Dammit… look at that bunch of utter nincompoops strutting around the corridors of power today: anal-retentive Umno stereotypes like Najib Razak, Zahid Hamidi, Nazri Abdul Aziz, Tengku Adnan, Hishammuddin Hussein, Noh Omar, Khairy Jamaluddin… DO YOU TRUST THESE CREATURES? They can’t even speak in public without sounding like robots or reading from scripts! Anwar is human and passionate and you can sense a burning intelligence in his eyes.
Okay, back in the mid-1970s when I first read about this hotheaded leader of ABIM (Muslim Youth Movement), I went ho-hum. Back then Anwar Ibrahim was your archetypal ethnocentric nationalist sporting the mujahideen goatee - but at least he was outspoken on issues affecting the rural poor, and that got him into jail. Seeing his leadership potential, Mahathir persuaded Anwar to join Umno and got him spewing forth the expected foam about bangsa and ugama. I confess that in 1989 I actually did a caricature of him and labeled it "Anal Ibrim" little suspecting that within a decade Anwar would be plagued by that very word. And I'm still troubled by a rumor I once heard, naming Anwar Ibrahim as the minister who came up with the wicked idea to convert the dysfunctional Jabatan Hal Ehwal Orang Asli (Orang Asli Affairs Department) into a tool for converting the Orang Asli to Islam and assimilating them into the Malay mainstream.
Well, I don't know if there's any truth to that accusation - but even if it were true, that was back in 1990, and the man has suffered six years in prison for that reprehensible gaffe. You could say Anwar has paid all his karmic dues. Let's delete Anwar's slightly murky past when he was Umno deputy president and Dr M's hand-picked protégé, and take a closer look at what happened around the time of the currency depreciation in mid-1997. A bunch of young Turks in Umno were pushing Anwar to the forefront as a potential heir to the throne, goading him to attack Mahathir on the corruption front, the old man's weak underbelly. The Mamak didn't like that one bit - and neither did his former finance minister, Daim Zainuddin. Anwar was given the option to hand in his resignation - or face extreme vilification and political damnation.
Anwar, unlike other DPMs, refused to yield to Mahathir’s awesome might and megalomaniacal ego. Anwar fought back when he could have cut his losses by taking up a diplomatic or academic post abroad, returning quietly to the Umno fold a few years later like Musa Hitam.
On September 2nd, 1998, Anwar Ibrahim underwent a radical transformation from Umno bigwig to political renegade - he literally took on the mantle of a messianic cult hero when Malaysia urgently required one. I’ve watched him closely since his sacking and subsequent arrest - and he has performed impeccably as a spiritual warrior and icon of righteous resistance. Over six years of incarceration Anwar maintained his dignity, focus, perseverance and humanity - and that’s when the beautiful, strong women in his life rose to the occasion.
No man who has seen his wife and daughter go through so much on his behalf would ever behave like a male chauvinist pig; he would have a healthy respect for the feminine principle. This is what I see in Anwar and that is why I have publicly hailed him as Malaysia’s best hope at this critical juncture in our political evolution.
Anwar has every quality that marks him as a man of extraordinary destiny. I trust him as much as I trust myself - and because I fear him not, I would walk up to him and tell him to his face if ever I felt he was turning into a tyrant. As a former victim of Dr M's tyranny, Anwar would never want to go down that ignominious road.
In 2001 while overnighting at a friend's house, I flipped through a copy of Anwar Ibrahim's Asian Renaissance I found in his library. Anwar came across as somebody I could imagine having a damn good conversation with on a one-to-one basis. But what most impressed me and turned my views around on politicians in general and Anwar in particular - was the bibliography at the end of the book which listed - among a broad spectrum of classics including the sublime poetry of Rabindranath Tagore - the Tao Te Ching. Now, anybody who can claim to have read that supreme masterpiece in pithy, organic wisdom is welcome in my household anytime. And if he decides to run for high political office, I'd put my money on him. These are no ordinary times we are living in. Successfully navigating the uncharted political seas immediately ahead calls for an extraordinary helmsman - one who has survived the worst storms!
[Here's an inspiring perspective on Anwar Ibrahim by Charles R. Avila that was uploaded 11 June 2008 on Din Merican's blog.]
APPENDIX A[First posted 30 July 2008]
Wednesday, 30 July 2008
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
At 2.30pm on Wednesday, 25 June 2008, Senior Assistant Commissioner (SAC) II Mohd Rodwan Mohd Yusof met Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in room 619 of the Concorde Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. Prior to this secret meeting, Rodwan and Saiful spoke on the phone at least eight (8) times.
Three days later, at 2.00pm on 28 June 2008, Saiful went to see Dr Mohamed Osman Abdul Hamid of the Hospital Pusrawi to ‘complain’ that he had been sodomised by ‘a very important person’ and that he wished to lodge a police report. The doctor, however, found no traces or evidence that he had been sodomised and suggested, for purposes of the police report, that Saiful go to a government hospital.
Who is Rodwan, other than the fact that he works for the IGP and is known as the police chief’s bagman and go-between with the organised crime syndicate that controls all the drugs, prostitution, loan-sharking and gambling rackets? Well, read the following archived reports to get a better understanding of this scumbag and slime-ball named Rodwan. Maybe then you can understand why he met Saiful in a hotel room three days before the sodomy allegation against Anwar Ibrahim exploded.
This comment was posted 30 July 2008 on Susan Loone’s blog:
I would like to write the following statement in the name of GOD whom I believe.
I am a government doctor in the rank of consultant working in Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL). I know personally the doctors who examined Saiful on that day - 28 June 2008.
The so-called medical report mentioned in the NST is a fabrication or imagination by the UMNO paper. There is no such medical report submitted to the polis yet.
When examining Saiful, the specialist could not find any signs of Saiful being sodomised. Saiful was very cheerful, unlike real sodomised patients who will usually be very sad and disturbed.
Saiful was subsequently admitted to the ward and observed for a day. He was completely well in the ward and not emotionally disturbed.
We can only conclude, in view of Umno's psychopathological obsession with anal sex as a means of destroying Anwar Ibrahim's personal reputation and political career, that the Ketuanan Melayu party is possessed by far more dangerous demons - and is collectively a smellier asshole than Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
[Last posted 17 January 2012, reposted 22 March 2014]