This normally verbose lawyer, who took on a roadshow after Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction, suddenly turns silent.
Remember Jason, from the ‘Friday the 13th’ films? If you noticed, Jason does not talk at all, because he allowed his murdering to do the talking.
Last week, lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, assumed the role of Jason, when he refused to comment on the Sarawak Report (SR) allegation, that he had received RM9.5 million from Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
For someone who is normally verbose and whose “legalese talk” enables his clients to escape prosecution, Shafee acted out of character, when reporters descended on him with the SR allegation; but all he could mutter, was “I will issue a statement, but not today,” before he sped off in his car. Neither did he say when he would make the statement.
If Shafee was not the recipient, then a straight answer, like “No” would have sufficed, and in typical Malaysian style, followed by a, “I’ll see you in court, if you keep repeating the allegation with the intent of destroying my reputation”.
Shafee said nothing. So, for as long as he keeps silent, speculation that there was government interference in former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy II trial will keep building.
In February 2015, when Shafee was the lead prosecutor in the Sodomy II trial, he was riding high on his victory, having overturned Anwar’s High Court acquittal. The sentence was five years’ jail.
Victors are supposed to show magnanimity in triumph, but not Shafee. Such was his arrogance that soon after sending Anwar to Sungei Buloh prison, Shafee, with his sidekick, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, organised a series of roadshows to cement Anwar’s supposed guilt. This move is unheard of in civilised nations.
I joked then that if Shafee was tired of the high drama legal life, he could become a porn film narrator. He was full of energy and could not contain himself when he embarked on the government-sponsored roadshow to justify Anwar’s conviction.
Shafee sexed up the talks with lewd descriptions, and allowed his ripe imagination to fantasise about things that were not mentioned in court, like Anwar tweaking his accuser, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan’s nipples, and asking him, “Can I f**k you today?”
Why Saiful was not charged is explained
Shafee discussed Saiful’s testimony, in which he stated Anwar’s preference for condoms and lubricants. He detailed various acts in sequence and claimed that the subservient Saiful found it hard to refuse his boss’ sexual advances.
He also said that Saiful was not charged for consensual sodomy because to do so would discourage others, in similar circumstances, from lodging reports.
Shafee, like most Umno Baru political script writers, knows the psyche of the depraved section of the Malaysian public. There is nothing like sex to spice up boring, everyday politics and for besmirching political opponents. Only this time, the roadshow backfired.
Instead of convincing the rakyat of Anwar’s guilt, they were turned-off and kept away, so the government discontinued its support of the roadshow.
To most people, organising the roadshow just showed how much contempt Najib has for Anwar. It also exposed the vindictive nature of the people behind it.
Nevertheless, Shafee and Khairy continued their roadshow to near tiny audiences. The talks were mostly in Penang and the Klang valley. Shafee delighted in providing lurid details from Saiful’s evidence-in-camera, a move to which several lawyers objected.
What was on their minds when the tag-team of Shafee and Khairy did this? Did they want Anwar’s total humiliation? Or to prove their absolute loyalty to their boss, Najib? What was the point of the exercise?
Sentence had already been passed and Anwar was safely behind bars. Shafee and Khairy’s performance seemed like an overkill. Did they think it necessary to justify Anwar’s conviction in this manner?
It merely showed, to a discerning public, that the government was not confident that the rakyat was convinced of Anwar’s guilt. Did the government have something to hide? Why did they need to drive home the false message that Anwar was guilty?
In 2015, the cocky Shafee was so full of arrogance that he thought nothing of lowering himself and talking dirty in the roadshow, which he used to tarnish Anwar’s character.
Today, he slinks away, like a coward, and dodges questions about Najib’s RM9.5 million allegation. It was a trial that sent Najib’s nemesis behind bars and ended Anwar’s political career. It was also a warning to others that Najib could do the same to those who got in his way.
Perhaps, Shafee is not aware of the saying, “Pride goes before destruction and haughtiness before a fall.”