In one of my previous posting Anwar Ibrahim - Lazarus of Politics? I pointed out that, notwithstanding Anwar Ibrahim’s statement he won’t rejoin UMNO, he in all probability still wants to, for sheer practical reasons of power. Anwar Ibrahim, having already tasted humongous power at the very top of Malaysian politics will be unlikely to be just satisfied with the position of Mr Opposition.
In this regard I drew attention to his denials of rejoining UMNO having too many qualifications. This process of over-qualification is called political tap-dancing, or weaving oneself verbally and daintily through a maze full of dead end commitments so that one is never locked in.
One day when Anwar Ibrahim rejoins UMNO as he hopes to, he would be able to look reporters straight in their eyes and say, “Well I said I wouldn’t rejoin UMNO because UMNO was …….. but look, today UMNO has changed and those factors inhibiting my return no longer exist …”.
Over at Malaysia-Today blog, editor Raja Petra Kamarudin wrote an interesting article titled Give me a sign Anwar which says basically the same thing about people being wary of Anwar Ibrahim and his ‘denials’ of rejoining UMNO, except that Raja put in an appeal of sorts in the concluding part of his article asking readers to accept Anwar’s answer as sincere.
He wrote eloquently with a lead in line about Ezam Mohd Noor, Anwar’s right hand man, leaving PKR to head his anti-corruption movement before he (Raja) punches hard on behalf of Anwar Ibrahim’s rejection of rejoining UMNO, as follows:
“Ezam then said his first choice is Umno. He does not deny this. And he joined Umno because of Anwar Ibrahim. He would never have joined Umno if not because of Anwar Ibrahim. His love, therefore, is not for Umno but for Anwar. But it is not Anwar the man that he loves but Anwar’s struggle. He is in love with what Anwar stands for: change, reformation, or reformasi.”
“The message is crystal clear, from both Anwar and Ezam. There is no confusion as to what they are saying. Point well taken! But the people still want to read between the lines. They do not want to take the statements at face value. They are trying to interpret the hidden message behind all these many statements.”
“That is Malaysia for you.”
There you have it – right straight from Raja, that it's all about genuine Reformasi. I am afraid I must confess to being one of those ‘that’s Malaysia for you’ character.
To lend impetus to the Reformasi story, Raja then went on to advise Anwar that the time for talking should be over, and he (Anwar) better move his behind and do something very drastic and revolutionary for the people to re-believe his Reformasi cause.
Raja’s Malaysia-Today blog has the reputation of lobbying for Anwar Ibrahim - though he denies this – maybe we ought in all fairness to term it ‘undeserved reputation’. Does his lobbing put him inside Anwar’s camp? Anyway, Raja assures us that “we may not have that long to wait” for Malaysia's political Messiah. We should see Anwar not only reviving Reformasi in about 3 months, but “giving it a new image and identity, while retaining its original ideals.”
;-) If the statement “giving it a new image and identity, while retaining its original ideals” is not a spin, I don't know what it is - sorry Raja.
Raja waxed eloquent about Mr Reformasi blessing us with “the silver lining in that ever so dark cloud that we are begging for Anwar to show us”. Hmmm, wasn't Anwar Ibrahim, former deputy Prime Minister and former deputy President of the incorrigible UMNO, part of that dark cloud?
One final line in Raja’s article on Mr Reformasi’s comeback puzzled me. I wonder what to read of his couple of sentences that said:
“But of course the powers-that-be [presumably UMNO] would not be resting easy though. They would be wishing they had brought Anwar back to Umno super-fast to keep him out of the hands of the opposition.”
Could that have been possibly the aim of Anwar Ibrahim all this while?
Was this objective aided by a campaign of judicious pressure on Ahmad Abdullah Badawi in the form of the Anwar Ibrahim's senior stateman speeches and public pontifications about corruption and NEP, the threatening sample of a campaign for PAS in Pengkalan Pasir, the escalating criticism of (though never mortally wounding) Ahmad Abdullah Badawi and UMNO, and his claim in an interview with Malaysiakini and that his old friends, members of UMNO upper echlon, had appealed to him to rejoin his old party – he even went as far as to claim that “they need my support or probably my leadership role to try and change from within”.
Now, I am not sure whether Raja's call for the miraculous silver lining in 3 months' time indicates that Anwar Ibrahim has finally given up on being 'invited' back by UMNO top brass, or a last threat to UMNO that "they would be wishing they had brought Anwar back to Umno super-fast to keep him out of the hands of the opposition.”