Wednesday, February 11, 2009


In the aftermath of Najib's underhanded overthrow of the Pakatan state government in Perak, many debates have been raging as to whether Karpal Singh was justified in demanding that Anwar Ibrahim step down as leader of the Pakatan Rakyat. Anwar has hordes of vociferous detractors, all of whom claim to know things about Anwar the public doesn't - and yet they obstinately refuse to divulge what terrible secrets they're privy to that would instant disqualify Anwar Ibrahim as our next Prime Minister, if the information were made public.

Well, unless Chandra Muzaffar, Anas Zubedy, KTemoc, Ghani Ismail and other "anti-Anwaristas" come up with irrefutable evidence that Anwar Ibrahim has ordered out-of-favor mistresses to be cruelly murdered, or has billions stashed away in the Bank of Israel under Paul Wolfovitz's name, or is in truth a Singaporean covert operative assigned to oversee the systematic dismantling of Ketuanan Melayu and the NEP... I'm going to stick with Anwar as our first and most obvious option for PM for the following reasons:

1) He has the most experience in government (not just in politics); and while some might say that being the Sorcerer's Apprentice for 16 years is reason enough to disqualify anyone, I'd say his overt rebellion against the Evil Sorcerer has redeemed him in my eyes;

2) Anyone who has read the Tao Te Ching, The Bible, Bhagavad Gita, Rabindranath Tagore, Kahlil Gibran, the Complete Works of Shakespeare (5 times from cover to cover, I hear) and who can articulate a coherent thought on his feet is worth negotiating with;

3) Anwar has been consistent in voicing his concern for humble folk since his student days, except for a few years when he was rising up the ranks of Umno and he consciously groomed himself to become a self-confident global statesman by joining a riding club (at least he avoided golf, which would have revealed an utter lack of originality :-);

4) It's an asset to be able to communicate easily with the humblest as well as the most lofty segments of society - and Anwar has that gift firmly in his grasp;

5) Having been at the receiving end of Mahathir's gross abuse of repressive laws and misuse of the police force against all political threats, Anwar is unlikely to succumb to the temptation to be just another tinpot despot;

6) Anwar has fulfilled, in my book, all the identifying marks of a culture hero (pity not many have the required mythological understanding to perceive these criteria as significant and valid, but I personally live by these ancient codes and, just as an example: every mythic redeemer/messiah must undergo battle with his or her own deep unconscious, experience ego death and be resurrected on an elevated plane the way Gandalf the Grey fought the Balrog, died and was reborn as Gandalf the White);

7) Anwar's intelligence is not rigid but adaptable and flexible; the man isn't bound by dogmatic beliefs and principles (hence his being stupidly labeled a chameleon and manipulator - well, chameleons are NOT inherently "evil," just well adapted to survival!). His effortless charisma and oratorical prowess are a distinct advantage, so long as political leaders depend on speechifying to attract a following.

8) Anyone who has ever met Wan Azizah Wan Ismail or Nurul Izzah Anwar will understand why I say these two feisty women may ultimately be Anwar's greatest assets. When he was abducted by balaclava-clad police from his own house on 20 September 1998, beaten up by Police Inspector-General Rahim Noor, subjected to the ugliest mock trial in memory presided over by that despicable wormtongue Augustine Paul, and then thrown in prison for six years... his wife and daughter were thrust into the limelight and both blossomed into inspiring political warriors in their own right. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Anwar will forever be grateful for the support and strength of these women in his life - and because of that he will always have a healthy respect for the Sacred Feminine.


Zaid Ibrahim seems like a brilliant, affable person who doesn't need to be in politics but simply can't stay away and I certainly appreciate and admire what he has done by quitting Umno over his disapproval of Hamid Albar's misuse of the ISA. But that's about all I know of the man. Before I can endorse Zaid as PM material I shall have to track his actions a bit more. Anwar I have tracked since 2 Sept 1998 - and in my eyes Anwar Ibrahim's response to political calamity and crisis has been impeccable and impressive. Even while suffering the iniquity of wrongful imprisonment and a painful spinal disorder, Anwar kept a cool head, a forgiving heart, and maintained his dignity like a true king.

