The whole of Malaysia and perhaps some parts of the world are waiting for the verdict on Anwar’s sodomy II trial. After all these years, delayed by numerous attempts to stop the court hearing, we at last will know the fate of the man who used to be the “next” Prime Minister of Malaysia. And instead of waiting in respectful and dignified silence for the judge to deliver his judgement, Anwar’s fanatical supporters have decided to come out in full force and assemble in front of the court to express their joy should Anwar be found not guilty or fury if he is convicted. Either way they must have Plan B up their sleeves.
One could just imagine that the supporters are bringing two types of banners depending on the nature of the verdict and have probably been instructed on what to do either way. Curiously interesting this gathering on January 9 2012 referred to as 901! Malaysians will witness the whole “opera” with bated breath.
It is also not extraordinary that there are a few hundred police reports being lodged by people from various parts of the country against the proposed gathering which could be incendiary. How do you control such a large crowd out to make a point ahead of the defining 13th General Election most likely to be called this very year? The police, citing the recently passed (yet to be gazetted) Peaceful Assembly Act 2011, has permitted the application by the organizer and would be acting based on ensuring law and order during the assembly. As anticipated, the Bar Council has promptly lauded the police’s move.
Much to the credit of the police, certain conditions are set to ensure a peaceful assembly of people with highly charged emotion. Among the conditions are: Gathering is confined at the court’s car park,no banner asking for Anwar to be freed,no speeches and loud hailers to excite the crowd and all have to disperse after an hour following the delivery of the verdict.
I don’t believe for one minute that the police will come unprepared. They should at all cost have Plan B because a large crowd of agitated people is hard to predict. It is better to prepare for a worst-case scenario.
On the other hand, should those “demonstrators” turn violent, their action will serve to discredit the organizer which is the opposition alliance. Can they afford this wild response so near to the general election? They are undoubtedly being scrutinized by Malaysian voters. They would be foolish to jeopardize their parties’ chances at the general election. In fact this is their last golden opportunity to show the world that they are civilized and a worthy opposition which is respectful of the court’s decision. And possibly win over the hearts of those who always love an underdog!
So far the government is seen to be fair by allowing this gathering though not right in front of the court complex. Imagine, either way the opposition is going to have some smart words to say. But surely should the defendant be found guilty, they are not going to condemn the judge as that would be in contempt of the court and the organizers could be arrested for the action.
And fancy that the opposition should come out with the call for the people to be the judge of this sodomy case! How many people are they talking about? This is nothing but a gimmicky tactic. It does appear that some people just cannot extricate themselves from the conspiracy theory, like someone planted Anwar’s semen into Saiful’s anus! And that all those expert witnesses for the prosecution are incompetent and outright liars.
Such is their concentration and faith on the perceived infallibility of Anwar Ibrahim, they have dismissed the plaintiff’s rights. I wonder whether there would be supporters of the supposed victim of sodomy, Saiful Bukhari Azlan. Though the Police seems to give the impression that such a crowd would also be there. This group also will have Plan B.
And the cable TV and foreign journalists will no doubt come in droves to report the event. I foresee CNN,BBC and AlJazeera are also getting ready with their Plan B on format of reporting tailoring to the verdict. In fact, we as anxious spectators will also be at that court in spirits and later setting blogs, Twitters, Facebook and other social media networks abuzz.
The person who has only one definite Plan is our honorable Judge! I pray that he weighs all the evidence and arrives at the right decision and judgement in the interest of justice and the sanctity of our justice system.
Many of us do not have the full story or facts of the case unless we followed the court proceedings closely so we should not be overzealous in commenting on the verdict particularly before its delivery by His Honor. If a negative sentiment is expressed openly we might get hauled up for sedition.
After watching the series of violent UK riots in August 2011 being broadcast to the entire world, I hope our 901 assembly would turn out to be a walk in the park…. or would it? That’s the reason I am obsessed with Plan B.