Thursday, January 26, 2006

Anwar Ibrahim - 'Twixt Cup & Lip

I just love reading Malaysiakini Letters, for the reason that I can obtain a wide range of views on Malaysian affairs. Take for example one reader with the pseudonym of ‘Let It Be’ who noted the incongruity of people saying Anwar Ibrahim is a spent force yet dreading his return to politics. The author of the letter said that many politicians continue to be anxious about Anwar Ibrahim being a threat, devoting disproportionate attention to a man who is theoretically ‘finished’.

Then he suggested that perhaps UMNO ought to put the matter to rest once and for all by inviting Anwar back into the party, and also letting him stand for party elections.

Well, that’s certainly a novel way of attempting to open an avenue for Anwar Ibrahim to return to UMNO’s fold, an act which a number of political pundits have alluded the man himself desperately wish for.

I must put my KTemoc cards on the table and, while not a political pundit myself, indeed far from it – I do share that same impression. To me, Anwar is a smart cookie (though not as smart as his former patron, mentor and once-godfather, Dr Mahathir, for obvious reasons) and he knows that as long as he is outside UMNO, he can do diddly squat.

Regardless of whether he still harbours grudges against whoever-in-UMNO, he realises that the sole and major hurdle for his political resurrection is to somehow get back into UMNO. Once in, he is confident of his own oratorical prowess and personality to seduce the party bigwigs into his camp, allowing him to manoeuvre his way back to the top once again.

If you remember where in UMNO’s ruling echelon he had tumbled down from – at the bloody pinnacle, mate – you would appreciate why many others, including those who don’t like him or even his enemies, would sigh ‘sayang saja’ (what a waste). I dare say Anwar himself shares the same frustrating thought. His descent from UMNO’s (acting) No 1 position into political purgatory has been the very example of an aphorism “There’s many a slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip”.

But back to Malaysiakini reader ‘Let It Be’, I reckon he or she must be an Anwar supporter, who thinks that by using a ‘dare’ or reverse psychology, UMNO may just take up the challenge. On this note of 'dare', I recall my old school discipline teacher giving me a painful moral lesson, as he caned the life out of me for taking up a 'dare'. He yelled most angrily “Darers are cowards, takers are fools”, indicating I was a fool for accepting a 'dare'.

What was the 'dare' that got me into painful trouble? Well, my best mate in school, Michael had challenged me to put a nasty hugh caterpillar in the chalk box just before our geography class start. His fantasy was to witnessed how our geography teacher, sweet Miss Lim, would react. I mustn't blame Michael alone for what I did, for I too entertained that same fantasy, so I was a willing captive to his instigation.

I found said caterpillar in the village where I lived and the following day, did just that, put the creepy crawlie into the chalk box. When poor Miss Lim arrived to teach her geography lesson, as usual, she reached (without looking) into the box for a chalk, but found instead in her pretty dainty hand said hairy creepy caterpillar.

I learnt another lesson that day, a mathematical one, that the thrashing I received for my sin was directly proportional to the level of terrified screaming poor Miss Lim demonstrated. Some slimy tattletale revealed all to the discipline teacher.

Well, don't pay too much attention to the consequences of my school days' folly, as the moral of my recall is that ‘takers are fools’, meaning if UMNO invites Anwar Ibrahim back in again, they would be fools. Indeed, why invite a current political nobody (in every practical sense) back into the top echelon of UMNO which may see those inviters deprived of their own positions of power.

To be continued ........

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