Nizar Jamaluddin is the man of the hour, having proved his mettle as Mentri Besar of Perak under duress. So obvious are the man's winning qualities, his being a PAS member seems totally irrelevant - although some may express a wee bit of anxiety that Nizar may prove a tad conservative in certain areas (for example, Nizar made a gaffe when he proposed that HIV-positive citizens be quarantined and received a fair bit of flak from NGOs and the public; however, to his credit, Nizar immediately apologized for not knowing enough about the issue and graciously withdrew his remarks).

Raja Petra Kamarudin has been nominated as potential PM by countless readers of Malaysia Today. Recently, there was even a suggestion that RPK inaugurate his own political party, independent of but aligned with Pakatan Rakyat. No doubt the man commands a massive following of admirers who appreciate his sticking his neck out for truth, justice and freedom. However, it appears to me that RPK is so accustomed to playing the role of maverick he would feel completely claustrophobic in public office, because he would no longer be free to express his feelings off-the-cuff as he is so good at doing. Personally, I feel RPK would be just the man to appoint as Special Adjudicator of the IPCMC, charged with the onerous task of cleaning up the PDRM. It would be a form of national service for him, from which he can be released after he's finished the job, which ought to take him no more than two years.


Anonymous said...

The Ripple Effect

Anonymous said...

YES ! NIZAR is the rising STAR =
R-A-H-M-A-N(Nizar) !!

backStreetGluttons said...

No doubt you have carelessly left out the indomitable Anta-res . If that happens we fear you will become contaminated too , so be it !

Anonymous said...

You are obviously a Anwarista Antares. This does not mean that I do not have respect for you as a person or for your views either.

Let me add a few words and I hope your assumption making fan club that has the ability to see the future and past, will not start attacking me personally again. They don't even know nuts about me.

I will not include RPK in the list here.

Nizar is the only person whom was not with UMNO. It's a fact that to rise in the ranks, you must have dirth on you. That is the way the seniors know that they can trust you and will allow you to rise in their ranks there. It's something they can hold against you. Anyone whom has been in UMNO long will testify to this and I know many of them. This is why I am writing anonymously here, so before your fan club accuses me of being a coward again, they should know that I am playing smart. I am not royalty and neither do I have much contacts like RPK.

So, for Anwar to rise that quickly and almost become the next PM in UMNO, it speaks about his character. My take on people, is that they never change, especially if their past sins are that huge. Let us not forget that Anwar is one of the very few that are mainly responsible for the Islamisation of Malaysia, after the Iranian evolution.

I can tell you one thing I know for sure. Anwar is not sincere and has never been. Even from the time you say you have been tracking him. What his true intention is, only he knows and I will tell you this is fact - that Pakatan needs to get options ready and make the people believe that others can lead Pakatan and that Anwar is not the only or best person.

Equal competition basically.

Anonymous said...

Another thing to add, is that politicians normally operate and do their dirty work through proxies and agents. They also are very good at not leaving a trail. The richer they are, the more dangerous they can be.

So nobody coming forward with evidence about Anwar, does not mean he is innocent either.

There is a saying going around, that Anwaristas will probably follow Anwar to the gates of hell before acknowledging they made a mistake in believing in him.

I'll say, that skepticism, doubt and a healthy distrust of all politicians is the best thing to have. This is why nobody must become all powerful and "the only choice or alternative". It's too dangerous. Let us not forget about the principles of "Check and Balance".

Azer Mantessa said...


what bothers me most about anwar and pkr is the symbol. is that not "the eye of all seeing" aka one-eye?

Starmandala said...

