Saiful Bukhari, the complainant in Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy case, swore on the Quran before scores of press members and religious officials at the Federal Territory mosque.
He said: “I swear that I was sodomised by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on June 26, 2008.
“If I make a lie in this confession, then I am making a falsehood against Allah, and I am willing to accept His suffering, curse and damnation until Judgment Day,” he added.
I have two serious issues here. First, the timing of the swearing is ingenious. Why a day before the nomination day of Permatang Pauh by-election and not earlier. Saiful could have done it earlier, much earlier. In fact, many of us expected him to do so earlier.
Second, it is rather unfortunate that God does not speak back. He does it in his own way. In this case, God is dragged into the case without His agreement. He is a silent witness. Is this fair to Anwar? If there are incriminating evidences, Saiful does not need the Islamic swearing. He must be confident of the second medical report from KLGH which stated that he was sodomised.
The more serious issue is the rule of law. In justice, we need to seek a precedent. If Saiful is allowed to do an Islamic swearing as a way to determine his innocence, can other Muslims and others (Christians, Buddhists, Hindus etc) be allowed to do the same to prove their innocence? Again, expect these places of worship to be packed.
Now, if Anwar - who said that he will not do the same - is tried by a Muslim judge, will he/she be affected by Saiful's action. Can he/she go against the "unspoken endorsement" from God? Can justice be meted out fairly and justly to Anwar?
PM Abdullah and scores of UMNO leaders have supported Saiful's action. Abdullah reminded the people that Saiful was a victim in the issue. He said Saiful made a personal decision to swear on the Quran, a move that is not taken lightly by a Muslim.
The PM's action should not be taken lightly. He has indicated that Islamic swearing is an appropriate and acceptable way of dispensing justice if hard evidence is hard to find. By saying that Saiful is a victim, has Abdullah committed a contempt of court?
We must not take our rule of law lightly. This action and subsequent support given by the ruling elites is dangerous and tantamount to a challenge against the Rule of Law in this country.
Why do we need the civil courts if any dispute can be solved through religious swearing?
For these considerations, I would like to call for the end of this political assassination against Anwar Ibrahim. In this rare occasion, I consider Anwar Ibrahim a victim of political conspiracy.