Anwar in Another Malaysian Sex Video?

A mysterious video purportedly of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim surfaced in Kuala Lumpur Monday allegedly showing him having sex with what is described as a Chinese prostitute..

Anwar, already on trial in a long-running case on charges he had sodomized a 25-year-old male aide, immediately held a press conference to deny he was the person in the video and blamed political opponents .

For a supposedly conservative Muslim-majority country, Malaysians have long become inured to lurid sex videos and scandals. Chua Soi Lek, the current president of the Malaysian Chinese Association, was caught on film from four cameras in a hotel room with a woman, allegedly by opponents within the MCA. He was forced to resign from office, but made a comeback and was named to head the ethnic Chinese party.

Anwar has been enmeshed in two sodomy trials with voluminous descriptions in court of various body parts, positions and purposes. Singaporean authorities were quoted in leaked US State Department cables as saying they thought Anwar had been entrapped in the second case, but that he had got into it willingly in any case.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was accused of having an affair with the murdered Altantuya Shaariibuu before passing the Mongolian translator to his closest associate, Abdul Razak Baginda. Manohara Odelia Pinot, a 16-year-old Indonesian model, was forced to flee her Kelantan prince husband after he allegedly beat her, scarred her breasts and inflicted other damage.

The current story is peculiar to say the least. An unidentified male who described himself as "Datuk T" called reporters Monday and invited them serially to view the 22-minute film. "Datuk" is a Malaysian honorific that is about equivalent to an English squire in rank. A group that didn’t identify itself demanded that the politician, which it didn’t name, and his wife quit politics or the video clip would be distributed to the public.

"We don't want to humiliate him, we just want to show the truth," "Datuk T" told reporters.

"I was told the face in the video looked like me," Anwar told reporters. "However, the stomach of the man was much bigger than mine." He flashed his bare abdomen to attempt to prove it. He said he had been at home with his wife, children, grandchildren and staff on Feb. 21, according to the time stamp on the night the video was shot, between 10:24 pm and 10:45 pm via four hidden cameras placed at different angles.

Another individual who had seen the film told Asia Sentinel that the face was either Anwar’s or someone who looked exactly like him as he dressed, but that the man involved in the sexual acts didn’t look like him because he had a pot belly. The couple were involved in the so-called "advanced lotus" sexual position, the witness said, but he thought the 64-year-old Anwar’s famously bad back wouldn’t allow him to engage in such vigorous sexual congress.

The footage shows a man coming into a sparsely furnished room that has a bed, a dresser and an air-conditioning unit on the wall. The man enters the room through a door from an adjoining room, accompanied by a man whose face is not visible - and who then leaves the room. An Asian woman is shown waiting in the room.

According to the film shown by "Datuk T," the woman purportedly rifled the clothing of the man said to be Anwar while he was taking a shower after the sex act, taking his Omega watch. Allegedly Anwar asked the man to search for the watch. 'Datuk T' claimed he had found the sex video in a locked dresser drawer, which he had pried open after finding wires behind the dresser. He removed the recorder, he told reporters. He also displayed the watch.

The 'unveiling' of the video clip was managed with great secrecy - several individuals connected with the 'showing' were formally dressed, some wearing caps low over their forehead and wearing dark glasses. They conducted security checks on the 'invitees'. Journalists and senior editors were taken in to a room to watch the clip in batches.

They were told to surrender all electronic gadgets such as hand phones and cameras as well as their pens and notebooks. They were made to wear ankle-length brown robes over their clothes before they were allowed into the screening room.

Senior journalists and editors from Utusan Malaysia, New Straits Times and Berita Harian, who made up the first batch, declined to reveal anything when approached.

"We don't want to spoil it for you," said one journalist, looking serious.

The second batch of press was made up of The Malaysian Insider, Free Malaysia Today, Harakah and a senior editor from state-run news agency Bernama. Malaysiakini was slotted in last.

'Datuk T' and two other middle-aged men conducted journalists into a guest room where a computer was set up with a thumb drive sticking out of a USB port. They were accompanied by two younger men who acted like bodyguards.

After the viewing session, 'Datuk T' named Anwar as the individual and told Malaysiakini: "... I shall surrender the original footage to you guys to decide if it is indeed he in the video."

With reporting from Malaysiakini, with which Asia Sentinel has a content-sharing agreement