Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Can we trust Anwar Ibrahim?

Malaysiakini headlined a second part of an article by Ong Kian Ming and Oon Yeoh a thought-provoking Can Anwar be trusted?

Of course they weren’t asking kaytee in particular - ha ha ha!

Malaysiakini published the earlier part yesterday, titled
Should Anwar apologise? Basically, Ong and Oon said "Anwar Ibrahim has not admitted to – and probably will never admit to – previous mistakes while he was part of the Barisan Nasional government. And as such, he would never apologise for them."

Yawnnn, I fell asleep after reading it, hence I didn’t blog at all last night, probably much to the relief of some - ke ke ke.

In today’s article – can we trust him? - Ong and Oon averred "Those who have observed Anwar over the years would probably agree to the following adjectives to describe him – slick, shrewd, cunning. These words do not necessarily have positive connotations and for good reason."

"Anwar has often been accused of being a political chameleon – capable of adjusting his messages depending on the audience he's addressing. He's great at massaging his messages in such a way that you feel he's telling you exactly what you want to hear. A smooth operator."

Yawnnn – c’mon, let’s hear something new!

Then the two authors asked about the so-called 'new' Anwar - "Is Anwar the Reformasi Man or the same political animal as the Anwar the deputy prime minister?"

On the basis that the poor bloke "… went from the pinnacle of political power to the depths of political humiliation …", and had 6 years in prison to reflect on his UMNO life, they believed he would have changed ..... and for the better.

Ong and Oon were saying (don’t mind me chaps, it's just that I am not very fond of Mr Reformasi) what every one of Anwar's supporters have been saying, so again there’s nothing new.

Their article ended up with a bit of tap dancing, but reckoned that regardless of what Anwar has become, whether he is to be trusted or not, the changes he will bring (as PM) will benefit all.

Pure PKR propaganda, not that I am suggesting Ong and Oon are PKR supporters but their conclusion has been essentially the same as PKR’s constant argument (or plea) on why we should support Anwar Ibrahim.

But my dear Ong and Oon, what if his six years in prison had filled him with nothing but bitterness and a thirst for revenge, with a vow to reclaim his ‘birthrights’, torn away from him on the eve of his ascendancy to the pinnacle of political power?

How bitter that must have been for him, considering Anwar is a man infatuated with power, as he had shown when he was minister and DPM. Did you see how, at the Bersih rally, he didn't even bother to walk with Pak Haji Nik Aziz or Lim KS, but instead arrived by vehicle at the conclusion of the walk to take over like a president or a monarch? That's Anwar Ibrahim for you!

Well, 6 years in prison means he certainly had sufficient time to plot out his comeback trail. Revenge for him would be sweet!

Now, ask yourself, knowing Anwar for what he had shown us he had been when he was an 'ugly' UMNO minister, do you think he has been politically ‘born again’ or that he would more likely be seeking revenge for his humiliation and sufferings?

Therefore the argument that he must have changed for the better hasn’t been supported by any logical extrapolation from known facts and factors, but rather a wishful hope, and probably wishful thinking.

Ok, I recall that a year ago I read an Aliran article (sorry, couldn’t find it and can’t recall who wrote it) which succinctly analyzed the general election which at that time we knew would come before April 2008.

The Aliran article stated that Anwar’s (and PKR's) support would have to come mainly from the non-Malays (I assume it must have meant the Chinese). This prediction or political analysis seems to be spot on for the following reasons:

We know in the recent election, the Malay voters swing was only 5% - as evidenced by UMNO as the BN component hanging on best after the people's verdict.

The Chinese swing was 30% - virtually everyone predicted that – and proof of that was the Gerakan Party being virtually annihilated, whilst the MCA limped on one engine into Kuala Lumpur International on a wing and a prayer.

The Chinese voters swing wasn't entirely unexpected as we saw Ong Ka Chuan humiliating (not humbling) himself and the MCA by begging the voters for crumbs.

The Hindraf galvanized awakening of the Indians was a bonus but nonetheless a significant tsunamic wave – the voters swing was 35%.

