Today when I read Malaysiakini news article which said PAS Youth defends overtures to Umno I knew Anwar Ibrahim would now begin to realize his worst nightmare.
And what would that be, or why should it be so?
When I posted Can we trust Anwar Ibrahim? I wrote:
I recall that a year ago I read an Aliran article (sorry, couldn’t find it and can’t recall who wrote it) which succinctly analyzed the general election …
… [stating] that Anwar’s (and PKR's) support would have to come mainly from the non-Malays (I assume it must have meant the Chinese). This prediction or political analysis seems to be spot on for the following reasons:
We know in the recent election, the Malay voters swing was only 5% - as evidenced by UMNO as the BN component hanging on best after the people's verdict.
The Chinese swing was 30% … The Hindraf galvanized awakening of the Indians … – the voters swing was 35%.
Thus my take on the so-called 'new' Anwar is as follows:
I may not like him but that doesn’t mean he was/is stupid – in fact he’s what Ong and Oon [both columnists for Malaysiakini] said of him, shrewd and cunning.
He knew which side of his political bread was going to be buttered. The trick was to tread carefully between showing the ‘nons’ of his ‘born-again’ credentials and showing the Malays he’s still their ethnic warrior. A new version of the NEP was promoted but without dismissing Article 153 – in other words, have his cake as well as eat it. This is just a quick example.
Now I come to the part which has relevance with today’s article in Malaysiakini:
Anwar is not comfy with the Pakatan. All the boasts about frogs belie his fears of a Pakatan disagreement over his shameless undemocratic taunting of how he intends to win rule through promoting party hopping, a tactic he mastered when he was in UMNO. You can take the bloke out of UMNO but you can’t take UMNO out of the bloke. […]
He wants UMNO to ask him ‘to come home’. Then he won’t need to depend on the DAP or PAS, but especially the DAP.
Look, his man Khalid Ibrahim had felt bloody awkward forming up the Selangor exco, ..... It’s bad enough having the DAP full of ‘nons’ but the ethnic situation has been compounded by the PKR ‘nons’. Quite unlike an UMNO-MCA-MIC situation. […]
It’s not an image Anwar wants the heartland to see, and real power can only come from the support of the heartland.
No doubt Anwar had done his part to keep the Pakatan in a cohesive form during the election campaign (and no one can take that away from him) but it wasn’t just for altruistic reasons. His strategy was to reduce the BN-UMNO majority to less than 2/3, and then voila, to present his inner coterie as the component available (after an invitation) to restore UMNO’s 2/3, but AAB wasn’t biting for various reasons.
Hence he is piling the pressure on AAB daily with his froggie forecast. The subtext? Anwar wants back into UMNO ... or else!
Alas, as I mentioned in The Achilles heel of Anwar Ibrahim neither AAB nor the UMNO senior leadership are biting, and UMNO has instead played footsies with a delighted PAS (well, at least the Hadi Awang faction)
Another worry for him which is also slowly sinking in for his supporters is that PKR was borne along in the election mainly by Chinese and Indian votes. Push comes to shove, should the DAP and PKR come to a head on, except for a minority among the younger more idealistic set, most Chinese and Indian voters would opt for the DAP, or worse, even return to the BN.
Anwar won’t have a dream of ever weaning away the PAS and UMNO hardcore supporters into his camp. It’ll be a far tougher fight in the next election. And just don't forget, his PKR's 31 seats aren't pure PKR, not with Dr Jeya and Wee ... This may explain his continuous and frantic claims of frogs.
So to summarize, Anwar is acutely aware of several factors, namely that:
(a) the recent tsunamic swing over to the Pakatan Rakyat is probably a one-off. Yes, there may be future swings but certainly not of this magnitude,
(b) the swing has been mainly non-Malay voters,
(c) even if the Pakatan Rakyat wins federal rule in the next general election, and he becomes PM, PKR will be only a junior partner in the loose coalition,
(d) PKR is very dependent on non-Malay voters (a race-conscious but realistic statement),
(e) PAS and DAP
(f) He may end up being a figurehead - something a man like him, whom I suspect of being captive to his own delusions of overblown importance and grandeur, could never ever tolerate.
Today in the mentioned Malaysiakini news article of PAS Youth defends overtures to Umno, PAS flexes its political muscles, with its Youth chief Salahuddin Ayub saying rather condescendingly that, in meeting with UMNO recently, PAS wasn’t intimidating PKR - wakakaka!
In fact Hadi Awang declared that PAS leaders have just the same rights as, if not more than PKR to hold discussions with UMNO on issues of mutual interest – in other words, PAS is saying to PKR: “F* off mate, you don’t have a monopoly on negotiations with UMNO on Malay or Islamic affairs. Who the hell are you to tell us who we may or may not talk to.”
And indeed Hadi Awang chided PKR by saying precisely that: “If others can meet Umno (leaders), why can’t PAS meet Umno? (Such comments) show a lack of understanding. On the basis of Islam, we have the right (to do so). PAS can negotiate with any party.”
Then he rubbed salt into the PKR’s wound of reality, by asserting PAS’ political independence, and in the process smashing what I believe to be Anwar Ibrahim’s delusion of his Olympus status, (acting) as if he was the only leader of PR. Hadi removed the gloves and said assertively:
“No one is the sole leader of Pakatan Rakyat. (Its) leadership is collective, and we have mutually agreed that the respective party leaders can seek to influence our friends in BN to join us. Because of this, the issue of why PAS is meeting Umno should not arise.”
Then good olde Pak Haji Hadi went from qualitative to quantitive pronoucements on PAS pre-eminence, reminding PKR leadership of PAS’ ‘predominance’ in Pakatan after the March 8 general election.
He reminded PKR that it holds 83 to PKR’s 40 ADUNs (DAP has 73 but is not participating in the Melayu-Islamic affairs round-robin footsie game).
Obviously chaffing at the rein because (probably to him) PAS had graciously taken a back seat for far too long in allowing Anwar Ibrahim to dominate the public limelight, Hadi warned ominously: “After the victory, the role of PAS people needs to be taken into account. PAS people are not stupid. Do not sideline their contributions after the win.”
Amin, Pak Haji.
Adios, Datuk Seri Anwar!