GOTCHA By Jarius Bondoc (The Philippine Star) Updated July 13, 2011 12:00 AM
Whom the gods wish to destroy they first make . . . Mad it was for Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to prime the police into thinking days prior that last Saturday’s opposition protest in Kuala Lumpur was illegal, and that seized firebomb stashes would have been used. Madder still, for him to have the 20,000 marchers tear-gassed and 1,667 arrested.
The rally was to call for electoral reforms, a domestic issue that attracted only the Malaysian press. But when riot squads aimed teargas canisters at opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s head, actually hitting his aide’s eye, and causing the fatal heart attack of one demonstrator, the event drew world attention. Now international groups are denouncing the mayhem as proof of Najib’s disregard for human rights. Worse, there’s sudden global interest in an imminent subpoena of Najib to a Paris trial on kickbacks in purchasing three French submarines in 2002, and the consequent murder of a Mongolian socialite in 2006.