Sunday, February 26, 2023

Can Anwar become Prime Minister in the next few weeks? (posted 16 March 2008)

This is how my former son-in-law Marcus responded to an article I circulated with the headline "Can Anwar become Prime Minister in the next few weeks?":

You must be joking. He comes from the same breed and is just a lamp (sic) in a wolfs outfit. Hope u are not serious.

I am absolutely serious, Marcus. There has been a systematic attempt to undermine Anwar's credibility by those who recognize that he is indeed the most intelligent, adaptable, and charismatic leader to emerge from Umno's ranks. Mahathir's vicious attack on him which led to Anwar's 6 years of humiliation, imprisonment and intense suffering was the furnace that remolded the man into a prime ministerial candidate that I personally endorse. I have no fear of Anwar Ibrahim and am pleased to have him (as well as Lim Kit Siang) as Facebook friends :-)

An important factor people who irrationally hate and fear Anwar seem to have forgotten is that PKR is no longer just Anwar Ibrahim. He is surrounded by many good people who will immediately quit PKR if ever Anwar's dark side begins to reassert itself and turns him into a monster. Anyway, having survived and outlived the Greatest Monster of Them All (yes, I mean Mahathir) we can deal with any wannabe Monsters that show up!

Having met Wan Azizah and Nurul Izzah during the Reformasi days, I have no doubt that they are very fine people and will always have a moderating effect on Anwar.

Since September 2, 1998, the day Anwar Ibrahim was fired, I have been monitoring the man closely and his every move and utterance has impressed me favorably.

We are living in a whole new era now, Marcus. All those who have spoken negatively about Anwar Ibrahim can only warn about his ambition and lust for power - and they say he was just like the other Umno politicians before he got sacked. Anwar Ibrahim WANTS to be PM. He has always said so. He was, in fact, next in line for the job before September 1998, having been groomed by Dr M for 16 years. Nobody can say the PKR has no experience governing. I have no quarrel with people who are ambitious - so long as they have what it takes to be at the top, and what it takes is a willingness to learn from their own mistakes and to keep their minds open to feedback from others. The recent elections was largely won through a free flow of information via the blogs and news portals like Malaysiakini.

If Anwar becomes PM and starts regressing into authoritarianism he will hear about it immediately. In any case, I will personally hold him accountable to his pre-election promise of abolishing all repressive laws (ISA, OSA, etc). Once those laws are gone, the mechanisms by which citizens can keep their elected leaders in check will be restored.

Your nervousness probably comes from the views of so-called experts who move in power circles. They all suffer from the same disease: hero-envy! They are secretly envious of Anwar because he has the capacity to reinvent himself - from victim to victor within 10 years. Remember those images of Anwar from early 1999, with black eye, frogmarched around by policemen, in constant pain from a spinal injury, attending his mother's funeral in a wheelchair, not allowed to seek medical treatment in Germany... slowly poisoned by arsenic mixed into the paintwork of his Sungai Buloh cell. Look at him today. I for one am very impressed and will publicly name him a national hero. He showed Malaysians you can defy Mahathir - and live!

Cheers & Hugs,

P.S. In any case, there isn't anybody from Umno who qualifies as PM. Certainly not Najib, the urbane sleazeball with blood on his hands and Lady Macbeth on his back! Hishamuddin is a braindead lout and Khairy J is definitely the most hated Malay in Malaysia (people believe he had to cheat to win in Rembau). All the old farts are out - and none of the newer faces has a personality or even a known opinion outside of Umno party dogma, viz., the Malays need Umno to defend their special rights. No PAS leader is acceptable as PM - not yet - because they are too closely aligned with a religion. The DAP leaders may be sincere for the most part but many are from the ranks of hawkers and sundry shop owners - a bit uncouth and unsophisticated when it comes to dancing with the complex Malay psyche. This leaves PKR - the first workable multi-ethnic party in Malaysian history - and I'm extremely pleased Selangor is now managed by PKR. No, I am not a card-carrying member - though in 1999 I paid my RM2 to join KeADILan in KKB. Unfortunately the schoolteacher who was acting as treasurer absconded with all the money collected and later rejoined Umno - so I was never registered! 

[Correction: my application was approved nevertheless and I subsequently received a certificate of membership.]

Magick River
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