I am already jaded by the dull, dry and dead serious articles, and Dean’s return to Malaysiakini hopefully may inject a much needed boost to enjoyable reading. Yes, ‘all attacks and no laugh' make the writer a constipated … ooops, sorry for even mentioning that posterior-related word.
Dean wrote Anwar's spirit reigns, which I agree with, up to Nelson Mandela and Singapore’s JB Jeyaratnam, whence I then leapfrog (pun intended - wakakaka) over you-know-who to a lovely lady, Dr Wan Azizah.
Anwar Ibrahim is very lucky to be married to her, but ‘nuff said!
However, I like to comment on one of Dean’s paragraph, where he wrote:
Meanwhile, in the same 10-year time-frame, Anwar’s defied Mahathir, fired-up the Reformasi movement, got beaten blue-black, locked-up for years in solitary, reinvented himself as an academic, formed a political party, helped forge the Pakatan Rakyat coalition, got hit with another trumped-up morality charge, addressed countless ceramahs, won a by-election by a landslide and taken his place as leader of the Malaysian opposition.
I agree with Dean’s excellent summary of Anwar’s achievements, save the first two points, namely he defied Dr M, and fired–up the Reformasi movement … well, on second thoughts I agree with the latter but in a qualified manner, and I want to clarify on that … but later …
Firstly, his ‘defiance’ of Dr M!
‘Defiance’ sounds so heroic when in reality (we’re back to 1998) he was attempting to push Dr M out of (UMNO’s and the cabinet’s) No 1 spot. Of course he got his then sidekick Zahid to ‘volunteer’ for the hatchet job.
Two weeks ago I posted in The torment and impatience of Anwar Ibrahim (extracts):
But alas his faction started the campaign to associate Dr M with cronyism and nepotism - an act which Dr Mahathir saw as unforgiveable act of treachery by a man he had loved and anointed as his successor.
The subtext of the insinuations by Anwar’s camp was clear, that Dr M should leave because he was ‘guilty’. There wasn't anything altruistic about the attempt at seizing power - it was pure unadulterated backstabbing in the finest tradition of the Machiavellian medieval Malay court intriques.
As RPK said, Anwar’s impatience must have blinded him to the hard fact that Dr M was no Gaafar Baba. Here was a master of political manoeuvring, not one to be trifled with – see my story about martial arts written two years ago, The Master & The Disciple, which may have some similarities.
Anwar made the biggest baddest bodoh-est mistake in his life.
T’was his impatience to reach the top - and he suffered such a humongous loss that he has never quite emotionally recovered from that fall …
… which may explain his obsessive need to reclaim what he thought was his, ought to be his, and shall be his, again.
… by hook or by crook …
… by reformasi or deformasi (frogs) …
What I had written in The torment and impatience of Anwar Ibrahim, above and as follows, may explain what Dean has labelled kindly as Anwar’s ‘never say die’ spirit:
… as they say, ‘There’s many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip’, and Anwar found that to his invincible distress.
I believe it has been this narrow miss at the highest political office, just by a hair’s breath, that has made the man super-geram, a frustrated anger beyond normal boundaries, even sending him into unbridled rage.
It has been an experience that has tormented him since.
And it’s this torment that has been driving him relentlessly to re-claim what he believes should have been his ..... if only not for his self-centred impatience … and not the myth that he had defied Dr M …
… because till the last part of his UMNO membership, and I was told by an elder, he still attempted to suck up to Dr M, to gain much lost grounds, as was observed during the ceremony to celebrate the opening of UMNO Penang’s (then) new building.
But it was too little too late and the rest is, as they say, history!
Now, on to why I have to qualify his reformasi ...
After he was booted out of UMNO (and thus the cabinet), he thought he could effect his return to power by his 'overnight' created reformasi movement - maybe the Jakarta students had inspired him?
For years in UMNO, in the trappings of power and lap of luxury, we didn't hear a single peep from him about reformasi, but instead lots of nationalistic taunts and Islamisation policies like baca doa for school children.
And may the bells in the Hindu temples ring forever to remind us of that.
As acting PM, he had not only condoned the attacking of the international conference Apcet II, but claimed the credit for it. I posted in Who was in charge when Apcet II was attacked by thugs? that:
This was what that bloke, the one who was then in charge of the nation, said of the UMNO thuggish disruption of Apcet II:
“Our mission was to stop the conference and we did just that.”
WAS TO STOP THE CONFERENCE
WE DID JUST THAT
He said that as acting Prime Minister. So you think he wasn't aware at all, or had no part in condoning, if not approving that shameful thuggery?
In case you missed it, read this again "OUR MISSON ...", not 'their' or 'his' but "OUR MISSION".
And why was that allowed to happen where Malaysia’s good name was dragged down into the gutter, all for a foreign nation?Reformasi?
However, there’s no doubt his silver tongue is mesmerizing because he can sell his katak-fication subversion of the ballot box as reformasi – amazing, isn’t it, where the faithful tries valiantly to explain why his proposed 16-September's re-enactment of his stunt in Sabah in 1994, which turned Pairin from an elected State CM into an opposition leader with just a few froggie croaks, should be considered as 'political reforms'.
Yes, this is a man who can convince you that black is white and white is black, so what’s a little matter like the NEP, fuel price, manna, ambrosia, 16-September as a public holiday, or anything you may desire? Just a wee man man lai and all will be possible.
Deformed politics or deformasi should be the correct label for his brand of snake oil.