Checking in from my office in Singapore, where the news from neighboring Malaysia is like nothing I've ever heard before.
Soon after his party's victory in the March 8 elections, Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has been accused of forcibly sodomizing a 23-year-old male staffer. This isn't new for Anwar, who also was the subject of sodomy allegations 10 years ago. In the prior case, the sodomy was alleged (among other things) to have happened in a building that hadn't been constructed at the time. So to most Malaysians, it looks like the ruling party is just going back to its old strategy -- when Anwar gets too powerful, falsely accuse him of sodomizing somebody. The fact that the young staffer went to Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's residence before the police report was filed doesn't help matters.
But that's not the worst. In 2006, beautiful Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu was shot and then blown to bits with C4. They had to identify her body from bone fragments. Her ex-lover (ruling party defense analyst Abdul Razak Baginda) and two special police from current Deputy Prime Minister Najib's office have been charged in the murder. A few days ago, a private investigator who worked for Abdul Razak Baginda has put forward detailed allegations that DPM Najib and the murdered woman also had a sexual relationship. (And yes, this is yet another Malaysian scandal involving anal sex.) The next day, the private investigator retracted the allegations entirely, claiming that he had made them under duress. Draw what conclusions you will.
I'm flying off to a conference in Australia tomorrow. I imagine that politics there are a little less insane. In any event, probably no more political blogging from me for a week.