The Malaysian Insider’s Clinton called to express concern over Sodomy II, says Anwar reported:
Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim confirmed today that he was unable to meet Hillary Clinton but claimed the US Secretary of State called tonight to ask about him his wife and his ongoing Sodomy II trial.
Anwar told reporters that Clinton also issued an apology to his wife PKR president Datin Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail for failing to greet her during a function this morning.
I’m sure it’s true but my perception and thus question would be, why has Anwar taken so much trouble to emphasize that the Americans are very pally buddy with him?
Not being an anwarista and thus less than devoted to him and/or blind to his conduct, I see a certain desperation in his efforts to confirm that he is still sort-of No 1 with the Yanks. Malaysians have a term for that desperation – ‘hard up’.
I know I’d be excoriated for my 'impertinence', and no doubt would have riled my matey Antares to no ends, doubly so when I address him as ‘my matey’ wakakaka. Just a wee digression from the main topic, notwithstanding our antipodal take on Anwar, I see Antares as a good man.
I have no doubt Anwar has a strategy for his political aspirations, one which strangely includes American approval and continuing support of him as a political leader of Malaysia. Whether it's still the correct strategy remains to be seen.
Most certainly, during Dr Mahathir’s days with his apparent hostility for the western powers, the Yanks would have seen in Anwar Ibrahim a friend in this region to be cultivated for American interests. If Anwar had become PM of Malaysia, the USA would have been rapt.
Probably it was Heraclitus who said “nothing endures but change”. To put it more simply (or oxymoronically), nothing is permanent except change.
Change or more correctly, changes - The world has moved on, kaytee is older but alas, still not wiser, and has added on a kilo or two, Dr Mahathir is no longer the PM of Malaysia (so most people including Najib hopes wakakaka), two PMs since have succeeded him, etc.
Just as former PM Dr Mahathir had proclaimed Malaysia as an Islamic nation to outflank PAS, his protégé Najib took a leaf out of his (Dr M’s) book to demonstrate his pally-buddy-ness with the American president to outflank Anwar Ibrahim. Of course the Americans, who have very few real friends in the world including those who sponge mightily from them, have been delighted with Najib’s overtures.
Where does that leave Anwar Ibrahim then?
Apart from Paul Wolfowitz, I believe the Americans are now embarrassed with their erstwhile (warm and cozy) relationship with him, especially in the light of recent events, when a Republican politician has accused him of complicity in terrorism because of his association with an Islamic think-tank based in America.
This was reported in western press and picked up by Din Merican in his blog, namely that:
Charles S. 'Chuck' DeVore, the Republican member of the California State Assembly, has linked Anwar to the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), which he claimed is a “Muslim Brotherhood front that has repeatedly been tied to terrorist network financing”.
The three-term California assemblyman wrote five days ago that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should avoid the PKR de facto leader in her three-day visit to Malaysia starting this evening. [..]
But DeVore said Anwar’s 'passion for government reform was suspect from the start.' “While riding the crest of his popularity in 1998, his allies called for a debate on ‘cronyism and nepotism’ which Malaysia’s former strongman Prime Minister Mahathir quickly turned on its head by producing lists of those who benefited from by receiving shares from privatised government corporations.
“The lists showed Ibrahim, his allies, his brothers and his father owned million of shares in newly privatised companies. Tellingly, Ibrahim’s corruption conviction was never overturned,” he said, referring to Anwar by his father’s name as is the American custom. […]
In stating his reasons against Clinton ever meeting Anwar, DeVore said “Anwar Ibrahim is simply one in a long line of Islamist leaders who know how to say one thing to a Western audience who longs to hear soothing words, while saying and acting differently when they think no one from the West is paying attention.”
He also wrote sarcastically about the possibility of Anwar and his coalition winning the next general election. “If Ibrahim’s People’s Justice Party (run by his wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail) comes to power in 2011, it will likely mark another occurrence of democracy being used to destroy democracy. “Secretary of State Clinton, if she meets with Ibrahim, will act to boost his destructive charade.”
Whether the accusation forms a new conspirary theory, as anwaristas would no doubt claim, 'twas nonetheless a very damaging accusation, one any American Sectatary of State would have either great difficulty or great bravery in ignoring. I quoted Din Merican’s blog because if I had quoted from a western media, I’d be accused of sh*t stirring, and my poor matey Antares would go plain ape-sh*t wakakaka.
But it may explain why Hilary Clinton had studiously avoided meeting Anwar or Wan Azizah, though of course she would never admit it openly as Americans like to show they are very pro human rights, and Anwar’s Sodomy II falls within an issue of basic rights. So, Hilary would be forced to delicately tap dance her way out of a potentially embarrassing situation, and she has!
I feel it’s high time Anwar should stop worrying about the Yanks and start being more involved domestically than in the international arena. This is because times have moved on where Malaysia now has a friendly-to-the-West PM, rendering Anwar a less useful person to western political interests, though of course western human rights groups still support him.
In many ways, Anwar has lost considerable support at the domestic front because of his international perambulating ways. He gives the impression he’s more interested in being popular overseas than at home.
Or, perhaps he feels he has the domestic front all sewn up in his pocket? Well, he’s wrong in this regard.