Thus my take on the so-called 'new' Anwar is as follows:

I may not like him but that doesn’t mean he was/is stupid – in fact he’s what Ong and Oon said of him, shrewd and cunning.

He knew which side of his political bread was going to be buttered. The trick was to tread carefully between showing the ‘nons’ of his ‘born-again’ credentials and showing the Malays he’s still their ethnic warrior. A new version of the NEP was promoted but without dismissing Article 153 – in other words, have his cake as well as eat it. This is just a quick example.

Anwar is not comfy with the Pakatan. All the boasts about frogs belie his fears of a Pakatan disagreement over his shameless undemocratic taunting of how he intends to win rule through promoting party hopping, a tactic he mastered when he was in UMNO. You can take the bloke out of UMNO but you can’t take UMNO out of the bloke.

His froggy scheme can be undone in just one fell hop swoop by an uncooperative bloke like Karpal Singh whom, I believe, won’t bloody tolerate the disgraceful nonsense of robbing power through backdoor non-democracy.

He wants UMNO to ask him ‘to come home’. Then he won’t need to depend on the DAP or PAS, but especially the DAP.

Look, his man Khalid Ibrahim had felt bloody awkward forming up the Selangor exco, avoiding the appointment of the deputy MB because of too many Chinese faces. It’s bad enough having the DAP full of ‘nons’ but the ethnic situation has been compounded by the PKR ‘nons’. Quite unlike an UMNO-MCA-MIC situation.

Perak was another case in point, where the Regent by unexpectedly appointing a PAS man as the MB, had even further reduced the PKR’s standing.

And Penang?!! Need I say more?

It’s not an image Anwar wants the heartland to see, and real power can only come from the support of the heartland.

No doubt Anwar had done his part to keep the Pakatan in a cohesive form during the election campaign (and no one can take that away from him) but it wasn’t just for altruistic reasons. His strategy was to reduce the BN-UMNO majority to less than 2/3, and then voila, to present his inner coterie as the component available (after an invitation) to restore UMNO’s 2/3, but AAB wasn’t biting for various reasons.

Hence he is piling the pressure on AAB daily with his froggie forecast. The subtext? Anwar wants back into UMNO ... or else!

Another worry for him which is also slowly sinking in for his supporters is that PKR was borne along in the election mainly by Chinese and Indian votes. Push comes to shove, should the DAP and PKR come to a head on, except for a minority among the younger more idealistic set, most Chinese and Indian voters would opt for the DAP, or worse, even return to the BN.

Anwar won’t have a dream of ever weaning away the PAS and UMNO hardcore supporters into his camp. It’ll be a far tougher fight in the next election. And just don't forget, his PKR's 31 seats aren't pure PKR, not with Dr Jeya and Wee and perhaps a couple more. This may explain his continuous and frantic claims of frogs.

There may of course be another way – what if PKR emerges as the only multi-ethnic party ........ but then what about the DAP and its Karpal Singh’s?

This is one of the reasons why, for the survival of PKR and Anwar having a continuing meaningful political role, the DAP has to be destroyed as a credible party. This is the reason why the DAP must be badmouthed and demon-ised – with the Goebbel-ish propaganda starting off among the younger set. In other words, provide DAP supporters with PKR as the logical successor of a (future disgraced and unpalatable) DAP.

Naturally he doesn't have to do this himself ... ;-)


  1. You are a shameful hermaphrodite indeed. First of all, let’s talk about Anwar’s past in UMNO which you say was ugly as UMNO, then let’s look at UMNO today and all its leaders, i.e, Abdullah and Badawi and Mahathir who actually didn’t quit as quit for good. Of the three, would Anwar do more bad than Abdullah and Najib and Mahathir for example? This is because your anger is too much that you don’t realize your contradictions. If UMNO is bad, have you ever preached to anyone that the entire UMNO and its leadership must be demolished? No! So your petty argument that’s laced with revenge with ironically you accuse others (You accuse others of what actually you are-Somali proverb) And in your temerity, you argue that the writers are wring pure PKR propaganda, in other words, every moral being who is not injected with your poison is a propagandist, a poor way of seeking attention and sympathy, I would say. If others state their positions, you don’t need to agree with them for you to be happy. No wonder you said your un-blogging act made others happy, in other words, you are not happy when learned men and women blog about the same man, with a diametrically different touch or take. And knowing that the writers handled Mahathir in the same breath and said “hypocrisy” is for his take more than it is for Anwar; I wish you enlighten me on that as well.

