50 Australian MP against Anwar's Trial

Letter from 50 Australian MPs to the Malaysian High Commissioner

His Excellency Salman Bin L Ahmad
High Commissioner for Malaysia
Malaysian High Commission
7 Perth Ave
Yarralumla ACT 2600


Dear High Commissioner,

We write to you with regards to the trial of Anwar Ibrahim which is currently taking place in Kuala Lumpur.

We members of the Australian parliament believe Malaysia is an important country, an emerging power in our region, and a friend of Australia. However the trial of Anwar Ibrahim raises serious concerns for us.

While Australia and many other countries no longer have laws against sodomy we respect the right of Malaysia to determine what should be its laws relating to personal morality.

Of more serious concern however is the fact that this trial is taking place at all, particularly given the testimony of Munawar A. Anees in the Wall Street Journal (see attached). We understand that the US State Department has urged Malaysian authorities to resolve this matter in a manner that builds confidence in the impartial rule of law in Malaysia, and we agree with this sentiment. Many friendly observers of Malaysia find it difficult to believe that a leading opposition voice could be charged with sodomy a second time, and so soon after his party made major gains in national elections. It should be made known to the Malaysian Government, that in our opinion, global esteem for Malaysia will be affected by these charges against Mr Anwar. We hope that Malaysia’s authorities will not pursue these charges.


Members of the Australian Parliament

Dick Adams MP
Senator Sue Boyce
Senator Bob Brown
Senator Carol Brown
Anna Burke MP
Darren Cheeseman MP
Michael Danby MP
The Hon Bob Debus MP
Mark Dreyfus MP
The Hon Laurie Ferguson
Jenny George MP
Steve Georganas MP
The Hon Gary Gray MP
Sharon Grierson MP
Damian Hale MP
Jill Hall MP
Senator Sarah Hanson-Young
The Hon David Hawker MP
The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Senator Steven Hutchins
Julia Irwin MP
The Hon Duncan Kerr MP
Catherine King MP
Andrew Laming MP
The Hon Peter Lindsay MP
Kirsten Livermore MP
Senator Scott Ludlam
Senator Anne McEwen
Daryl Melham MP
Senator Claire Moore
Belinda Neal MP
Shayne Neumann MP
Rob Oakeshott MP
Julie Owens MP
Melissa Parke MP
Graham Perrett MP
Senator Louise Pratt
Kerry Rea MP
Bernie Ripoll MP
Janelle Saffin MP
Sid Sidebottom MP
Senator Rachel Siewert
The Hon Peter Slipper MP
Mike Symon MP
Chris Trevor MP
The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP
The Hon Dana Vale MP
Maria Vamvakinou MP
Mal Washer MP
Senator Nick Xenophon
Tony Zappia MP

Summary of petition letter given to Malaysian High Commissioner against Anwar's Trial

And now we've come to this. The impending trial of  Saiful Bahari against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for criminal charges of sodomy has now brought forward international attention. Yet one thing I question, wouldn't this petition violates the sanctity of our country's right as a sovereign nation?

Before that, would want to make a note brought forward by Mrs Marriette Peters, one of my lecturers in CLP as well as a leading lawyer in Malaysia who mentioned that people should really stop calling the trial "Sodomy II", simply because that they acquitted him in the first case, so legally this should be just "Sodomy I". No sequel guys, just the first installment.... point to ponder.

Coming back to the issue, we now have ministers from Australia, one of the brilliant minds and lawmakers of their country trying to take action against our own judiciary system. One of the things that they highlighted within their petition is that this trial against Datuk Seri would challenge our judiciary's credibility to uphold a fair and just law in this country. They would also mention that if we continue to pursue this action, we would jeopardize our already failing judiciary system even more, especially to the eyes of the world.

As I was discussing with several people earlier on, we have to be realistic here. The action that is taken against Datuk Seri is a private action between the two parties and we as a nation, simply facilitate the law in order for the person (ie Saiful) to take legal action. Why are we being condemned for doing so? As far as my understanding is concerned if we DO NOT allow this action to be taken, wouldn't that be going against the very fundamental of the law itself.

Secondly, both being members of the United Nations, are we not given the same right of a sovereign nation, as compelled under Art.2 of the United Nation's Charter? What I ponder is that with all the efforts Australia has taken as a country to continue to preserve rights, be it international rights as well as human rights, it is funny how these MPs would conveniently forget that we too have our rights as a country and this petition is  somewhat a "formal proof of a violation against our own rights".

Khairy leading the pack to send in formal protest to the Australian Embassy

What I fear, as a repercussion of this, would be that for those who do not understand or fail to see the legal aspect of this petition and merely using this as a statement for their own protest against the government, would get excited and start jumping to conclusions that Malaysian law is as credible as a puppy sitting next to a pile of large poo. My other concern is that the protest against the decision of these Australian MP MUST NOT ESCALATE to the point of "mocking or insulting" the country. Our rationale and dignity must remain intact even under this circumstances  and any protest against this decision should be made in a manner where other would not view it as plain "rude".