Two Sides - Some folks think Kevin Costner was great in Dancing With Wolves. I couldn't believe how shitty the movie was and what a boring boutique actor Costner turned out to be. I have friends who swear by Leonard Cohen. I find the man depressing. My point is, Two Sides of the Same Coin or to Every Story, sudahlah lu... please don't nag, it makes me feel like saying rude things to you, and I can sense you're actually not a bad person at all - just obsessive!
Ultimately, it boils down to whether you trust yourself. If you do, then you'll be comfortable trusting everybody around you except those who read from ghostwritten scripts....

Azer - EVERYTHING about Najib, Umno & BN bothers me so much so I've even come to love the DAP rocket symbol (which I still think is overly phallic & indicates a philosophy that's totally earthbound :-)

Anonymous said... about Haris Ibrahim, ain't he PM stuff too ?

Anonymous said...

Whoa Antares... so much fire and rancor over Karpal's remark... it looks like the Anwar/anti-Anwar crossfire has actually obscured the real issue - that of UMNO's shenanigans in Perak. The smoke's become so thick that it isn't quite clear who is friend and who is foe.

Let me declare first that I have tremendous respect and admiration for Karpal Singh - a giant in his own time - but I too was surprised and concerned when he openly called for Anwar to step down as PR leader in the aftermath of the mess in Perak: Perak was not Anwar's fault, and Karpal could just as easily have voiced his concerns in private. The outburst was poorly timed, and may have inadvertently weakened PR's hand in the eyes of the public.

Now, time to blow away the smoke and re-align the gunsights:

ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE: the irredeemably corrupt fascists of UMNO and their BN collaborators, now led by the unrepentant racist Najib, around whose shoulders the ghost of Altantuya still hangs.

ALLIES: Pakatan Rakyat: an imperfect but broadly representative coalition of imperfect, but generally well-meaning and energetic people, trying to do the right thing under very trying conditions.

Pakatan *will* make mistakes - the fact is that PR is young and is still a work-in-progress, but they're headed in the right direction so far.

UMNO-BN on the other hand has been ossified in its practice of institutionalised racism, self-delusion and corruption for decades. No one - least of all UMNO - seriously thinks that they will be able or willing to reform.

Pakatan may not be perfect, but hell, UMNO-BN has set such a low benchmark of governance that the only way Pakatan could do worse is if they *deliberately* tried to do worse than UMNO-BN.

Insofar as Anwar's role as Pakatan leader is concerned, I was skeptical of him too for a long time prior to Election08, but having observed his apparent rehabilitation and general consistency since, I am willing to give him a chance.

We owe it to ourselves to rid the country of the cancerous UMNO-BN regime and to support the formation of a viable new government, of which Anwar is currently the most suitable and effective leader.

As much as I admire the grand generals - LKS, Karpal, Tok Guru, etc - we must recognise that at this time, no one other than Anwar would be able to hold the coalition together. RPK - another towering leader - is by his own admission neither suited nor interested in taking up the mantle of public office himself.

There may well be others who can effectively succeed Anwar (Nizar Jamaluddin, Zaid Ibrahim, Haris Ibrahim come to mind) but their time has not come yet.

So... it will probably be Anwar Ibrahim who leads Pakatan to the Federal Govt, and frankly I have no problem with that - because the system that Pakatan is fighting to build is bigger than any one individual.

When we succeed in rebuilding a proper government and electoral process, all people's representatives will be fully accountable for their actions.

If Anwar (or any other leader) does prove to be unworthy at some point, then the democratic system we have (re)built will allow us to elect a better candidate in his/her place.

But we have not given him the chance to prove himself yet.

Anwar may yet prove to be an able and effective PM; we should give him that chance.

P.S. I think that Haris Ibrahim could well be potential PM-material too

Anonymous said...

Antares, I had the pleasure of being at Magick River a few years ago and meeting you.

Your writings are such a pleasure to read. I would certainly nominate you as Guardian of Nature if such a post were created in the government.

Unknown said...


put it this way..

if we were to judge anwar solely on his actions while he was in umno he'll can never be our PM..he had his share of skeletons in his closets..

but he's currently our best bet, unless malaysia is ready for a non malay PM..


Anonymous said...

