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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Salacious Malaysian press keeps the public titillated

Salacious Malaysian press keeps the public titillated

NO one does sex better than Malaysian politicians.

They are the region’s experts at titillating their people with tales of erotic couplings that even raunchy magazines would hesitate to print.

The latest scandal, which besmirched the nation’s media last week, involves a video allegedly showing opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, having intercourse with a woman.

Even those taking only a marginal interest in Malaysian affairs will know that Anwar has been fighting sodomy accusations for over a decade.

Indeed, he has already spent several years in jail for this offence, before his conviction was overturned and he was released.

Recently, Anwar was again charged with the same crime – having anal sex with another man, and is currently fighting this in the courts.

He now faces further allegations of betraying his long-suffering wife, Wan Azizah, by copulating with another woman.

So, we are led to believe that this family man with six children is bisexual and that he indulges his passion for sex with both men and women in a relentless, rampant and foolhardy manner.

It is not impossible, but it is unlikely. Anwar is reckless, but he is not stupid.

In fact, this latest canard may help him and his party in the general election, expected later this year.

To understand why, it pays to look at the three men, all tied to Prime Minister Najib Razak’s United Malays National Organisation, who claim to have “stumbled upon” the incriminating video.

Did they take it to the police so that its authenticity could be checked?

They did not. Instead, they showed it to senior editors from the state-supervised media.

These pressmen, gifted a hot scoop and knowing what UMNO leaders would expect, naturally ran it on the front pages next day.

Actually, the editors and the trio who provided the video committed a crime themselves by watching a form of pornography.

Not only is viewing such material illegal in Malaysia, but being alone in a room with a fully-clothed woman who is not a relative can draw a jail sentence.

Of course, none of the men were charged for their palpably obvious offence and their shamefully unethical behaviour, but the guns immediately opened fire on Anwar.

He asserted that he was at home at the time of the alleged tryst and that in any case the potbellied man in the video was clearly not him.

To prove his point, Anwar pulled up his shirt in parliament and displayed his relatively slim abdomen.

Aside from that obvious discrepancy, what makes many believe this is all yet another anti-Anwar smear campaign is that one of the video-disclosing trio is a man called Rahim Thamby Chik.

Now, Rahim is no stranger to the gutter. When I first interviewed him, he was chief minister of Malacca state and one of his senior staff admitted to me that he was a sexual philanderer.

He was first accused of abusing a woman in 1985. Then, in 1994, there were front page stories alleging that Rahim had raped a 14-year old schoolgirl.

I was based in Kuala Lumpur then and everyone I met accepted this story as true, including the man who took the girl to see then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on August 14, 1994.

She told the PM that Rahim had indeed had sex with her.

Once again the Malaysian press dived into the dirt, reaching a nadir with reports of the girl characterising Rahim’s penis as being “big, like a negro’s.”

Forced out of politics, Rahim blamed Anwar’s men for the disclosure and his subsequent downfall.

Now it is payback time and the latest video is his weapon. One is tempted to say who cares?

Rahim actually did a better job in Malacca than Anwar did as Deputy PM of Malaysia. But that is now irrelevant.

Both these men are clearly destined to be consumed on the altar of Eros.



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