THE POLITICS OF RIGHT OR WRONG-part 2.
The famous photograph showing Saiful Bukahri Azlan with Khairul Anas created a political tempest. It threatened to suck Dato Seri Najib into the black hole of political oblivion.
The photograph became ‘evidence’ of a conspiracy involving the DPM. Datin Seri Wan Azizah showed the world this photograph on her cell phone. It was a good show put up by the equally good doctor.
At first, it appears that this ‘evidence’ was the flimsiest of proofs offered to convince others of the existence of a conspiracy. I have written about this in one of my earlier blogs. it is rather a highly strained argument tending towards ridiculousness. Just because somebody takes his photograph with a person working for your nemesis, then there must be a conspiracy. I have written about this under the topic reductio ad hitlerum. But in the mind of the politically paranoid, it is sufficient to be a cause for suspicion.
It would have been just a photograph capable of only generating a passing interest had Dato Najib not got involved at all. Initially he said he did not know Saiful. The young man came to his office to meet Khairul Anas to assist him secure a scholarship. Having left UNITEN, Saiful wanted to become a pilot. He had managed to get a place at a flying school in Kelantan.
It turned out that Dato Najib has in fact seen him. Dato Najib met this young chap who worked for Anwar at his official residence Seri Satria. It is in Putrajaya. From here on the story becomes serpentine.
It is not possible for Saiful to come by himself to Dato Najib’s residence. Dato Najib usually conducts business with a person he does not know at the office. It is done either at MINDEF or Putrajaya. It is seldom at the house. Unless somebody brought Saiful over to the residence. Anyone who has been to Seri Satria will know that it is a long walk from the guardhouse to the front steps of the residence. The meeting cannot be at the banquet hall.
Let us assume that a Mr X brought Saiful to see Dato Seri Najib. It is possible that Mr X or deep throat is Khairul Anas. Saiful has met him and they knew each other. Saiful must have taken him in confidence. Khairul must have reported to the boss that Saiful has some story that promises to be explosive.
Dato Najib later admitted that he met with Saiful a few days before the latter made his Statutory Declaration. A statutory declaration is easy to make. It costs only RM4.
Why did Saiful not report directly to the police of his SD? Why must he meet up with Dato Najib and on Dato Najib’s admission, Saiful was advised by Dato Najib to make his report. Why did Dato Najib initially conceal the fact that he had met Saiful?.
The purpose of the meeting may be nothing more than information gathering. Dato Najib may have been interested only to hear a story directly and subsequently add the information to his stock of political capital. It may just be so. As a political strategist, Dato Najib must be interested to discover any chink in his opponents armour. Anwar’s Achilles heel has forever been rumours about his dubious sexual inclinations.
What probably ensued thereafter was Dato Najib encouraging Saiful to bare all by way of a statutory declaration. It would now appear that a statutory declaration is now the latest political incendiary material. It used to be poison pen letters.
It is a document signed before a commissioner of oath recounting the chronology of incidents leading to the pleading in question. In Saiful’s case, it pleads the police to investigate his report that he has been sodomised by Anwar Ibrahim.
For now, maybe it is wise for young Saiful to understand the implications of a statutory declaration. Supposed what he set out in the SD were false. Then he must aware of the following.
This Act may be cited as the Statutory Declarations Act 1960.
False declarations punishable under the Penal Code.
199.False statement made in any declaration which is by law receivable as evidence.
Whoever, in any declaration made or subscribed by him, which declaration any Court, or any public servant or other person, is bound or authorised by law to receive as evidence of any fact, makes any statement which is false, and which he either knows or believes to be false or does not believe to be true, touching any point material to the object for which the declaration is made or used, shall be punished in the same manner as if he gave false evidence.
200.Using as true any such declaration known to be false.
Whoever corruptly uses or attempts to use as true any such declaration knowing the same to be false in any material point, shall be punished in the same manner as if he gave false evidence.
Below are punishments for giving false evidence:
194.Giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction of a capital offence.
Whoever gives or fabricates false evidence, intending thereby to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause, any person to be convicted of an offence which is capital by the law for the time being in force in Malaysia, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to twenty years, and shall also be liable to fine; and if an innocent person be convicted and executed in consequence of such false evidence, the person who gives such false evidence shall be punished either with death or the punishment hereinbefore described.
195.Giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction of an offence punishable with imprisonment.
Whoever gives or fabricates false evidence, intending thereby to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause, any person to be convicted of an offence which by this Code is not capital, but punishable with imprisonment for life, or imprisonment for a term of seven years or upwards, shall be punished as a person convicted of that offence would be liable to be punished.
The question then, when Saiful made his SD, did he avail himself to legal advice? If he had, then who paid for the lawyers since he is a man of straw? His family members told everyone theirs is a small family. I take this to mean, they are people of meagre means.
If he had legal counsel, then he must be aware of the ramifications of a statutory declaration. For his sake, I hope he did. Otherwise he is just a collateral damage caught between a political crossfire.
In order to clear his name, Saiful can take the unilateral action of performing the Mubahalah. Forget Anwar, it is your name you want to clear. Once you have performed the Mubahalah, it is up to Anwar to take his step.
Khairul Anas too must be ready to perform the Mubahalah. He must be ready to assert non involvement in any form of conspiracy. He must so as to reject the insidious insinuation by Anwar during the Melawati speech that Khairul Anas is also part of the conspiracy. Being a lawyer, I hope he does this. Help expose Anwar for what he really is.