Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling
on Friday, 25th July 2008:
Hamid's special briefing to foreign missions on sodomy
allegations against Anwar a big flop – one "black eye" after another in
The special briefing on Wednesday by Home Minister, Datuk Seri
Syed Hamid Albar to 96 foreign diplomats on government action and police
investigations into the sodomy allegations against Datuk Seri Anwar
Ibrahim is clearly a big flop, with the caustic criticism by the United
States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice within 24 hours with her call
for transparency and the rule of law into the new allegations against
Rice rejected the earlier claim by her Malaysian counterpart, Foreign
Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Rais Yatim that the United States was meddling
in Malaysia's internal affairs by raising concern over Anwar's arrest.
She said the United States would continue to speak on cases involving
human rights and politics although it did so "in a spirit of respect for
She stressed that the United States "doesn't recognise this very firm
barrier that it is simply internal affairs when a case of this kind
comes up, but we are going to continue to work with Malaysia".
Rice made these remarks at the ASEAN Ministerial talks in Singapore
yesterday, just before her bilateral meeting with Rais.
In these circumstances, Rais' claim after their meeting that Rice had
"acquiesced" to Malaysia's stance that Washington abstain from making
further statements pertaining to Anwar and the country's rule of law
will have to be taken with a pinch of salt.
Rais subsequently said he was unaware of Rice's statement prior to their
meeting – giving the bad impression that the Malaysian foreign service
is not as well-informed as it should be.
Be that as it may, Hamid's special briefing for 96 diplomats suffered a
second blow today when three leading figures on the international stage
called for the dropping of the sodomy charges against Anwar.
The trio who issued a joint statement are former Canadian Prime Minister
Paul Martin, ex-World Bank chief James Wolfensohn, and Michel Camdessus,
the former head of the International Monetary Fund.
As former Foreign Minister, Hamid should be particularly sensitive to
Malaysia global faux pas in getting one "black eye" after another in the
international arena over the government and police action on the sodomy
allegations against Anwar and he should do his utmost to end the
national agony and shame with the spate of adverse international
publicity for Malaysia which is not helpful at all in enhancing the
nation's competitiveness to ensure the success of the Ninth Malaysia
Plan, the National Mission and Vision 2020.
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor