cakap cakap…DSAI, Mahathir and other stuff!
When Anwar Ibrahim was plucked from the relative obscurity of an NGO championing the plights of the poor and underprivileged and given free rein by Mahatir to strut his stuff on the national stage supported and buoyed by all that Umno could offer him, he became the breath of fresh air that was needed within Umno, within Mahathir’s camp and by many many Malaysians who saw in him, the new Messiah of truths and change that Umno needed and the embodiment of what the future for Malaysians and Malaysia could be. For the first time, there was this young and mesmerizing political talent that represented youth and promised much. Anwar harangued the crowd with his oratory, was charismatic and charming at the same time. It was meant to be! This was the man who should succeed Mahathir. He was the next Prime Minister of Malaysia – of this there was no doubt. At thirty-eight, Anwar had the world as his stage, and Malaysia was his to take. All that we wanted, needed, and had hoped for in a leader, Anwar had.
But for some of us, there was too much bravado and little substance in Anwar Ibrahim. Anwar was too many things to too many people. And in my mind what had already started to go wrong for Umno and the Malays after May 13th, 1969: The NEP, Ketuanan Melayu, the toxic mix of politics and business, the Bumiputra and Ketuanan Melayu conundrum taken advantaged of by politicians for financial gains, and the rise and rise of money politics…all this and more, I could see Anwar making it all his own for he had no qualms in harnessing all these opportunities or evils, depending on how you look at them, to consolidate his own political and financial agendas.
For Anwar, Pas or Umno were just vehicles for his vaulting political ambitions. There were rumors of his promiscuity. There was his cult of self that he promoted to the exclusion of any sense of what is right and what is wrong. If you are for Anwar and you are with Anwar, it would be good for you as it would be good for Anwar. And from the very beginning, Anwar had this problem of truth. Is the Anwar we see in public the real Anwar? Is he the religious guru that led Friday prayers and can quote the Koran at length or is he the leader who divisively used race and religion to divide and rule and declare himself the champion for the Malays and for Islam? Was he the leader who set about in a structured manner to use the education system to advantaged the Malays at the expense of the others?
All this came to a head when Mahathir decided that he could no longer have Anwar as his deputy, as an Umno member or as anyone who could pose a political threat to him, to Umno and to the Malays.
In the same year that Newsweek magazine named Anwar as the “Asian of the Year”, on 2 September, Anwar was fired from the Cabinet, and from that time on, Anwar has yet to fulfill his own political ambitions of being Prime Minister of Malaysia. While there are many of us who are of the opinion that our private lives are nobody’s business but ours, for Anwar Ibrahim the jury is still out deliberating same. All these concerns were put aside from time to time simply because, by default, there was nobody, or to be more exact, there was no Malay better than Anwar Ibrahim to lead Malaysia. And this was so until Mahathir came onto the scene, took leadership of the Opposition, and took Pakatan Harapan to electoral victory against Barisan Nasional in 2018.
Today, as it was over two decades ago, Anwar Ibrahim is again being confronted by his nemesis, Tun Mahathir and to a lesser extent, by others who know too well who, what and for whom, for what cause and to what purpose, Anwar will do political battle for. I do not have the time nor the inclinations to go into these polemics but we know that there are many who will go into a political battle for and with Anwar for their own and Anwar’s vested interests. But, and this is debatable, suffice for me to say that just like over two decades ago, the possibility of Anwar winning this political battle against Mahathir, Umno, and anybody else in their camp, remains as it was over two decades ago, non-existent.
Why? Let us understand that when anybody in Malaysia is fighting for high public office against Mahathir, so far, there has been no winner but Mahathir. And let us also understand that when you also have to face Umno and a few others to achieve your ambition to be prime minister, then not much propriety or sense of limits will prevail as evident in Sodomy One and Sodomy Two. Enough said.
Anwar is a flawed candidate for high public office. There is no “if’s” or “but’s” about this. He just is. But we live in extraordinary times. Najib Razak, Rosmah, Zahid, and too many of Umno’s political elites to mention here, are all facing corruption and money laundering charges. A Back Door Government is a reality and a 95-year-old Mahathir is still a force to be reckoned with in Malaysian Politics. There are political frogs everywhere you care to look and the natives are restless. In truth, nobody knows nothing about the political goings-on in Malaysia today. The fluidity is extremely excruciating and yet can be charming! How else can you describe how two ancient, aged, mature, elder, senior, past retirement age people who cannot now, in all seriousness, lay claim to having any political base of any description….how can Din and Mahathir have the gall and possibly the means to decide who will be in government at the next general election? Go figure!
Ok, Guys, it is Sunday…go live life a little. Politics can wait.