NTAnwar, AIDC’s columnist – The forthrightness showed by Mat Sabu in labelling Anwar Ibrahim as ‘Al Sheikh Al Juburi’ should be lauded. The least we can say he is honest about it, although he now has to wave the white flag.
The question is why would Mat Sabu, as among the most strident and fiery speakers in PAS use such a degrading label (meaning something like ‘asshole’)?
No other individuals have the heart to label him as such, except for that renowned PAS orator that is Mat Sabu.
Al Juburi: The Beginning
It all began in 1977, when Anwar was the UMNO Deputy President and Deputy Prime Minister, as well as Finance Minister.
In August of that year, Azmin’s youngest sister Ummi Hafilda sent a letter to Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in which she reported a scandal involving Anwar and someone’s wife – the wife of Azmin Ali. She also claimed that Anwar had sodomised his driver, Azizan Abu Bakar.
The name of Azmin’s wife is Shamsidar Taharin, who is also sister-in-law to Ummi Hafilda, while Azizan is the former personal driver to Anwar’s wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
Due to the sodomy committed by Anwar on him when serving as Wan Azizah’s personal driver, Azizan decided to resign and went on to become the personal driver to Shamsidar.
It was a case of escaping from the lion’s mouth but only to enter the crocodile’s mouth. It was because of that Ummi Hafilda made that report alleging Anwar’s queer behaviour.
It was not long after Ummi Hafilda (with the support of Azizan) submitted the letter to Dr. Mahathir that the news reached Anwar.
Perhaps, Dr. Mahathir sent the letter to Anwar, hoping he could shed some light on the accusation. Why not, as during that time Dr. Mahathir had more trust for his Deputy, Anwar Ibrahim, than those two ordinary rakyat, Ummi Hafilda and Azizan.
Anwar, who had wide powers as the DPM, directed the police and the Special Branch (SB) to look for Ummi and Azizan to elicit some form of denial from them.
At this stage, when that happened, it was only be natural for Ummi and Azizan to be frightened.
Who wouldn’t be? It was not an ordinary scandal, but one that involved the DPM. The police wasted no time to hit the road. It was an order and they had no choice. The PM asked the DPM to answer, and the DPM directed the police to get them. There was no alternative for the two but to approach that renowned lawyer from DAP, Karpal Singh.
For Karpal Singh it was a godsend. He had been waiting for chance like this. He got hold of Ummi’s document and the affidavit from Azizan, which he promptly showcased in all the DAP ceramah.
Quite uncannily, as though there was a ready link, soon after DAP became privy to the information, Mat Sabu, who followed the trails, too, came into the scene.
The complainant, Ummi Hafilda said, “There is no crocodile more dangerous than ‘Al Sheikh Al Anwar Al Juburi…I am sorry but it was not I who gave the title. It was given by Mat Sabu a year to the day before Anwar was sacked by his ‘dad’ Mahathir.
“This is the hypocrisy of the PAS people. I still remember how a year before Anwar was sacked in 1997…how Mat Sabu came to my office with several other PAS people to find out who Anwar really was.
“Mat Sabu got many stories from me as well as Azizan, the victim who was sodomised 17 times by Anwar Ibrahim.
“When Mat Sabu had it confirmed; when he got the whole story, Azizan performed the ‘sumpah laknat’ at my office in Danau Kota. Mat Sabu returned to Kelantan with his coterie of PAS cohorts and began to attack ‘daddy’ Mahathir in Parliament. He passed snide remarks about Mahathir keeping a homosexual known by the infamous name of ‘Al Sheikh Al Anwar Al Juburi,” said Ummi Hafilda.
The explanations given by Ummi Hafilda were confirmed by Mat Sabu when interviewed by Ahmad Lutfi Othman (former editor of the magazine TAMADUN, now Editor-in-Chief of HARAKAH) on June 14, 1998 at the office of TAMADUN.
TAMADUN: “It was said that you met with the writer of that open letter? Can you share it with us?
