Anwar Ibrahim advised us that we shouldn't be distracted by the ongoing verbal battle between Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his buat-ta’tahu-buat-diam* successor Abdullah Badawi.
* "politely" put, 'conveniently ignorant, elegantly silent'
He said the priority should be on the reformation (that Anwar word again?) agenda to redress the country’s ‘sluggish’ economic growth and strengthen the institutions of the civil society and governance.
However, he wasn’t to stop those two from their stoush, saying that Abdullah may not continue to ignore Mahathir’s criticisms which till now have remained unanswered.
He pontificated: “These issues must be put in perspective. Of course, this does not mean that there is no need to explain on other issues. A government leader cannot say I’m not going to talk about corruption, I’m not going to talk about what Dr Mahathir says because I am focusing on economic development. And at the same time the economy is not developing.”
Then he came to what we have always believe to be the real case. Malaysiakini reported him as saying:
Anwar said he believed the entire episode showed that UMNO was indeed in a turmoil but he did not want to speculate on whether it would lead to a leadership crisis in the near future.
“I frankly don’t know because my contacts in the party (UMNO) are among the grassroots leaders. And they, too, are disillusioned with the way things are going.”
Maybe they are looking for a leader, a sort of political messiah?
He said he still communicated with the grassroots - whom he said have openly came to his home for meetings - because he did not want to give the wrong impression that he was at war against the party (UMNO) and the members.
Of course not – in fact we know that and have never ever dismissed his ... er ... friendship with UMNO.
“My problem is only with one or two leaders in UMNO. Of course these few (corrupt) leaders are fearful (of me). Sebut nak masuk Umno pun dia dah pengsan (Even talk of me returning to UMNO and they faint).”
Naturally, everyone knows that there are only 1 or 2 UMNO blokes who are corrupt. Hmmm, maybe 3? But in general it’s a good clean just party.
Anwar, however, dismissed any possibility of re-joining UMNO stating that he was committed to PKR, the opposition coalition and their reform agenda.
Anwar oh Anwar, the man doth protest too much, methinks!
But in the meanwhile, maybe Anwar Ibrahim could enlighten us as to why, when he was the Finance Minister, as well as Deputy PM in 1993, his Ministry picked Perangsang International Sdn Bhd (PISB) to construct the Matrade building by overruling a Works Ministry’s recommendation of a company that offered a better deal.
Investigation into the alleged corruption of millions being siphoned off by PISB could do with his sagely explanation.