Press Statement: 9 January 2012
Public Vigilance and participation applauded in the Anwar Ibrahim acquittal
SUARAM welcomes the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s acquittal of the Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim from the charge of sodomy. Suaram applaud the High Court’s decision for the strength showed by the presiding judge to distant the legal process from any form of political decision and made decision on the findings and evidence adduced.
The decision sets the Judiciary to the right direction to establish its independence and credibility and regain the diminishing public confidence in the institution. SUARAM however view that the decision is just a minor step forward in setting the milestone over the independence of the judiciary as the major reforms and improvements that is needed for the full recovery remains pending.
SUARAM strongly believes that the verdict given today is strongly attributed to the vigilance and pressure of the Malaysian people and the international community over the concern of the Malaysian judiciary’s independence and professionalism. SUARAM views that the positive judgment is a result of the public participation in the process as it stood to defeat all conspiracies and manipulations that were reported in the media throughout the trial. The 901 judgment is simply a result of the victory of the people’s power over the corrupt system.
SUARAM however remain cautious over the current development and remain vigilant on the lack of structural changes and improvement in the appointment of judges and on trial proceedings in our Malaysian judiciary especially in the lower courts and Magistrate system.
Suaram calls on the government to implement all the recommendations made by the previous Royal Commission on the VK Lingam Scandal.
SUARAM also remain highly concern with the politicisation of sexuality as a political weapon as seen for the second time in the case of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. The case highlights the continuous usage of the archaic and outdated sodomy law to persecute an individual of his personal dignity and political ambitions. We remain concern over the act of politicising sexuality and the usage of sodomy laws as a tool for it.
SUARAM views that criminalising any form of private consensual sex between adults and the act of politicising and manipulating any sexual behaviors for a political decision shall be condemned as a human rights violation and an invasion of privacy and personal dignity. SUARAM further calls for the abolition of our outdated sodomy laws.