When I read Malaysiakini news announcement Anwar arrested outside his house I thought to myself, this is one bizarre country when just last night, the bloke was debating against the Minister of Info on the issue of petrol prices, an event which was broadcast around the globe (well, at least for those who wants to see it).
When I saw that debate - yes, I saw in on Global media Channel down here in Australia (on my laptop at a drinking party) as recommended by Malaysiakini – I thought to myself Malaysia has come a long way to even allow an opposition person to appear in such prominence.
Today I was contemplating discussing the debate despite people having already made up their minds last night as to who was the better debater even before the debate started ;-) but alas, the arrest took me by surprise.
In another Malaysiakini report CID chief reveals why Anwar was arrested, the police claimed they were worried (or pissed off) that Anwar had no intention of fronting up at the police station to be interviewed by police, hence they arrested him to ensure they could interview him.
Malaysiakini quoted Bakri Zinin, the Federal CID director, saying that Anwar was supposed to have gone directly to the police headquarters immediately after giving his statement to the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) in Putrajaya.
"However, we were informed that after he left the ACA headquarters in Putrajaya, he had changed his route and was heading back to his house in (Bukit) Segambut.
"He was arrested as we had reason to believe he was not going to show up. We wish to point out that Anwar had initially agreed to meet us on Monday but failed to keep his appointment."
No charge has yet been laid against him and it may well be that the police will be forced to release him after 24 hours – unless of course …….. something develops.
Anwar was deliberately absent from his appointment with the police on Monday. He merajuk by claiming that the police had acted unprofessionally in 'intimidating and harassing' his staff and family while attempting to serve an order under Section 111 of the Criminal Procedure Code on Sunday.
I didn't buy his bullsh*t because the police had to do so, ie. serve that order, thus I wasn't entirely surprised by his not turning up at the police station as he had originally agreed to.
I am not sure whether that had been part of his plan to defy authorities, and to push his defiance to the edge of the envelope, essentially a game of brinksmanship or even to create a scene worthy of international attention or domestic upheaval?
If it has been, then the authorities have played into his hands. On the other hand, if the authorities have (as feared) acted heavy-handedly, I reckon Anwar will emerge even more victorious.
With a person like Anwar, the authorities would have been better off just ignoring him – he thrives on media attention. Admittedly it wouldn't have been easy, what with Statutory Declarations ;-) flying high and low to taunt the UMNO leadership and to regale us with salacious gossips.
Of course Anwar's game of brinksmanship may possibly backfire against him if he believes that the authorities have been afraid to 'touch' him since global eyes are watching.
Today Malaysia is quite different from 1998 without a hostile-to-US-&-the-West Dr M. Instead it has as its PM an AAB who has been developing cozy relationship with the Yanks and Europe - told you this bloke is one sly, shrewd and cunning fellow.
Poor Anwar could conceivably end up for a long long time behind bars, with the US/West just making the occasional obligatory perfunctory mumblings.