Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Remarkable Anwar Ibrahim ~ by Gwo-Burne Loh (repost)

Just think about it: Mahathir, the financial might of UMNO, the entire cabinet, the Police, MACC, the Judiciary (or at least a large part of it), Election Commission, top civil servants, you can say the whole weight of the government has been going all out to find some evidence of wrongdoing (be it Sodomy 1 or 2, sex tapes, and maybe more to come) for the last 16 long years and yet to date, not one credible shred of evidence has been found or revealed. What does this mean? 

Anwar is not the man Mahathir tries to paint him to be. Think about it: Mahathir is so rich (with access to tens of billions), so powerful, so cunning, evil and sly, so clever and resourceful - and with all that power and money of the whole government and UMNO plus the BN partners ever willing to do his bidding - he could prove nothing against Anwar. What an anti-climax. Every plot to destroy Anwar Ibrahim has fallen completely flat or backfired - and he still cannot understand why. In plain English, Mahathir's time is up. The Mahathir Era is over. Let a fresh new dawn begin for all us!

Press Release issued by Kelana Jaya MP Gwo-Burne Loh 
on 9 January 2012 in Petaling Jaya

Saeed Khan (AFP/Getty Images)
The Remarkable Anwar Ibrahim

This is not an article about Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy trial. But in case anyone is interested to hear my two-cents worth on the trial, I have two questions. How many people do we know who have actually been charged with sodomy? And do you think Dato Seri Anwar would be charged if he were not an opposition leader?

My answers are: 1 and NO.

Furthermore, those paying attention during the VK Lingam video would have heard Anwar’s case being mentioned. What does it mean? It means the BN government would go to great lengths to ascertain that Anwar be put behind bars until his political career expires, if not for his entire lifetime. On that fateful day Lingam revealed to my father and myself that Mahathir and his political cronies had planned an UMNO-led coalition be cemented in power as long as time could be projected, and in the name of Malaysian prosperity and peace, Anwar must be destroyed.

In this conspiracy all sectors of government - including the civil service, judiciary, and police - would be under their direct or indirect control and influence. The reach of this conspiracy even extends into the private sector. The financial system in the country would be manned by trusted cronies; Petronas and its agents guarded by friends and family; the private power suppliers, utilities, media, trading companies... precious little was spared.

One man stood to threaten the conspiracy, so he had to be destroyed. And what will happen on the 9th of January? I think all the cards are with the conspirators. If recent trends are any indication, then I think Anwar will be found not guilty, to buy some goodwill. Instead the grounds of execution will be moved to the court of Appeal (probably only after the elections). But all the cards are with the conspirators, we can only wait.

With that out of the way, I want to talk about one of the most remarkable humans I have had the pleasure to encounter and spend time with. He is my boss, but I will try to be objective. So let’s make it clear that Anwar is by no means perfect, only Umno Barisan Nasional is perfect and does no wrong, so Anwar from time to time makes mistakes. The important thing is that he admits it.

The Inspirational 

The first time I met Anwar Ibrahim was about 4 years ago together with my father. I was never an Anwar fan; also I am a skeptic by nature, making me someone quite difficult to convince. I had lost all hope for Malaysia, and like many Malaysians, had decided to move abroad. I was in a very good place in my life. Anwar struck me with his warmth and modesty. He spoke at length on his beliefs and his political vision for Malaysia. He spoke about his views regarding race relations and international relations of Malaysia. He spoke at length about his mistakes and what he learnt during his ordeals. When I left the meeting, I left with a change of heart. I left the meeting loving Malaysia more.

For the first time in my life I felt hope for Malaysia . I realised that there is something worth fighting for. Suddenly I started to see everyone as Malaysians instead of just Malay, Indian, Chinese, Dayak, etc. I was inspired to see hope for our nation and its people...

Anwar inspires. Anwar inspired with his sincerity and conviction. Anwar inspired with his vision. And directly and indirectly millions were inspired. Just five years ago, who would have believed that our nation was standing on the verge of change? Who would believe that the mighty UMNO would need to start listening to the rakyat?

Of course Anwar was not the only source of inspiration. But at a time where some tremble at the sight of the moon on a green flag, and others who hurl insults at the sight of a rocket. He, more than anyone else, was the glue to bind us all together. He, more than anyone else, led us to each other; and today, together, we stand at the brink of a regime change in Malaysia. Without Anwar, how many would have believed we would have even got this far?

The Resilient

The remarkable thing about the survey which registered that 51% like Najib Razak, while 39% likes Anwar is this: a friend commented that PR should be worried since Najib apparently was more popular than Anwar, but I offered a reversed conclusion that it is BN who should be concerned. Why? Simple. For four years you have all the kings’ horses and men, all the newspapers, radio, cybertroopers attack one man. You went so far as to dig out the old play book and charge him with sodomy. You even have a crony get his own brother to impersonate this man in a porno production.

All this while, the mainstream media treat every day as "deify our prime minister day." Even going as far as to issue official national sermons for Friday prayers telling all good Muslims to offer undivided loyalty and obedience to our great Prime Minister and friends. After four years of this and you find you are only 10% ahead, wouldn't you be worried?

In other words we need to appreciate one thing. Anwar is extremely resilient. Anyone else subjected to this intensity of abuse would have thrown in the towel long ago, anyone else would have fallen ages ago. Yet, Anwar still stands tall and strong.

In fact through the waves of onslaughts directed at Anwar, I have never seen him visibly affected. Except during Zahrain’s fallout. For the first time I could see Anwar visibly sad, more from the lost of an old friend I sensed. Despite the unrelenting assaults, which would have crippled entire armies, Anwar still stands tall and strong. "This is because of the hard work and support from all of you," he would say. But, in truth, we are the ones who should be thankful.

Not only because he continues to give us hope and inspiration, he also provides us shelter and protection. Imagine if there is no Anwar to draw the waves and waves of onslaught by the powers that be. Imagine if all the PR leaders and YBs are subjected to what Anwar has to face every day, how many more of us would have fallen? How many more would have thrown in the towel? He stood there and drew most of the heat upon himself, so the rest of us can collectively work towards the goal of a better nation.

The Remarkable

Sometimes a nation produces a person who is destined to shine not only within their nation, but on the international stage as well. Someone that will make our nation shine that much more brightly (Some might try, some might imitate, but you can’t pretend to be Princess Diana). We in Malaysia are fortunate to have produced such a remarkable person. But it is also unfortunate that we choose to allow him to be shackled and weighed down.

Or should I say that it is unfortunate that so many of us decide to stand by and allow him to be shackled. But, remarkably, Anwar remains firm with his love of Malaysia and its people; remains determined to spend his life and blood in building the nation into the great nation we know we can become. He believes we can, I believe we need to. Today our nation remains rooted, unable to break free from being decidedly mediocre, but the truth is, we are mediocre by choice rather than due to any disability.

Gwo-Burne Loh
Kelana Jaya MP
To a large extent this is where our government has decided is the best place to be. And for 55 years there was nothing the people could do about it. In a way we chose where we wanted to be.

When the BN government was bulldozing the so called "peaceful" assembly bill through parliament, in spite of the widespread objections from the people, a BN YB said that the Barisan Nasional is passing this bill with the mandate of the people and if you don't like it then take over the government in the next elections, if you can.

The Remarkable Mr. Anwar Ibrahim says we can. Do you hear him?

[First posted 3 June 2012]