that only a Royal Commission of Inquiry could determine the cause of any arsenic poisoning of Anwar, the effect of MMA’s support for a Royal Commission of Inquiry has been lost as compared to MMA’s seeming support for the stand taken by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad that Anwar’s arsenic poisoning was either self-inflicted or a fake.
Dr. Krishnan is being naïve when he asked why Anwar’s urine sample was not marked in the name of the owner, making Malaysians wonder whether the MMA President is living in a world of his own completely divorced from the real world where a former Deputy Prime Minister could be assaulted to an inch of his death when he was first arrested and detained in Bukit Aman, and left to die without medical attention for five days or where all the apparatus and institutions of the state could be subverted in the pursuit of the agenda of the powers-that-be.
I would suggest that Dr. Krishnan read the heart-rending article entitled "JEFFERSON VS. MAHATHIR: HOW THE WEST CAME TO THIS MUSLIM’S RESCUE" by Dr. Munawar A. Anees in the Los Angles Times.
Los Angeles’ Times described Munawar as "a scholar and cultural critic who founded and edited the prestigious journal, Periodica Islamica, ……who served a six month sentence after being tried for having sexual relations with former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, a charge Anees denied as part of a set up to imprison Anwar and remove him from political life."
This is Munawar’s description of his own harrowing experience in Malaysia:
"Barely surviving on a meager diet of rancid rice and chicken along with twelve medicines a day, I spent nearly four months handcuffed around the clock to my hospital bed, under the watchful eyes of the prison guards.
"Thereafter, my ability to speak, read and write took a considerable time to show signs of recovery. Short-term memory lapses were frequent. I existed in a fluid state in which suicidal tendencies, depression and despair were punctuated by fits of rage and indignation.
"Weekly visits of less than an hour by my wife, Nadia, with our young children - Aisha and Omran - were my only contact with the outside world and the only inspiration to live on.
"In collusion with the lawyer appointed on my behalf by the police, the Malaysian authorities refused the legal assistance of my choice, coercing me not to mount an appeal against the court verdict and threatening me with greater punishment under new charges if I didn't cooperate.
"Simultaneously, Nadia constantly endured police harassment, wiretapping and disruption of our E-mail and bank accounts. Some of our friends were met with the same fate and compelled to abandon us when we needed them most."
If Dr. Krishnan can believe Munawar’s account of his own harrowing experience in the hands of the powers-that-be, he would not be so naïve as to raise the question as to why Anwar’s urine sample had to be sent off to Australia for tests under an assumed name.
Bernama’s report of Dr Krishnan’s statement also said the MMA President questioned the timing the issue was raised, especially with the ongoing 12th Commonwealth Law Conference, saying that this could jeopardise the country's image.
This is another unfortunate statement by the MMA President which could only play into the hands of the Barisan Nasional propagandists especially as the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and other Cabinet Ministers, notably the Minister for International Trade and Industry, Datuk Paduka Rafidah Aziz had tried to make political capital on this issue, asking why why it took so long for Datin Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Anwar’s lawyers to submit the urine test report from Melbourne to the court.
They claimed that according to Azizah, Anwar's urine samples were sent to the Gribbles Pathology Laboratory in Melbourne on Aug 18 and the results were received on Aug 26. The Kuala Lumpur High Court was informed of the urine test showing that Anwar was suffering from arsenic poisoning on Sept. 10 - i.e. a 14-day delay in disclosing the report. Dr Mahathir even said that usually if a person were to suffer from poisoning he would waste no time in going to the hospital for treatment.
In actual fact, there had been no 14-day delay in disclosing the results of Anwar’s urine test, which showed a high level of arsenic content.
At a press conference on Sept. 10 itself, Azizah had explained that the sample was sent to Gribbles Pathology Malaysia Bhd on Aug 18 and its laboratory in Melbourne carried out tests on Aug 26 and sent back the results of the tests to their local representative on Sept 8 at 7.02pm.
Azizah received the computer-generated report the following day, on
Sept 9, and this information was brought to the attention of the
court the very next day on Sept. 10.
After Mahathir’s preposterous and baseless allegation that Anwar’s "black eye" last September was self-inflicted, MMA and other organisations should be careful that they do not fall into the Barisan Nasional propaganda trap purveying the line that Anwar’s arsenic poisoning was self-inflicted or a fake