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Twenty-five things you didn't know about the Anwar trial

About six months ago, a KL writer wrote a book which stirred a hornet's nest in Malaysia. The title: 50 Reasons Why Anwar Ibrahim Cannot Become Prime Minister.
The writer, Khalid Jafri, has been charged with libel and slander. But his book played a big part in getting the former Malaysian deputy prime minister and finance minister sacked. Anwar Ibrahim is now on trial at the KL High Court.
BRIAN MILLER and FONG FOONG MEI, who covered the first week of the proceedings, have come up with their own list...

 Nov 9, 1998

PHOTOGENIC: Anwar's eldest daugther, Nurul Izzah. Pic/ AFP
1. The second most sought face to be photographed: Anwar's eldest daughter, Nurul Izzah, 18. She's quite a looker.

 2. Most photographed non-living thing: The Pajero jeep. Ever since Anwar was brought to court in one, every jeep that drives into the court premises is chased by photographers.

 3. Worst line heard on TV news: "Anwar chose to come in from the rear.'' So said a TV2 newsreader, commenting on Anwar's arrival in court via the back entrance.

4. Most sought-after seat outside of the court: The ones put up at the "warong'' or sarabat stall, at the back of the courthouse. It's where journalists and FRU policemen go for teh tarik.

 5. Most ridiculous line heard at the "warong'': "Give me a pulled tea.'' It was uttered by a Caucasian journalist who had been told that that was the literal translation of Malaysia's most famous beverage, teh tarik.

 6. Best place to gather news about the trial: The Coliseum Cafe. That's where journalists hang out for a cold beer.

 7. Most comfortable seat in court: Anwar's leather-upholstered armchair in the dock.

8. Fastest case of greying hair in KL: Anwar's goatie. It's growing whiter by the day.

COLOURFUL: Khalid Jafri. Pic/ REUTERS.
9. Most outrageous hair: 50 Reasons' author, Khalid Jafri. We're still trying to figure out whether it's purple or burgundy. The brinjal hue has been jokingly pointed to as "50 Reasons Why He Should Get A New Hairdresser''.

 10. Still on Khalid: They say he's a millionaire but he drives to court in a bashed-up white Proton Wira. Some say he uses it only for court appearances.

 11. Dead-ringer for a celebrity: Ms Ummi Hafilda -- the woman who sent the accusing letter to PM Mahathir. Give her a black beret and she could pass off as Monica Lewinsky.

 12. Strangest participants: A man on crutches who shows up every day and copies down car numbers "to buy 4D'' he says. Another regular: an Indian lady who wears a red tiara crowned with bright red flowers.

 13. Still on Khalid Jafri: He has been telling everyone that he's planning to write a sequel to the book, 50 Reasons... Hope he doesn't pinch any of our material.

 14. Loudest sound heard in court: The thud, when Kamar Ainiah Kamaruzzaman -- a member of the defence team -- fell when one of the legs of her chair broke.

 15. Biggest scare: A green lime found near one of the pillars at the courthouse at 8 am on Friday. Upon inspection, the bomb squad said it was harmless.

 16. Anwar's reading material: A book on American president Abraham Lincoln.

17. Most terrifying thought in a packed court room: Having to sit, shoulder to shoulder, with someone who has terrible body odour.

 18. Most catchy phrases: "Turnover'' and "solid grip'' names given by the Special Branch to describe certain operations.

SPECIAL BRANCH: At least the photographers' version. 
19. The real Special Branch on court grounds: It's on a tree at the back of the court. Photographers fight to get on it as it offers a great vantage point for taking pictures.

 20. Hottest fashion accessory in court: The white ribbon which symbolises Justice.

 21. Ugliest accessory: Anwar's Ah Beng ring. Bigger than a bottlecap. It features a huge green stone mounted on a wide silver oval. It was reportedly a gift from scholar Dr Harun Din.

 22. Still on Anwar: While in the dock, he sucks on Ricola lemon-flavoured sweets.

 23. Most often heard complaint from Anwar: "Local press teruk betul'' (The local press are really bad).

 24. Most charming woman in court: Anwar's wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. Pity she also has to carry those bags under her eyes. "No time to sleep,'' she told a reporter.

 25. Biggest surprise so far: No protests or demonstrations outside the court during the trial. (However, more than 200 protested in Kampung Baru in KL over the weekend.)