Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Anwar Ibrahim & the DAP

When Tengku Razaleigh (Ku Li) was interviewed by Malaysiakini, he was asked to comment on Anwar Ibrahim’s revelation to Malaysiakini that he (Anwar) might stand in a multi-racial seat.

Ku Li stated that Anwar must have felt he won’t be able to get support from the Malays. Wouldn't that be an ironical twist of fate for Anwar Ibrahim to look to the non-Malays for his political future when as UMNO strongman he wasn't very sympathetic to them?

But Ku Li believes that Anwar may be also checked-mate by turning to the non-Malays because Ku Li doesn’t think Anwar will get much support from them. Ku Li said that it’ll be hard for Anwar to get any seat unless he stands as an UMNO or PAS candidate.

Ku Li pointed out that at the other end of the political spectrum, in those predominantly Chinese seats in the urban areas, the MCA, Gerakan and the DAP will all be in the thick of it. And he reckons that much as the DAP is on friendly terms with Anwar, it will not give up a seat for him. Indeed Ku Li concluded why would or should the DAP?

In his last bit I partially disagree with Ku Li. I reckon the DAP may not but Lim Kit Siang would, and in the DAP, Lim’s views are generally carried by the majority of its members.

Lim would want Anwar Ibrahim to lead the opposition because he (Lim) realises that no non-Malay will ever command a strong enough following to deny the BN the two-thirds majority in Parliament. The Malay votes would be crucial to the Opposition to achieve enough seats to prevent the Barisan Nasional from steamrolling new legislations or legislative amendments through Parliament.

Lim Kit Siang has only one political obsession, which is to deny the BN the 2/3 majority. In fact, Lim is so obsessed that he had been (remember 1999?) and will be blinded to his party’s feelings and factors against his active support of Anwar Ibrahim.

Lim may feel Anwar Ibrahim is the person to deny the BN its 2/3 majority. I don’t share Lim's belief and neither will the majority of the Chinese Malaysians, including many DAP members. I reckon that if Lim pushes his support for Anwar Ibrahim too far, and unfortunately I think he will, he may face some rebellion and probably suffer the same fate as 1999.

Unfortunately or fortunately, Lim Kit Siang looks at higher ideals, even to sacrificing a party seat for a person like Anwar Ibrahim.

Taking Lim's possible action vis-a-vis Anwar a bit further, perhaps into the realms of the bizarre, I wonder what Lim will say if Anwar (hypothetically) informs him that he wants to join the DAP but as its Head. This is of course a last resort for the world's greatest political reformer, assuming the doors of UMNO and PAS continue to be shut for him.

How will such an implausible but not completely impossible move by Anwar impact on Malaysian political scene?

1) Firstly, how will DAP react? That could well be the ultimate test for its claimed multi-racialism, at least among its grassroots.

2) What about UMNO? Will it react with delight, or horror?

3) Then, how will the MCA and Gerakan rate their chances against an Anwar-led DAP?

4) Probably PAS would be the least affected or interested party.

5) Sorry, what's that other party's name again?

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