COMMENT | The year is 2015. In the afternoon of Feb 10, current Pakatan Harapan de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim stands in front of five now-infamous Federal Court judges - Justices Arifin Zakaria, Md Raus Sharif, Abdul Hamid Embong, Suriyadi Halim Omar, Ramly Ali.
A judge reads out the oral judgment and it is clear where this is going.
Minutes after the verdict is delivered, then prime minister Najib Abdul Razak’s office issues a statement asserting the independence of the judiciary. All before the sentence is even carried out.
Before making his way to prison, Anwar rises to address the court one last time, in what would become a speech forever etched in history.
He starts by calling the trial a “complete fabrication” and calls the judges “great cowards of humanity”.
Then chief justice Arifin Zakaria requests that Anwar’s lawyer Gopal Sri Ram stop his client, but the lawyer insists it was Anwar’s right to do so.
Anwar continues, without mincing his words:
“In bowing to the dictates of the political masters, you have become partners in crime for the murder of judicial independence and integrity. You have sold your souls to the devil, bartering your conscience for material gain and comfort and security of office.”
Sensing too much to bear, the judges walk out of the courtroom.
Anwar raises his voice and stands closer to the microphone so the whole courthouse can hear him loud and clear.
He pledges to never be silenced, and in a thunderous voice says that he will fight on for freedom and justice, and will “never surrender”...