The more things change, the more they remain the same in Malaysian politics. Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has failed to get a court to strike out a sodomy charge against him, which means the controversial trial that threatens to bump him from politics and land him in prison is set to begin on 25 January.
It will represent the second time Anwar faces charges of sodomy, which is considered a criminal act in Malaysia’s Muslim majority society. This time, he faces charges of sodomizing his 24-year-old former personal aide at a condominium in Kuala Lumpur in mid-2008.
For many Malaysians, there is a sense of deja vu with the 1999 trial that involved his wife’s chauffeur. But the Malaysian political landscape has evolved considerably over the “reformasi” years that followed Anwar’s ouster as finance minister from former premier Mahathir Mohamad’s government in September 1998, coinciding with the height of the Asian financial crisis. Full Asia Times story here.