I am one of many that expected Anwar Ibrahim to be found guilty. I expected so not because I believe he is guilty, but just because I distrust the Malaysian justice system. And when the judge ruled in favor of Anwar, I found myself pleasantly surprised. I am glad for the ruling for two reasons.

First, like I have mentioned, I do not believe that the former Deputy Prime Minister is guilty as charged. The whole episode appears ridiculous from the outset. The circumstances of the whole charge are suspect.

This of course opens me up to the charge of cherry picking: when the judgment works unfavorably, the system is accused as biased but when it works favorably, the system is fine. In my defense, I am not a fan of Anwar and I maintain certain distrust of him. That said, I think I can see gross injustice for what it is; this is not so much about Anwar Ibrahim per se.

It is really also about, if a person as influential as him can be treated like that, what about the ordinary man on the streets like me? Besides, we all (still) have a stake in this society. To have a gross injustice goes quietly in the night will spell trouble later if not immediately.

Second, which is probably more important and more concrete is that I really do not want to see another 1998 in terms of political strive. Furthermore, I personally have run out of enthusiasm for large protests and I definitely have issues with large and sustained protests like the ones in Bangkok not too long ago. I do not want to see a Bangkok in Kuala Lumpur.

I am a liberal but there is such a thing as too much protests. I am not contesting the rights of the protestors (as long as they are peaceful, and peaceful in the truest sense of the word and not according to the Peaceful Assembly Bill 2011). The point I am bringing up is that continuous protests introduce protest fatigue. That fatigue can easily take away popularity of a cause. It makes many angry in the most unproductive manner. And I think, politically and strategically, this is an important factor that must not be discounted.

If a large protest had erupted today, it would blow up a conflict within me: between the distaste of large, sustained protests and the need to stand up. But with the ruling, I have escaped that seemingly impossible knot.

Despite all that, this is only a High Court ruling. Possibly, there is some way to go still, if the prosecution is to appeal the judgment today.

2 Responses to “[2486] Glad Anwar is not guilty”

  1. on 10 Jan 2012 at 00:05 zaaba

    Sir, would you consider today’s court gathering a “peaceful gathering” according to the Public Assembly Bill 2011?

  2. on 10 Jan 2012 at 08:32 Hafiz Noor Shams

    Possibly. (Don’t sir me la)

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