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Jul 1, 2008

Venom pity questions as bloggers debate claims

straittimes - WHEN blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin made a sworn statement last week claiming that the wife of Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak was involved in the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, the opposition went to town with the claim.

But they have rejected outright a police report filed by an assistant of Datuk Seri Anwar that he had been sodomised by the de facto opposition leader.

'I wonder why Raja Petra's (statement) was swallowed whole as truth by the opposition...but when it comes to this police report, it was rejected. No double standards lah!' wrote a posting on a blog by someone who called himself Two-Face.

Such a reaction was just one of scores of rants and observations in cyberspace as Malaysians debate and dissect the latest scandal rocking their country's political scene.

On Saturday, Mr Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 23, an assistant in Mr Anwar's camp, filed a police report claiming that the former deputy prime minister had sodomised him.

Mr Anwar and his supporters have denied vehemently the allegation and have filed a defamation suit against Mr Saiful.

Since then, websites and blogs have been variously filled with venom and hatred, or pity and understanding, about both Mr Anwar and Mr Saiful.

Many are curious about Mr Saiful, and why Mr Anwar's party hired him if they knew all along that he was a mole 'planted by the other side' - a claim made by a senior party official on Sunday.

The blog, riwayathayat.blogspot.com, where Mr Saiful had last posted comments in February, was swamped with 21,600 unique visitors on Sunday and 9,300 yesterday. This far exceeds the blog's usual traffic of fewer than 100 visitors a day in the past month.

Some netizens have accused Mr Saiful of being an instrument of the wobbly Barisan Nasional coalition to kill Mr Anwar's political career. 'I think BN ran out of ideas to put Anwar down. I am no PKR fan, but enough is enough. This sodomy is an old story,' said one netizen.

Some do not believe the sodomy charge at all. 'How credible is it that this healthy young man of 23 was sodomised against his will (on more than one occasion, mind you) by a 60-year-old man with a bad back problem?' reader Lilian Tan asked in online newspaper Malaysiakini.

On the other side of the fence, there are those who are outraged at the sodomy charge and want justice meted out.

'Let the police investigate. If it is proven untrue, then we all demonstrate to ask (the Prime Minister) to take action on those responsible,' said a posting on political site Malaysia Today.... selanjutnya.


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