  2. Anwar-phobia through and through.

    I say give the man a chance to prove his critics wrong.

  3. I provide the Malaysiakini article here for readers to see through your caluclated gaps (...)

    ..."Previously, we talked about how PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim has not admitted to – and probably will never admit to – previous mistakes while he was part of the Barisan Nasional government. And as such, he would never apologise for them.

    In today's piece, we want to deal with another important and somewhat related matter, which is can he be trusted?

    Those who have observed Anwar over the years would probably agree to the following adjectives to describe him – slick, shrewd, cunning. These words do not necessarily have positive connotations and for good reason.

    Anwar has often been accused of being a political chameleon – capable of adjusting his messages depending on the audience he's addressing. He's great at massaging his messages in such a way that you feel he's telling you exactly what you want to hear. A smooth operator.

    That doesn't mean that he is inconsistent or hypocritical – Dr Mahathir Mohamad has that market cornered. In fact, he's been very consistent in his policies since his release from prison. Take for example, his stance that the New Economic Policy (NEP) needs to be dismantled and replaced with something more inclusive. Even though he has been criticised by Umno over this matter, he has not relented once.

    Two questions are relevant in regard to whether Anwar can be trusted. Firstly, is he a changed man? Secondly, does this even matter?

    Is Anwar the Reformasi Man the same political animal as the Anwar the deputy prime minister? We think that having gone through what he has, it would be difficult for him not to have changed as a result.

    Anwar went from the pinnacle of political power to the depths of political humiliation. He was charged with abuse of power and committing sodomy. He was beaten up by the then-chief of police. And his name – as well as those around him – was dragged through the mud by the mainstream media. Never before had a Malaysian politician of his stature felt the heavy hand of the state against him in the way Anwar did.

    When he was locked up, he didn't wallow in self-pity. He used his time productively to read and to do copious amounts of soul searching. It's hard to imagine that the six years he spent in that cold jail cell failed to change him in some very profound and fundamental ways.

    He will not renege on his promises

    But even if one is cynical and believes that he has not changed, does it matter provided he carries out all the reforms he has promised?

    There is little doubt in our minds that he would free up the media, abolish the Internal Security Act and reform the Universities and University Colleges Act if he becomes the next PM. He would also dismantle the NEP and replace it with something better. You can also throw in a Freedom of Information Act to boot. In other words, he would implement all the things that civil society expects him to.

    Why are we so confident about that?

    Quite simply, because it would be to his strategic advantage to carry out such reforms. In fact, there is only upside and no downside for him to do so. He would be seen as the man who was responsible for 'freeing' up Malaysia and for turning it into a real democracy. He would become the greatest PM Malaysia ever had.

    And what if he reneges on his promises – promises that have been widely-publicised domestically and internationally? Think of it this way. If Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi could suffer so badly politically in such a short span of time because of his failure to keep his promises of reform, imagine how much more Anwar would suffer if he didn't live up to expectations.

    Many of the young and idealistic people who have joined PKR have done so precisely because they've bought into his progressive vision for the future. These very same people would leave his party in droves if he starts reneging on his promises. His popular support amongst the masses would dry up and Pakatan Rakyat would disintegrate as his coalition partners desert him.

    So, not only do we think he will do all that he has promised to do, we think he will do them in lightning quick fashion. In that sense, he is the antithesis of Abdullah – a glacially slow reformer if there ever was one. Everything about Anwar shows that he can't wait to implement reforms. What is his campaign about, if not reforms?

    Now, is this because he truly believes in all these reforms? Or would he implement them for vainglorious reasons – because they are politically popular things to do and he wants a permanent place in the history book?

    There's no way to read the hearts of men. We don't know, for example, whether he's absolutely sincere or not when he says that he believes in a free press. But we do know that he has said this on far too many occasions for him to backtrack on it once he comes to power.