Protesters outside of embassy

We ask for a change in Malaysia. Maybe we should start thinking like a "changed Malaysian" rather than insulting people and getting excited over something before rationalizing it through.

nang if you like the post guys! Thanks!


  1. If you want a 1Malaysia society, you should visit Australia as well. The people here are more courteous than we are. Of course there are still problems here, but we have to learn from their courtesy.

    I wish Malaysians can greet "How are you" to each other even if they are among strangers 1 day.


  2. Sry ya, 2nd comment. I was looking from the angle of human rights based on the petition. It's nothing wrong. What is wrong is the politicking here. We do not know what really happen behind the Anwar scandal, but we do know that this issue can affect our national unity itself.

  3. I hereby refer to the post above.

    1. The unofficial name of the trial as "Sodomy II" I believe is in reference to the number of trials DSAI has gone through w.r.t. the alleged buggery. The fact that he was acquitted the 1st time around is irrelevant to the naming convention. What is important thus, is the number of trials.

    For example, I fail an exam paper (low blow I know) and I go for a resit whereby I succeed in passing. This resit would be my SECOND attempt at the paper. The fact that I failed the first time is irrelevant. What is important as far as the convention goes is the number of attempts at passing the paper.

    2. I agree to your point where you brilliantly observe that if M'sia did not provide an avenue to Saiful to pursue the matter against DSAI, would be a greater travesty against justice altogether.

    However, quoting the popular apherism in R v Sussex Justices, "Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done." In such as case of public interest it is the perception of justice being carried out that is perhaps, more important. This is an irrefutable fact considering the brou-ha-ha that transpired back in 1998 where you have undesired elements uttered by, and transpiring in public over the alleged wanton disregard for the rule of law.

    If the courts are viewed so low these days, perhaps they too should take the time to reflect on how best to repair such low regard. After all, "If the mountain won't come to Muhammad, Muhammad must go to the mountain."

  4. excellent observation ppl, i'll try to reply the best i can

    @victor indeed that the common courtesy in australia made me wander why in the world we can never be like them. i was in Canberra Australia for 2 1/2 years and i miss how sometimes a simple hello can make your day there. Coincidently I was planning to write something similar about how courtesy is in Australia, and I will base some of my opinions from your post, if its alright with you.

    truly I understand on how that there are political "argy bargy" going on with the whole trial but nevertheless, I only question of not the Australian nation but rather the decision of the MPs to get themselves involved. Is that deemed legal in the eyes of international law?

  5. @zaaba interesting observation bro on this. I am sure to bring it up in class and will update what will ppl think of it.

    indeed that I honestly agree on how things are with the public as well as how we are running our justice system but the one issue i am bringing forth here, as how i refer to the comment by Sdr. Vincent is that it should be up to OUR public to decide and ensure that justice is made and there is no grounds, be it moral, ethical or even legal that there should be involvement or even intervention by another nation.

    The only grounds that I can understand from my knowledge of law is simply a forceful intervention, should there be proof that there is a threat from one nation to another, as prescribe under Art. 2(4) of the UN Charter, also known as "the use of force". The same jurisdiction that they used for the involvement in Iraq, Kosovo and Sierra Leone

    What are the justifications of these ministers then?

  6. @Vedder:

    I think you're generalizing: A mere comment, or a postulating of a desired outcome by another sovereign nation cannot be seen as forceful intervention!

    Also, we must also consider what sort of outcome, is actually deemed "desirable" by these other interested parties such as the Aussies. Let's take a closer look:

    "Many friendly observers of Malaysia find it difficult to believe..."

    Difficult to believe?

    This whole thing is about PERCEPTION as I have pointed out before.

    The only way to correct this massive misconception about our judiciary is to repair this thinking... a big feat to accomplish but entirely possible. When there's a will, there's a way.

    It is not difficult to jump the gun (does melompat pistol sound familiar to you?) when the public facts are so in-your-face. I may be over the top by invoking the conspiracy theorist in me, but one cannot but help come to the conclusion, rightly or wrongly, that somebody, somehow, has erred in the decision to charge the accused in the first place.

    But again, if there is a smoking gun that would result in a decision against the accused, why would a DPP reveal his hand now? Logic dictates that an ace in the hole is best used at an opportune time. Sandiwara semasa indeed.

  7. @zaaba i understand that you are pointing out that its about perception but what I have been discussing about with several ppl its why the involvement of the MP's in the first place. the question on the effectiveness of the judiciary is no doubt there, let alone possible conspiracy theories.

  8. there is a missing comment here. I approved but blogger seem to make it disappear. To the reader, I really apologize for that.

  9. eh! sha!

    this is your blog?! hahahaha nice one!!!! i didnt notice until i start browsing the pictures in this blog, was reading your opinion on the MP protests!

  10. haha what a way to stumble on my blog! nice one bro!

  11. People, there is a follow up article on this matter and reasoning why the MPs did it over here.


    courtesy to Sdr. Zaaba for finding the article. Thanks bro!