Aliran Monthly 32: 1 editor’s note

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Anwar Ibrahim’s acquittal surprised many and it has surely changed the dynamics of the local political scenario ahead of the coming general election.

In our cover story, P Ramakrishnan looks at the unexpected outcome of the case and believes that public sentiment on the ground played a big role.

Justinian goes on to look at some of the disparities in sentencing in a few recent cases and wonders about the independence of the judiciary especially when those without access to the best lawyers appear in court.

Apart from the judiciary, another institution that has come under scrutiny is the Elections Commission, which has come under intense public pressure to conduct fair elections. In December 2011, Aliran made submissions to the Parliamentary Select Committee on electoral reforms when it visited Penang as part of its nationwide road-show to gather public input. Henry Loh writes about what transpired and we reproduce our submissions in this issue and the next.

Meanwhile, university students are stirring again. In a timely piece, Azmil Tayeb highlights the important role of young people in affecting change in society.

Aliran is saddened by the loss of our long-time friend and supporter, the scholar-activist Philip Khoo Khay Jin, who passed away in December. Khay Jin had written articles including cover stories for Aliran Monthly in the past. We carry impressions of the man by Francis Loh and Khoo Boo Teik and reproduce the eulogy delivered by Andrew Aeria, followed by tributes from a string of friends, activists and fellow academics.

Thanks for dropping by! Apart from the views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed, the opinions in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

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charlie chan

there are 2 appeals_ COURT OF APPEAL N The FEDERAL COURT?? the prosecution already appealed n i bet DSAI will be sent back to SUNGAI BULOH JAIL??

najib manaukau

Only fools and idiots believe that … Anwar is innocent of the sodomy indictment ! Even Anwar’s lawyer was trying to convince the court that the sodomy was consensual. But consensual or not in this country sodomy is still a punishable crime ! From day one, immediately after the acquittal trail I said that was only the start of the plot by the deceitful and corrupted Umno … Just look at the publicity and positive news the acquittal has generated for them even with the millions they are dishing out will not give them half as much positive news the simple acquittal does. … also able to claim that the judiciary is independent as a result of the acquittal. It was part of the plot that the prosecution will appeal against the verdict and then it will (probably) find … Anwar guilty. No doubt they also know that with the unlimited resources … Anwar has he will then appeal against the verdict. But at the end … Anwar will (probably) still be found guilty and fine just enough to ban him from politics for life. End… Read more »