    At the end of the day, the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. If Anwar does deliver on all his reform promises, does it even matter whether he's sincere or trustworthy in the eyes of his critics? What's important is that he implements reforms. And we have every reason to believe he will do that."


    ONG KIAN MING is a PhD candidate in political science at Duke University and OON YEOH is a writer and new media analyst. You can listen to both of them discuss this topic in their Realpolitik podcast.

  4. and ;-) what in essense did the shameful hermaphrodite miss, pray tell?

  5. I got the link from Malaysiakini blog direction just now. I'm quite appalled at the ludicrous fear mongering here. As a DAP Penang member, let me say no body is gonna destroy our party and UMNO is the one that's gonna perish, if there is any party that will die. The only thread in UMNO is opportunism and nothing more, so may be you should try to court them rather than trying to scare us that Anwar is using us. In fact, as his nemesis Chandra Muzaffar wrote in the Star, many Chinese voted for the opposition whenever they saw a prominent Malay on the opposition side and here he mentioned Anwar. So, take your nonsense somewhere else. DAP is not made of empty shells who don't know their strategy and DAP does not intend to be an atavistic party thrives in Chinese chauvinism but a realistic, central Malaysian party that works for all with all. DAP also doesn’t need the unsolicited advice of UMNO conspirators. We prefer Anwar 10 times to Mahathir or any other UMNO leader for that matter. How do you feel? Angry! Sob… In fact, he was the only one who defended Lim Guang Eng against the sedition charge when he was in power and Penang wouldn't have fallen were it not for him. The Malays in Penang switched more than 35%. Ask any DAP ADUN in Penang and you will know where votes came from. That's how Gerekan won in 1969. Even the Malays opted for a Chinese MP rather than a Malay like in Nibong Tepal where they voted for a Chinese PKR candidate and rejected the immediate incumbent, Datuk Zainal who was an UMNO MP. Sorry, you are free to have your position though...only that I felt you were belittling DAP by playing cheap politics here as you target Anwar and thus entangle any unsuspecting reader. As I said, DAP doesn’t need the advice of faceless UMNO conspirators. You know nowadays, people are wary of anything. So, be aware of it. Your message doesn’t go that far.

    F. Yew

  6. what in essense did the shameful hermaphrodite miss, pray tell?

    You missed that while you vomit on the shoes of Anwar because of his UMNO Past, you fail to look at today's UMNO leaders from Mahathir to Abdullah, to Najib to its racist media. Compare all of them, list all their damages and then tell me. Look here, I'm not saying give me an objective analysis, but don't entertain the idea that a hatchet man is not understood. A log doesn't become a crocodile however long it stays in water. Today, I see my community being lashed at and accused of usurpig Malay power and all other stuff, wonder why you can't look at while you will try the past which even can't come close to the nefarious tendencies of UMNO leaders today as they try to salvage their dwindling fortunes.

  7. Pakchick, big issue here. But the problem is when the whole issue is about deep seatted personal prejudice, then those who would have looked at the issue deeply are sent away because as someone above said, it becomes to the deliberate falsehood of one person and looses its standing. May be the faceless UMNO brutus is something worthwhile.

  8. Kaytee you forgot the "gutter politician", Karpal reveals day in day out and lodges reports against. So, you don't need to put on a DAP face to sell the UMNO-Mahathit story. You another gutter element, I guess. I'm aware that uncle Karpal has endorsed the man aying, to quote: "He has no more time...he should save the nation." (The Star). One wonders why an UMNO stool pigeon tries to stir up baseless DAP issues as if his face wouldn't be revealed.

  9. (quote)This is the reason why the DAP must be badmouthed and demon-ised – with the Goebbel-ish propaganda starting off among the younger set. In other words, provide DAP supporters with PKR as the logical successor of a (future disgraced and unpalatable) DAP.

    Perhaps this betrays your real reason for hating on Anwar & PKR. You fear KeADILan will become an alternative multiracial party to the DAP. After all, it has all the 3 main ethnicities in it; Malays, Chinese, Indians... and has a good proportion of Parliamentarians of various ethnic groups. As for the DAP, it is still missing the "Malay" piece of the jigsaw.

