By Former US Vice-President Al Gore
10th March 2014
It is extremely disturbing that the government of Malaysia — by continuing to press this case beyond the bounds of reason, let alone the bounds of justice — has used the courts to short-circuit the political process.
The entire world understands with clarity that Anwar Ibrahim was at the verge of running for an office that would have given him serious leverage for advocating greatly needed reform, had he won the election, that his election by the people was likely, and that it was the likely judgment of the electorate that inspired this action by those presently holding power over the administration of “justice.”
The court, by accelerating its calendar, reached its verdict in a rush — early enough to prevent Anwar from running in the election. The calendar of events is itself a contextual indictment of the decision.
By behaving in the manner it did, the court has, of course, invited speculation by reasonable friends of Malaysia in the rest of the world that its independence of judgment and judicial temperament have been influenced by political fear of, and intimidation by, the individuals now in control of executive power in Kuala Lumpur.
The importance of the rule of law should be deemed important for the reputation of Malaysia as a nation within the community of nations.
Moreover, the integrity of Malaysia’s parliament — a crucial asset for the future of Malaysia’s respect in the world community — would be diminished if this decision were to be accepted as “legitimate” by the elected representatives of the people of Malaysia.
In short, future prospects for accomplishing meaningful and necessary change on behalf of the people of Malaysia would be seriously depreciated if the capricious and slanderous imprisonment of an individual who has a universally respected understanding and affinity for the democratic process throughout the world is tolerated.
His pending appeal offers what could be a last chance for Malaysia to make things right. The stakes for Malaysia could hardly be higher. Please do not be deceived. The eyes of the world are focused on what will come next.