Sex, lies and videotape in MalaysiaBy Asia Sentinel Jun 24, 2011 6:27PM UTC
Three who exposed Anwar video – if it was him – are happy to plead guilty, reports Asia Sentinel
Three men known collectively as “Datuk T” pleaded guilty Friday in a Kuala Lumpur magistrate’s court to screening a videotape in March allegedly featuring Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim having sex with a Chinese prostitute earlier this year.
The three are former Malacca Chief Minister Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik, a stalwart of the United Malays National Organization, Shazryl Eskay Abdullah, formerly a close friend of and fundraiser for Anwar, and Shuib Lazim, former treasurer of the Malay supremacy NGO Perkasa, which is closely aligned with former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. The three said they had made the video to demonstrate that Anwar wasn’t qualified to be prime minister.
The three are Datuks, a minor honorific about equivalent to the British title of squire and the lowest level in the country’s list of titles bestowed on businessmen and others. They entered the courtroom wearing broad smiles and waving to the crowd.
Anwar, his family, his political party Parti Keadilan Rakyat and the opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat have continued to insist that a stunt double made the film, which was shown to reporters under mysterious circumstances at a prestigious hotel. They have been demanding that charges of distributing pornography be lodged against the three over the video, which has since pretty much gone viral across Malaysia.
That strategy may have backfired, since it allowed the three, who appeared in court Friday, to deliver what they said was an analysis by experts from Dartmouth College in the United States that the video was authentic. Thamby Chik’s lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah later told reporters that the experts said it was “99.99 percent certain” that the man in the video was Anwar.
“Results of the analysis by experts from Dartmouth College, Handover, New Hampshire in the US verified the authenticity of the video, that there was no tampering or any act of super-imposing and that it originated from a DVR camcorder taken from Datuk Shazryl,” deputy public prosecutor Kamalluddin Md Said was quoted as saying in local media.