Like millions of other Malaysians I was looking forward gleefully to witnessing a Pakatan Rakyat government installed in Putrajaya after 16 September 2008 - with Anwar Ibrahim as our sixth prime minister.
Sixth... or seventh... it doesn't matter. I remain convinced that Anwar has the necessary experience to steer the nation clear of some treacherous reefs looming ahead.
Some of my friends say they would rather see Zaid Ibrahim (right) as PM. I'm a great admirer of Zaid Ibrahim and have no problem seeing him become prime minister one of these days.
[Well, this no longer holds true. Zaid Ibrahim has disqualified himself from consideration as a trustworthy leader. He has revealed himself as egotistical, petty-minded and occasionally vindictive - even though his views remain far more palatable than one would expect from any BN politician. Zaid has thus far had a cushy career as an Umno lawyer, de facto law minister, and lone wolf political commentator. Unlike Anwar and many other opposition figures, however, Zaid Ibrahim has never had to endure political persecution and incarceration, which makes me wonder if he has the mettle and stamina to survive a full-frontal assault from the power establishment.]
For that matter, Nizar Jamaluddin has also been described as prime minister material - but before he stands a chance of being appointed to the nation's highest office, his political party will have to shed some of the theological deadwood it is currently burdened with.
[It was reported yesterday that Hadi Awang bumped into Najib on the Sarawak campaign trail and hugged him warmly. That not only gives me the creeps, but I worry about PAS leaders like Hadi Awang, Nashrudin Mat Isa and Hasan Ali who seem unable to resist Umno's horny pheromones.]
In any case, so long as Anwar Ibrahim is in good health and willing to take on the responsibility, I would still prefer that the PM's job go to him. Not only does he have 16 years' experience under his belt as part of the Umno/BN regime under Mahathir, but he has also been initiated into the shadow side of power. Anwar has an intimate understanding of how precarious and illusory worldly power and status can be, having been at the receiving end of Mahathir's gross abuse of power back in 1998.
I'm convinced that anyone who has survived such a nightmarish ordeal would have learned to cherish the true meaning of freedom and justice.
Apart from Anwar's phenomenal charisma as an orator and political reformer, he is supported by the magnificent Wan Azizah whose compassion, dignity and strength stand her in excellent stead as a prime minister's wife the entire nation can wholeheartedly love and respect. Not only that, their beautiful daughter Nurul Izzah has proven her mettle as an articulate, intelligent and plucky leader and has all the qualities necessary to someday become Malaysia's first female PM. (Not that I'm in favor of political dynasties - but being born into a political family does provide a strong foundation for handling the stresses and strains of leadership.)
More than a year after Anwar's abortive 916 plan to take over the reins of government, the political situation is totally bogged down in sinister intrigue while outrageous shenanigans continue to be perpetrated with impunity by the Umno/BN regime under Mr Pink Lips (right) - the crime minister appointed by 190 Umno division chiefs - and endorsed by the Malay rulers and the Bumoid Kakistocracy aka the Corporate Umnoputra.
A few of my moneyed friends have expressed their reservations about having Anwar Ibrahim as PM. Some parrot Mahathir and Daim Zainuddin's heavy hints about Anwar's cozy ties with key agents of the New World Order cabal and their Zionist banker connections. They're wary of the fact that Anwar is respected by well-known Neocons like Paul Wolfovitz and has access to a global network of influential names in academia and the mass media. Unlike Najib, Anwar Ibrahim doesn't have to pay millions to some Jewish PR agency to have the international media paint a rosy image of him as a leader.
Umno apologists just don't get it. These so-called Zionist plutocrats - men like George Soros (left), the Rothschilds, and the Rockefellers - admire intelligence and statesmanship and, of course, they are constantly trying to recruit new blood into their ranks. If they have indeed been courting Anwar, it simply means they believe Anwar is well worth luring into their inner circles - just as they at one time invited the likes of Lee Kuan Yew and Mahathir Mohamad to participate in closed-doors Bilderberg conferences. In the geopolitical arena one has to acknowledge that power has been jealously guarded for countless centuries by a secretive elite via interlocking fraternities like the Freemasons, Knights of Malta, and the Rotarians. The heads of these fraternities are members of even more exclusive and secretive mystical orders with names like the Priory of Sion, Opus Dei, the Bavarian Illuminati, and Ordo Templi Orientis.
Their deadly grip on power appears indomitable and absolute. But that's merely an illusion. Truth is, the cracks have become huge enough for new reality options to hatch from within these occult power centers.
David Mayer de Rothschild (born 25 August 1978), adventurer & environmentalist
As always their own descendants - the children and grandchildren of Evelyn Rothschild and David Rockefeller, for example, will break the family mold and mutate in ways unforeseen. Like a tower struck by lightning, the entire edifice of hereditary power and wealth will quickly crumble as the New World Order manifests as something its original planners would never in a million years have imagined possible.