MAT SABU: “Yes, the writer did not go to the extent of accusing that Anwar had done anything, but the four who belonged to one family wholeheartedly admitted seeing Anwar going into the apartment (Tivoli Villa) with his partner (Shamsidar).
So, the writer held his ground. He was afraid to meet people…afraid if he met someone suspicious, he would be investigated by the Special Branch.
But, words have it that there had been an attempt to kill the writer of the letter (affidavit) in which was confirmed the homosexual act did take place, but according to him the victim was the writer’s wife, instead.
Stories like this spread easily. You have to investigate it. The media in this country is different.
In other countries they expose scandals, but here they cover it up. It is like scandals in Hindi movies, where police officers and gangsters are often portrayed as working hand in glove with gangsters. He said Anwar may know this as he is an ardent fan of Hindi movies.
Why Mat Sabu Calls Anwar Al Juburi?
Based on the above scenario, we go back to the basic question of why Mat Sabu decided to meet Ummi Hafilda and Azizan Abu Bakar.
There must have been a motivating factor which drove him to take the effort to look for witnesses who could confirm Anwar’s queer habits.
The second question is why Mat Sabu went to the extent of giving Anwar such a degrading label?
There must have been words that came out of Mat Sabu’s mouth following the confirmation from the witnesses.
Thirdly, why did Mat Sabu chose ‘Al Juburi’ and no other names?
‘Jubur’ refers to the posterior or the backside, but in Kelantan it also refers to the female private part.
This means that Mat Sabu who hailed from Penang but contested in Kelantan understood the sentiments and culture of Kelantan in and out.
He chose such an apt label to describe Anwar as an abnormal man who have preferences for the front part (Shamsidar) and the posterior (Azizan Abu Bakar)
Such a clever rascal…he labelled him Al Juburi, which goes on to say that Anwar likes sex both ways – that’s equality!
Nevertheless, in spite of this there was another important reason for Mat Sabu wanting to look for Ummi Hafilda and Azizan, and to bestow a name such as Al Juburi to Anwar. It was about revenge.
What revenge has Mat Sabu against Anwar?
It was because Anwar was the chief conspirator that caused Mat Sabu to be caught for ‘close proximity’ at Hotel Perdana in Kota Bharu on January 31, 1995.
It happened two years after the Kelantan State Legislative Assembly approved the motion on Hudud and Qisas.
The Close Proximity Case of Anwar and Mat Sabu
During that time Anwar was the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister. He was all powerful and had swift access to information through the SB and police, besides controlling almost all of the media, especially TV3, which he used to project an impeccable image as well as to smear those of his enemies.
So, it was no wonder that the news about the affair between Mat Sabu and Norma, the wife of his close friend was swiftly relayed to Anwar.
On January 31, 1995 at about 2.40 a.m., Mat Sabu checked-in to room 121 of Hotel Perdana.
At about 9.00 a.m. a woman police officer in plain clothes with the rank of Inspector and another person asked the hotel receptionist for the list of registered guests.
The fact that the police went so early to the hotel only showed how they had been on the suspect’s trail and had calculated what would happen.
Maybe what transpired then had happened many times before – so often that the pattern could be sensed by the police.
As expected soon after that a woman in her 30s, presumably Norma, who was dressed in black pants, blouse and tudung, entered Mat Sabu’s room.
According to Mat Sabu, on the day of the incident he had left his ‘medication’ at his friend’s house. That was used as a justification for Norma to go to the hotel to deliver the said medicine.
However, why did Norma went into Mat Sabu’s room alone just to give the medicine?
Why not just leave it at the hotel reception or use the house phone to ask Mat Sabu to come down and take the medicine?
It was about that time that the police, the media and seven officers from the Kelantan Islamic Affairs Department (JAHEIK) knocked on the door of room 121, which was only opened after 20 minutes.
When the door was opened Mat Sabu was found to be only wearing a green towel, while his partner, Norma did not have her tudung on, and the bed was in a mess.
