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Sunday June 26, 2011

Anwar should do the honourable thing and resign from office

MULTIPLE expert analyses have now identified Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the man in the sex video.

But his unlikely resignation from public office will remain unlikely, since public interest here is easily shunted aside.

Earlier, a local video professional and a Korean expert had also pronounced the video as genuine and undoctored.

Now Prof Hany Farid and Asst Prof Lorenzo Torresani of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire concur with those findings. Dartmouth is a top-notch Ivy League institution and among the most distinguished educational establishments in the world.

Prof Farid himself, a leading researcher and chair of Dartmouth's Neukom Institute for Computational Science, had even developed some of the latest techniques of video analysis.

All the available evidence and all the best forensic science now point overwhelmingly to Anwar.

Farid and Torresani's findings are said to be of “99.99%” certainty because to be 100% certain, a witness would have to be in the room at the time. That person is Datuk Shazryl Eskay Abdullah, who never had any doubts who was with him in the room.

But none of this will suffice for those who would insist on argument by denial.

A familiar combination of denial, spin and protestation would junk key witness testimony and top forensic analyses.

Reasonable people now know the truth, however much those with desperate political ambitions may deny and distort it.

PKR's partners in DAP and PAS must also know what they are unable to bring themselves to acknowledge publicly.

Adultery or even patronising a prostitute may not seem such a great crime. However, the stakes multiply for a Muslim leader, particularly one with an Islamist background who is aiming for the highest public office in the land.

PAS had earlier said it might have to review its Pakatan partnership with PKR if Anwar is the man in the video. Since there is no longer any reasonable doubt that he is, PAS now has to do the honourable thing as a reputedly forthright party with vaunted moral values.

But if nothing changes within PKR or Pakatan, that should also be no surprise.

In politics, doing what is honourable can often be difficult, especially for those who like to accuse their opponents of all kinds of intrigue and plots.

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