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What did Anwar see when he looked in the mirror?

  • One thing is clear: There is little need for Umno and PAS to join forces to break PH up. PH is doing the job very well on its own!

By Mariam Mokhtar

One thing is clear. There is little need for Umno-Baru and PAS to join forces to break Pakatan Harapan (PH) up. PH is doing the job very well on its own.

Bersatu appears to be creating Umno-Baru Version II by absorbing the seemingly untainted Umno-Baru politicians and supporters, but the actions of PKR politicians will make PH implode.

Remember the Reformasi movement of 1998? It started because the nation was angry with the cronyism and corruption under the then rule of Malaysia's fourth Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

More importantly, the Reformasi movement centred on the injustice directed towards one man, the erstwhile deputy prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim. Anwar was subsequently accused of adultery and sodomy. The sexual misconduct was reason enough for Mahathir to sack him.

Anwar was jailed, and enjoyed a few years of freedom on his release, before the then prime minister, Najib Abdul Razak, felt threatened by him, and jailed him on a second charge of sodomy. The judgments were widely derided because of the farcical manner in which the trials were conducted.

Fast forward to 2019, Anwar, is waiting for the coveted title of prime minister, to be bestowed upon him, when Mahathir leaves office, purportedly after serving for two years.

Now, the "new" Reformasi is not about Anwar. It is about a nation desperate for change from corrupt politics. It is about a new Malaysia.

So, when Anwar kept harping about his future role as PM, his critics turned on him, because they needed Mahathir to focus and undo his many damaging policies. They wanted Mahathir to run the nation, take care of the economy, and ensure Najib and his cronies were investigated for their alleged corruption. Most of all they wanted Mahathir to restore Malaysia's good name and standing in the world. Many felt Anwar showed impatience.

Suddenly, a video clip emerged, which allegedly showed Mahathir's right-hand man, the Economics Minister, Azmin Ali, in a tryst with another man.

The use of gutter politics, showing pornography on social media sites, is a favorite tool of Umno-Baru, and has been used time and again to bring down political opponents.

Gutter politics is a distraction that takes our attention from more important issues, like rising prices, the homeless, the environment, the divisions in society and rising crime.

The people behind gutter politics lack imagination. They know that in conservative Malaysia, sex sells. We may not be able to hold hands in public, but we go wild-eyed over a bit of sleaze on social media sites.

This video was one distraction which Malaysia did not need. Who could be behind it? Who will gain most from this video clip? Was this Umno-Baru's doing?

The IGP has been tasked to investigate this matter and has said that it is taking away much needed resources from areas that need it most.

So when Anwar said that Azmin should resign, if he was the man in the video, was he being unfair? Or was he being disingenuous?

We are aware that Anwar has spent many years in jail and probably wasted the most productive years of his life. The charges were most probably politically motivated, but he should have known better, than to tell Azmin to resign.

When asked to respond to Anwar's statement, Azmin said, "...He must look at the man in the mirror."

When pressed further, he said, "Muhasabah. Ask Anwar to reflect on himself (muhasabah). Please reflect on his own face."

So what did Anwar see, when he looked at himself, in the mirror?

Did he see a man who deserves to be PM? Did he think that he had suffered years in prison, because others who were more smart and greedy for power, locked him away? Was he entitled to become the PM?

Did he see a man who will unite all the Malays, because they share the same faith? He was once the youth leader of the Islamic Youth Movement (ABIM), until Mahathir plucked him to lead the old Umno, and make it more Islamic than PAS. This was to entice the Muslims to join Umno.

Did he see a man who believes in a multiracial Malaysia, and a leader who will get rid of affirmative action policies? During Reformasi, he championed all the races, but recently, he said that the Malays needed time to abandon the affirmative action policies.

Or, did he see a man who failed to unite the factions within PKR and allowed their squabbles to spill over into the public domain?

Did he see an opportunity to prop-up his flagging political fortunes, and quickly jumped onto the fishermen's bandwagon. Penang and Perak fishermen oppose the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project and sand mining from the seas off Perak. This project was first announced in 2009. Why did Anwar take 10 years to show solidarity?

Before Anwar can lead Malaysia, he must look carefully into his inner self, and decide if he is really what the nation needs. Malaysians will not accept another malevolent politician, or a pretender to the throne.

Sources:

1. The Star: Look at the man in the mirror, says Azmin
2. The Star: Sex video is a political scheme, says Mahathir

(Mariam Mokhtar is a Freelance Writer.)scheme-says-mahathir/

 

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