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‘Political witch hunt’ against Ambiga

November 4, 2017

Ramasamy says attacks and intimidation by PAS and Umno against Ambiga Sreenevasan are intended to 'politically destroy' her before she makes her appearance in UK court.

COMMENT

p-ramasamy-ambiga-Sreenavasan-Political-witch-hunt-1By P Ramasamy

The former Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan is doing the right thing by not giving in to attacks and intimidation.

She will not bend to the pressure exerted by some Umno and PAS leaders for her to reveal her source of information about the financial gratification of RM90 million that PAS had allegedly received from Umno.

In April 21, 2017, PAS filed a defamation suit against Sarawak Report editor Claire Rewcastle-Brown for an allegation that it received RM90 million from Umno sources as an incentive for political support.

PAS filed the case in the London High Court against the article in Sarawak Report that appeared in August 2016.

Ambiga was cited by Rewcastle-Brown as the source of information regarding the transfer of funds from Umno to PAS.

While the trial in London has hardly begun, there is a kind of “political witch hunt” against Ambiga from PAS and Umno leaders to pressure her to reveal her source of information.

Some PAS leaders have asked her not to hide but reveal her source of information about the transfer of funds.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that Ambiga should not “throw stones and hide her hands behind her back”. He asked her to own up to her responsibilities to reveal the source of information about the money given to PAS.

Apart from the “political witch hunt”, there are more clandestine forms of pressures or attacks that are being mounted against Ambiga.

The whole idea behind these attacks, intimidation and pressures is to make sure that Ambiga would be “politically destroyed” even before she makes her appearance in court.

However, Ambiga is not a person that can be easily intimidated. As a trained lawyer she gave a measured response to the press saying that she would respond to these queries or attacks during her testimony in court, if called upon.

There is neither reason nor rhyme for Ambiga to respond to these “kangaroo courts” organised by both PAS and Umno to reveal her sources of information.

It is strange since PAS, which had filed the defamation suit, should know better whether it is ethical for the party to engage publicly on this matter. Perhaps the party leaders should seek the advice of their lawyers.

There seems to be some kind of division of labour in the attacks against Ambiga.

In UK, none other than controversial pro-Umno blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin had attacked Ambiga and Recastle-Brown, condemning them in both racist and sexist terms.

In Malaysia, the attacks against Ambiga are by Umno and PAS. They want to intimidate and politically neutralise her to the extent that she might not be an effective witness when the trial begins.

Ambiga should continue to keep her cool.

Malaysians who want change for the better, who are against the kleptocratic regime of Najib and who are against corruption and racism, sexism and other evils will lend their support to Ambiga.

These masters of “kangaroo-courts” have nothing on Ambiga.

P Ramasamy  is Penang deputy chief minister II.

The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.

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