As a brilliant and charming deputy prime minister cum finance minister, Anwar had apparently attracted the attention of these global powerbrokers. Perhaps he had been emboldened by their tacit support to make his power play against the recalcitrant Mahathir in mid-1997 - which triggered a vindictive and violent reaction from both Daim Zainuddin (right) and Mahathir who represented the vested interests of the Umnoputra elite that had burgeoned during Mahathir's 22-year premiership.
Those who had grown fat in the mid-1980s and early 1990s from Mahathir's largesse were naturally incensed by what they perceived as Anwar Ibrahim's impatience and impertinence. He had to be forcefully put down as an example to other would-be upstarts within the ranks of Umno. This explains the ferocity and sheer viciousness of their attack against Anwar in 1998. [And why they decided to dust off the sodomy script and whack him again with it in June 2008... followed by that dubious "Datuk T" sex video, and when that plot laughably fizzled out, they redoubled their efforts to nail Anwar on Sodomy II... and finally succeeded, by bending the laws out of shape and irreparably tarnishing the name of the Apex Court.]
It was nothing less than a political crucifixion. Just as two thousand years ago the entrenched Jewish priesthood and the obese merchants in Palestine were terrified of the master Yeshua's populist message of reform and renewal - the feudal power establishment in Malaysia was severely rattled by the close proximity of the same groundswell of massive rebellion that swept Suharto and his dynasty from power right next door in Indonesia.
The Umno old guard isn't quite dead yet. Mahathir still growls as he paces and prowls in growing frustration, watching Umno warlords repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot and dig themselves deeper and deeper into their own graves. Quietly monitoring the political shifts since 8 March 2008 from his invisible vantage point, former finance minister Daim Zainuddin makes hardly a sound - but he has been busy behind the scenes, doing whatever he can and must to thwart Anwar's ambitions to become PM.
As for the Malay rulers, they have been compromised - particularly since the mid-1980s - by their immersion in entrepreneurial pursuits - an unhealthy trend that escalated following Mahathir's usurpation of their traditional authority. Few of them have any head for business, so they are largely dependent on a shadowy cadre of Umnoputra tycoons and the fly-by-night financial adventurers who serve as their advisors and proxies.
This is certainly an untenable and unwholesome situation. The royal houses must decide very soon whether to throw their lot in with the collapsing Umnoputra house of cards - or to discreetly extricate themselves from further involvement in the sordid world of business - a realm where their royal stature is susceptible to being irreversibly tarnished and brought into severe disrepute. They cannot carry on dabbling in business, getting entangled in constant conflicts of interest or risking legal action when their enterprises go bust - and yet expect the public to shut up and keep paying their royal allowances.
I was telling some friends recently that the political atmosphere during the Mahathir Era was horribly stifling, especially after 1986 when his power faced serious challenges. But, strangely, things feel even worse today - not necessarily because Najib is crueler and more ruthless than his cynical puppetmaster - but simply because the Internet can now reveal the full extent of Umno/BN's criminal mismanagement, complete with charts and tables and long lists of figures.
Thanks to the emergence in Cyberspace of loose cannon maverick royals like Raja Petra Kamarudin - whose access to "official secrets" and whose ability to expose and destroy the rogue regime we call Umno/BN (along with all who stubbornly cling to their ill-gotten gains and their obscene privileges) should never be underestimated - those of us who genuinely love this country still have many strategic options apart from migrating.
As RPK has shown by positioning himself out of harm's way and continuing to fire salvo after salvo at political targets of the day, it's futile trying to scare bloggers into silence. You can haul up and question a few - but at what cost to your expensively tailored international image? And for every Malaysian-based blogger who gets intimidated into silence, a hundred outspoken bloggers based abroad will emerge to carry on the information war.
[RPK launched the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement as a "Third Force" when he realized that Anwar Ibrahim had his own way of doing things that didn't always coincide with RPK's strong opinions. These two men are extremely charismatic but very different in temperament. Anwar is a natural-born fiery orator, diplomat and political strategist; while RPK enjoys the role of flamboyant revolutionary and gunslinging political Paladin, six-shooters blazing from both holsters. RPK has never run for political office and maintains a stance independent of BN and PR. However, what troubles me is that RPK maintains an affable, hand-kissing relationship with Dr Mahathir and recently met with Sanusi Junid, who was sent to the UK as Dr M's emissary to persuade RPK to disconnect from Anwar Ibrahim. RM10 million was dangled as a carrot. RPK says he turned it down, even though he was momentarily tempted. Since his shocking U-turn at the beginning of 2010 when he agreed to be interviewed by TV3, publicly withdrawing his lethal insinuations against Rosmah and Najib, his former admirers have largely agreed that RPK has now become just another hired gun.]
One of the perks of amassing a vast fortune is to be admired and applauded wherever you go. However, if your reputation sinks to the level of infamous rogues like Robert Mugabe, Augusto Pinochet, Ferdinand Marcos, Slobodan Milošević, General Than Shwe, Kim Jong-Il, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney... you'd probably be wishing you could have been half as talented as Michael Jackson instead... or twice as dead.
[First posted 12 November 2009]