A criminal by any other name is still a criminal

Raja Sara Petra

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” is a popular reference to William Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet. In that same spirit, a criminal by any other name would still be a criminal.

Nurul Izzah Anwar keeps referring to her father, Anwar Ibrahim, as a political prisoner. Anwar was not arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced for a political crime. He was arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced for abuse of power and sodomy. According to what was revealed in court, Anwar tried to use the Special Branch to intimidate witnesses so that they would retract their allegation of his sexual misconduct. That was why Anwar was sentenced to six years jail.

Rafizi is also trying to portray himself as a victim of political persecution. Although he does not admit he committed a crime, he says what he did was necessary so that he could reveal a crime. That means he committed a crime to expose a crime. In that case why did Rafizi plead not guilty? Why did he contest the charge and then, after losing, he admits that committing a crime to expose a crime is necessary? They try to justify their actions with all sorts of excuses and try to give the impression they are innocent victims of political revenge and are not criminals.


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