    Anwar knows he cannot easily jump back into UMNO because of this support from the non's. He would immediately be annihilated in the next election by the Chinese, Indians, and even the Malays who voted for his party in March. But UMNO is a sinking ship already... so any intention by Anwar to go back will simply make no sense.

    Unlike UMNO & its component parties, time is still on DAPs side to develop itself into something thats tasty to not just Chinese & Indians, but also Malays and E.Malaysian bumis. Lets hope Guan Eng will continue with his ideas that are more relevant than his father's style.

  10. To anwaribrahim.dotcom fellow,

    You see, naivety doesn't sell an idea. And neither does pettiness make learned people look down upon themselves by buying cheap conspiracies without knowing what to do. Coming to your kampong input and funny conspiracies that are meant for unlettered Kubang Pasu folks or their ilk, if we were to say Anwar met Wolfowitz and make that a launching bad for whatever nefarious try we would have to make, what will we say about Mahathir paying for that in order to meet Bush, the father of Paul, and in the process using our money? Stupid! No wonder the regime employs stupid people like you and this one, yet you don’t make any headway because you take people for granted.


  11. I like it when you write about Anwar Ibrahim because it almost never fail to initiate a lot of impassioned responses. Much like what happens sometimes in a parliamentary session.

    Anyway, it is always good to have a multiplicity of opinions on any one subject, the more diametrically opposite the views the better. It may well help one to make an informed decision later on.

  12. Well, we can look at it from a few perspectives.

    1. If you were him, put in jail, accused of homosexuality, and being the DPM of a prominent country while all of these happened. There's only 2 ways to go about it, disappear into obscurity or plot a comeback to clear your name, and maybe become the premier while you're at it. Go figure.

    2. The lay people, we just don't care basically, being tired of BN and all their charades, there's nothing to lose, we want to see through the change that already started in the last election. He is the symbol of change, like it or not, like Che to revolucion. Jed misconstrued that I'm the man's fan when I'm just an observer like most people here.

    3. People in politics. Well, obviously things are already in motion so there's more at stake for these guys. Fighting for a bigger piece of the pie, ala East M'sia or a chance to be in the cabinet for others.

    So, of course he has his personal agenda but what's more important is along with that he has, with others, created the tide that has stirred up the bed of the river, muddied and murky now, it will all hopefully be clear when the particles settle again.

  13. The historical events from Anwar's past and present are straightforward enough, and most of it is in public record.
    You interpretation and expectation is based on a worst possible reading of his character.

    The central part of your paradigm on Anwar is "his six years in prison had filled him with nothing but bitterness and a thirst for revenge".

    Its just not like that at all, in fact Anwar talks about policies and strategies, no personal attacks at all on Mahathir and Badawi.

    The ad hominem attacks have all been from BN and umm..certain bloggers.

    Anwar is undeniably ambitious and shrewd. That's an asset, not a liability.

    In Penang, Selangor and Perak, PKR is learning to work closely with DAP. There is obvious political competition, but no mutual fraticide going on.

  14. This is a much more indepth analysis than Ong & Ong. Their article lack of contextualisation and the intra party (DAP-PKR or even PAS). KT can be credited for one thing for sure, for sustainable critic with insights. Even we disagree with his conclusion or predictions, the logical flow and reasoning is irrefutable.

    Thank you for providing credible alternative views. This is lacking in the Malaysian cyber space especially among leading bloggers who are more concern to be populist and playing it to the gallery.

  15. When we Malaysians voted our leaders, the question is not "trusted" but "be given a chance to proof".

    Like many leaders before we have given them a chance to proof.

    Many will be given a chance to proof.

    I will give Anwar a chance, too.

  16. the whole country is upside down.....

    don't talk principle when the country is not run on principle.

    we yearn for a change, for better or for worse.....umno is perceived as hell gate, either you get in or get out, what choice.

    after a complete overhaul and a total agreement on a system, then only we can talk principle

    anwar is the bridge available now and you don't want to cross it.... hai, in that case, just accept our lousy fate and shut up.

    qua-salah-mhh-i-gong. cheers!