Kelantan Menteri Besar, Nik Aziz Nik Mat claimed that since the TV3 news crew was there at such short notice, it was a trap set up by someone who was very influential.
When brought to the Syariah Court, the case was dropped on some technicalities – that there had been discrepancy in the room number.
It was for this reason that Mat Sabu wanted revenge against Anwar. That was why he went to look for the witnesses.
He was shamed in 1995, so, when he got to know that Anwar too faced a scandal in 1997, he finally found the opportunity to get his moment in the sun.
Anwar Needs to Cleanse Himself
To Mat Sabu, although Anwar was only a Deputy Prime Minister, he was seen as more vicious than Dr. Mahathir, who was then the Prime Minister.
Anwar’s viciousness was described by Mat Sabu as follows:
“We must not forget when wanting to topple Ghafar Baba, Quek Leng Chan and several other millionaires played their hands to bankroll the acquisition of NST and TV3 shares.
“To me, although Anwar had yet to gain full control, he had already displayed his talent at being more “ruthless” than the Prime Minister…we know how his children and relatives were involved in nepotism.
“Anwar’s public image was coddled by the media, who in turn was controlled by the number two (Anwar Ibrahim). It happened that at one time, if we were to watch TV3, sometimes the news on the Prime Minister was placed fourth in the bulletin’s running order, while that of the DPM was main story and headlined.
“But when we hit out in our many ceramah, only then they decided to place PM’s stories at the top. What did this show? It was proof that the media, in particular, TV3 was controlled by the number two, but accusations of nepotism were cleverly directed at the PM.
“Yes, no doubt the local media was controlled and orchestrated by Anwar and his people, but what about reports by the foreign media, which attacked Mahathir but positively, promoted Anwar?
“Firstly, you must understand that the international media play double roles. Whenever the winds of change begin to blow, their pseudo-political machinery – their alter ego, comes into play. They will push for a regime or leadership change.
“The West had accepted Anwar as their leader of choice to confront the resurgence of Islam in this side of the world. So, as a counter measure they are pushing for a duality in the faith.
“American Islam which is looked upon as academic in form and do not touch on the parameters of laws is the basis upon which IIIT (International Institute of Islamic Thought), ICMI (Association of Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals), and ABIM were founded. The West has no problems with this.
“The West actually wants Islam modelled on that preached by the Taliban in Afghanistan to persist. This way they can continue saying how bad Islam really is.
“I am more worried and personally pray so that Mahathir heads the coming election; if Anwar makes the premiership, it will not be good as he knows how to use and manipulate religion.
“What I can foresee, if he becomes PM, among his first steps is to deliver a Friday sermon at the National Mosque, and this will be telecast ‘live’ nationwide. The Muslim men will congregate at mosques for Friday prayers, while the women will stay at home and watch how he portrays himself as the country’s first PM to deliver a sermon without reading from a prepared text the first week he takes over the leadership.
“People like Anwar are cunning and clever at using religion; they will use the sentiments of the Malays even worse than Mahathir. It is not that we are afraid, but we know how far the Malay mind works. So, personally I will pray that Mahathir will remain to helm the coming election.
“When a person has such a character, which all these while have been portrayed as clean, we will not hesitate to oppose attacks against him as slander. What we want now is for Anwar to cleanse himself. By cleansing himself I don’t mean that he should be passive or merely to deny all that the media reports about him.
“Anwar should take legal action and bring those who accused him to justice. If he does not do this, I feel it will again make the grandstand during the coming UMNO General Assembly. We hear that a book on this scandal is about to released, so as long as he does not cleanse himself, the scandal will continue to make the rounds. We don’t want our DPM to be disgraced.
“For six months after the scandal broke Anwar refrained from talking about religion. It was only recently that he returned to the pulpit to give his sermons. We can see now the marked change after six months of abstention from talking about religion and giving sermons.
“His return to the mimbar (pulpit) is on the assumption that the people have forgotten what happened. We are not accusing Anwar, but what is strange is why he has not made any attempts to cleanse himself?