Friday, August 1, 2008
Sodomy trial and by-election campaign
The by-election campaign in Permatang Pauh and the sodomy trial, if Anwar Ibrahim is charged, could very well run together. This is the scenario Anwar is bracing for and certainly the media as well. With public perception against the sodomy allegations, Anwar would probably use the issue to his advantage, dismissing it as a conspiracy against his political career - which he has already started. He would use the by-election as a referendum on the allegations. The only thing holding back is that it would be sub judice to discuss any thing related to the trial. But in the heat of a campaign, where anything goes, it would be difficult to stop any discussions, particularly on the Internet. Anwar has certainly moved fast, making preemptive moves, as the Attorney-General's Office dragged its feet on the case. In fact, Anwar does not even need to campaign in Permatang Pauh, which is virtually his fortress. After all, he was the MP in that constituency. He can still attend court hearing and stroll through the by-election with a victory. ISA detainees have won elections without even being present during nominations. Najib Tun Razak has given an honest assessment by saying it would be a tough by-election. Anwar's return to the Dewan Rakyat looks inevitable.