  17. give him a chance to prove himself??????

    apa! diorang ingat jadik PM ni ada probation period ka???

    abih tu, kalau within 6 months dia dah hancurkan malaysia etc, bukannya senang nak buang dia lagi... bila kita ada pembodek DSAI dlm kerajaan, the same thing will happen macam sekarang..

    I'd say, screw him!

    Give more credible ppl the leadership of malaysia.

    The racist karpal singh should be thrown in jail for talking cock.

    -anwar gila kuasa, dia ingat dia terer tapi pasal ekonomi langsung tak tau-

  18. Do I trust Anwar Ibrahim ?
    I don't, and neither do I trust any other political leader.
    The question to me is, who should be given the opportunity to serve next ?

    I'm quite clear UMNO/BN has screwed it up big time, and is even now resorting to inciting racial hatred to keep in power (go read Utusan Malaysia) and (to me anyway) does not deserve to continue to be the government.

    I'm not going to be pulled into this DAP/PKR war which Ktemoc is trying to invent. As far as DAP is concerned they "never had it so good", but it only lasts as long as PR sticks together. Just suffice to say, realistically, I don't think there will be a DAP PM in my lifetime, though DAP will definitely form an important part of a PR administration. Islamic State a'la PAS is not my idea of life.

    At this point in time the central core of PR is PKR and Anwar Ibrahim, that's just the way things are.

    Wish we could have a less flawed candidate ? Yeah, but I'm not waiting another 10 years for one to turn up.

  19. oh for God's sake! Just read this piece -


    awesome writing by that fella Jebat.

    Credit for his research

  20. The Jebat UMNO fella is just recycling old news.

    Much of the Malaysian electorate has already digested it, and UMNO knows very well it has failed to stick.

  21. anon @ 2:38 PM, May 28, 2008

    Well, we gave AAB a chance. He did not use it well, hence today.

    Give more credible ppl the leadership of malaysia.

    I can't think of any right now, if you can name even one that would fit the bill, and would want to take up the job, that most lay Malaysians can accept. Please throw it in the hat now.

  22. i cant stand u most of the time but u r my soulmate when u talk about 'de facto leader'.

    "had 6 years in prison to reflect on his UMNO life, they believed he would have changed ..... and for the better."


    just give me the FACTS.

    FACT1: he's a DEVIL before.

    FACT2: he has NOT left the party of satan willingly.

    FACT3: he has NOT apologised for what he's done for satan.


    - note from Webster's English Dictionary: the above has been a perfect illustration of the concept call WISHFUL THINKING.

    he has 'CHANGED'???
    he is now a 'DIFFERENT' man???


    if it's too hard for him to spell 'sorry', then come out with a DECLARATION, to REJECT what he has done in the past, to SAY that he's NEVER GOING BACK to who he was in the past.


    to those who argue that mr de facto leader "has brought great changes to malaysia", u r missing the fucking point, which is - can we TRUST him???

    alright, maybe he has brought 'progressive changes' by persuading the malays n non-malays to vote out of spite (BUT NOT in favour of him, wake up people), but the question now is can we TRUST him NOT TO ROLL BACK those 'changes'???

    it's boring but is true: WILL THE REAL ANWAR IBRAHIM PLEASE STAND UP??

  23. Sdr "(for) anwardotcom",

    baik hang punye propaganda! Tapi tak kan nak bawa begitu huruf demi huruf tak dak inti pendapat hang sendiri?

    Hang tahu ke, nabi Musa pun orang Yahudi? Dan kitab-kitab asas orang Yahudi pun asas bagi orang Muslim?

    Kalau tak tau, hang kene fikir sendiri apa yang orang kata! Termasuklah Ktemoc! ;)

    Itu pun kalau hang ada fikiran sendiri !? :)


  24. Do UMNO leaders understand easy methods to debate? I assumed they solely know the right way to shout down other folks and pan any opposition. Even within Parliament UMNO parliamentarian don’t understand the way to discuss and as an alternative begin utilizing racial slurs after they can’t get their position across.