How to stop wasting police resources on sodomy reports


How to stop wasting police resources on sodomy reports
By Zan Azlee

Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Abdul Hamid Bador echoes my sentiments when he recently said that he is sick of having to investigate sodomy accusations against politicians.

The most recent case came up when a police report, accompanied by a statutory declaration (SD), was made accusing a very prominent opposition politician of having sex with another man.

Let’s not get into the details of those allegedly involved in the matter. Doing that will only further the cause of those who use this kind of ridiculous and nonsensical way in trying to kill political credibility. There have been too many of these accusations that one wonders if it’s all true.

Sex scandals have long been used in politics worldwide to discredit leaders. We’ve all heard of rumours involving former US president John F Kennedy’s affair with celebrity Marilyn Monroe. There’s former US president Bill Clinton, Senator John Edwards, and if you go further back, even former leaders George Washington and Thomas Jefferson have had accusations levied against them.

We have had a few political sex scandals in Malaysia too. Former MCA president Chua Soi Lek comes to mind. He was caught having an affair (with video evidence) and he even admitted to it. But the most common sex scandal accusation trend in our country is the infamous sodomy allegation.

Why sodomy? Well, I guess it’s because Malaysia is such a conservative society that sodomy just scares the heck out of everyone. Oh, and also probably because sodomy is a crime here punishable with a prison sentence. That’s why it’s such a popular accusation. When you are found guilty, it’s off to jail and you lose eligibility to take part in politics.

 

Let’s think about it. Do sex scandals really discredit politicians to the point where people will not support them anymore? Take the one politician in Malaysia who constantly gets accused of sodomy. Has he ever suffered wane in support? I don’t think so. He is still one of the most popular politicians who garners the same amount of support. So why bother?

You can keep hurling SD after SD, and if he gets charged and is found guilty, he’ll be put in prison. And then it takes several years until he is cleared again to stand for elections. After which another accusation can be made and the cycle will just go on and on until he dies. Hmm… it kind of works, so I guess that’s why they bother.

How many sodomy accusations have politicians faced in Malaysia so far? Too many! And I have to agree with the IGP that it is really a waste of police resources when there are many other real crimes happening, such as corruption and abuse of power. Politicians allegedly endangering the lives of the public by purportedly flouting Covid-19 quarantine rules are also cases more important for the police to look into.

To overcome this problem of wasting police resources on sex scandal investigations, maybe we can make several recommendations. First of all, how about charging people who make these reports and signing SDs for false accusations? Most of the time, these people escape any form of liability if their reports and accusations are found to be false.

Also, what happens to the people who sign these SDs? Many seem to have gone into the relationship consensually. Shouldn’t that make them subject to being charged for sodomy too? I can’t remember if any of these people have ever been charged or found guilty.

We could also decriminalise sodomy. I mean, if a married person can have an affair and it isn’t a crime (such as in the case of Chua, where he even revitalised his political career after the scandal), why then is sodomy a crime? Oh, wait a minute, we can’t suggest that, can we? Unless we want to endure the heat of hellfire.

So, how else can we overcome this problem of sodomy charges and the waste of the authority’s resources spent on them? Maybe we can’t do anything about it and Malaysia will always be known as a country where opposition politicians are constantly accused of sodomy. I’m open to hearing ideas if readers have any (but let’s keep it civil, non-seditious and non-defamatory).

[This article was originally written for and published at Malaysiakini.com]

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