By: Cogito Ergo Sum
Anwar Ibrahim, the man who would be Prime Minister, is a great orator and charismatic speaker. A fact no one will deny.
He has that uncanny ability to shock and awe his audience with his arsenal of anecdotes and mesmerises his rural and some urban audiences with his superficial understanding of Western and Eastern philosophers.
However, the latest statements from the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Abdul Hamid Bador, point a damning finger at Anwar as the man behind the gay sex video involving Economics Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali and a political aide that has rocked not just PKR (Anwar’s political party) but the ruling Harapan government.
In a statement to the media, the top Malaysian cop said that that a “leader of a political party is the mastermind behind the wicked pact to embarrass and tarnish the reputation of a certain individual.”
Of course, it could be Najib as well, pulling the strings behind the dock where he faces multiple corruption charges. But, that would be stretching the imagination and abilities of even the great “Bossku”, Najib’s moniker as he dazzles the rural folk with his clever but politically vulgar antics.
For months, Anwar has been dodging allegations and rumours that he might have been behind the fiasco to bring down his perceived rival, Azmin, for the Prime Minister’s post.
Now, in the face of the IGP’s statement, Anwar seems to be painted into a corner. In one swift swing of the political axe, it appears both Anwar and Azmin have been removed from the equation as to who will run the country after Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad steps down.
Anwar has long been known to have ambitions for the top office in Malaysia. All that was put to paid in 1998 after his jailing for sodomy and corruption charges. And again he was jailed by Najib for sodomy in 2014.
Freed after the General Elections in 2018, a deal was struck that he would be the next PM after Dr Mahathir is supposedly to step down after two years at the helm.
But things changed after Azmin Ali, the PKR deputy president was named Economic Affair Minister, a powerful portfolio that covers Malay economic and financial matters. Anwar’s position as Prime Minister in waiting now seemed to have taken a huge dent as Azmin inherited a a huge sphere of influence on matters touching on Malay progress and well-being.
And then the spats started. First between Anwar’s and Azmin’s ardent followers. Then it was the aides and finally, ties between Anwar and Azmin became almost visibly and audibly sour.
PKR, a party started by Anwar after he was sacked from Umno, was split asunder by the acrimony between the top two leaders.
But long before this split came to the fore, doubts were being fermented as to Anwar’s intellectual and statesmanship qualities.
Anwar’s proclivities for an Islamisation of Malaysia’s, political and economic framework have frightened many away from the man once touted as the nation’s prisoner of conscience.
Doubts that were once dismissed as political rivalry, have now come to roost with many questioning his intellectualism and ability to have clear vision for an inclusive Malaysia.
Perhaps his long incarceration has divorced him from the political realities of the day. Anwar seems to forget that Harapan came in on a wave of the reformation movement he began.
Harapan came on the back of a manifesto that assured the electorate the repeal of harsh, draconian and state-enforced religious observation.
But, the reformation movement has gone beyond Anwar. He seems to be stuck in time, forgetting that is a Malaysian agenda, not just a Malay issue any longer.
It is now a cry for change from corruption to integrity, from racist and bigoted policies to one that gives everyone a fair go at life.
In this, both Anwar and Azmin seem to have ignored and have persisted with annoying repetition that ‘reformasi’ is still about restoring Bumiputra rights and privileges. When were these ever under threat by anyone but by Umno, Malaysia’s biggest Malay/Muslim party that ran the nation to the ground for 61 years and stole from everybody including Malays and non-Malays?
Anwar has become ruthless as desperation sets in and he realises that he may not be the one to assume the Prime Minister’s post. Despite helming a multi-racial party, he takes the support of non-Malays in his party for granted. He stomps on non-Malay feelings by insisting on an Islamic and Malay agenda under his watch when he assumes the role of head honcho.
Anwar forgets that it was the non-Malays who formed the bulk of his supporters initially. The DAP came to his rescue with its battery of Constitutional lawyers headed by the late Karpal Singh. In any other system, Anwar would have got off after a stout defence by Karpal.
Now, after all the trials tribulations, Anwar feels it his birthright to be the PM. To be PM of Malaysia Baru, is much more than to be PM in the old corrupt Malaysia.
Anwar, at best, is a great orator, actor, and pseudo intellect who has the masses eating out of his hand. But you cannot fool all the people all the time.
The people are hungry now. They are struggling to put food on the table in Malaysia. They can’t pay their household debts or meet their daily expenses.They do not need another entertainer. They need jobs, opportunities at education and hope for their children.
And the last thing the people in Malaysia needs is another pretender to the throne. If Anwar is not the next Prime Minister of Malaysia, it is not because of any conspiracies. It is because he just simply undid it for himself.
The writer is an observer of local and Malaysian politics. The views expressed are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Independent Singapore.