As much as I hate to say it, the first PM of Malaysia should be a Malay. Long way to go, it's very sad.

Antares, feel free to be rude to me if you want. I just can't stand people giving warnings like this. As the Nike slogan goes, "Just Do It" - if you want to. I say that generally of course.

Trust myself and trust need to go over old school stuff like that with me bro. Trust me when I say, that you do not know who you are talking to.

Back to the issue at hand. This is not about two sides to a story. It's just facts and good dynamics. The issue here is not Pakatan or UMNO. Only a fool will not want Pakatan to win and form the next government.

The issue here is the creation of a credible and good alliance called Pakatan Rakyat.

If not now, there will be a call in the future for someone other than Anwar in Pakatan that will make a good and credible PM.

That's my last comment on your blog Antares. Goodbye and good luck.

Pat said...

Hey Antares,

I'm just adding another little thorn in your side here: I agree with everything Two Sides has said. He sounds like someone very wise. Probably old, too - that's why he's so cool :)

I especially like this: I'll say, that skepticism, doubt and a healthy distrust of all politicians is the best thing to have.

I think that's sage advice, and something we would all do well to remember. (You're probably going to shoot me now, right?)

And about RPK, I think he shouldn't waste his time being PM. He's meant for greater things! With his clout and following, he's the perfect man to keep everyone in government on their toes!


Haris Ibrahim for PM? Yay! I second that, too! Such brilliance and charisma wrapped up in one man - too cool ;)

Anonymous said...

me Two Socks says

pick one only

Anonymous said...

Hi Antares

Why not add the following people to your "future PM of Malaysia"

Tengku Razaleigh
Lim Guan Eng
Jeyakumar Devaraj
Nasir Hashim
Tony Pua (?)

Philippines had Corazon Aquino
(who has Chinese ancestry and it was not an issue)
Thailand had Chuan Leekpai and a few other Sino-Thais as PM. No issue either.
Even Papua New Guinea had
Sir Julius Chan as PM!

Malaysia needs a good PM and
we should not fret over whether
he or she is of any particular ethnic group.

Phua Kai Lit

Azer Mantessa said...


yeah i love dap symbol since i was a kid. i thought it represents progressive mentality.

still that symbol of pkr bothers me and of cos umno bothers me nearly everything.

sumtimes i like to imagine RPK as Agong and at the same time, maintain Malaysia Today.

Cruzeiro said...

Hi Atares,
While your list of potentials look good, I'd put Nizar ahead of Zaid - I heard, even Umno people think so. That may be one reason they went for him.

Anonymous said...

Dear Antares,

Its always a pleasure to read your insights on socio political matters liberally sprinkled with uncommon wisdom of life.
You remind me much of one of my former mentors Swami Vedant Mahayana from the OSHO commune in Oregon.

Before Kalimullah left NST he wrote a final spin chastising Anwar which I just had to reply

Topic: Did Kalimullah Hassan get it wrong, or is it NST propoganda ?

On top of the other commendable politicians you have mentioned and others mentioned by your blog readers , I would like to add YB Yusmadi Yusoff of Balik Pulau, I have been following his doings since he was involved in Scholarship appeals and must say that I am very impressed with this unsung and unasuming but passionate politician.

Warmest Regards
Vijay Kumar Murugavell

Anonymous said...

Like another poster, I'd also put Razaleigh Hamzah in my list. In fact, I've the strong suspicion that he's the joker in the pack who might very well end up as a future Prime Minister of Malaysia. It's also likely, if everything goes to plan, that he's the one who'll indirectly hasten the appointment of Malaysia's first fully residential ambassador to Mongolia.

kualalumpur@1954 said...

NIZAR, wht cant he be the next PM if the RAHMAN theory holds, while Anwar can be the glue that stick the Pakatan together....

It can be an arrangement like the Congress of India. While Nizar administers, Anwar works amongst all components to bring them closer..


Anonymous said...

Why can't we have both a Prime Minister and a President?

Anonymous said...

Nice posting. Do you know about this edition of the Gita?

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