Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (picture) said parts of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s ongoing sodomy trial is posing a serious challenge to public confidence in the government as it was being held in a politicised environment with unbalanced pre-trial publicity.
In a statement today, the Kelantan prince noted that “public confidence is essential to the basic functioning of government” amid speculation that Anwar is facing the sodomy charge due to his coalition pact’s historic sweep of four states and 82 parliamentary seats in Election 2008.
He noted that the trial was being conducted in an overwhelmingly politicised environment, adding “part of its context is the earlier trial of Anwar on the same charge, a trial which was perceived worldwide as politically motivated”.
“We do not longer live in an insulated world,” said the veteran Umno leader popularly known as Ku Li.
He also said pre-trial publicity by the local mainstream media has been “so blatantly unbalanced as to convey the impression that the media are pursuing a political agenda”.
“Since the local mainstream media is either government owned or tightly controlled, this translates into the impression that the government itself has an interest in its outcome.
“Many Malaysians believe that sections of the executive and political establishment have an interest in this trial. There does not seem to have been any attempt to remove this suspicion,” Razaleigh said.
“In such circumstances the principle that justice must not only be done but seen to be done is breached,” the former trade minister added.
He also cited that as in the case of the constitutional crisis in Perak and in the openly illegal denial of oil royalty payments to Terengganu and now to Kelantan, “we as Malaysians suffer when our Government loses credibility domestically and internationally”.