In Malaysiakini news Sworn in, Anwar is Opposition Leader we get confirmation that Anwar Ibrahim has been officially sworn in as a MP where he assumes the position of opposition leader.
It has been a long road for him and I have to take my hat off for his persistence, perseverance and popularity.
In a Western style democracy practicing a 2-party system, the opposition leader heads the alternative cabinet known as the shadow cabinet. Each member of the shadow cabinet monitors and challenges his opposite number in government.
Currently there is no shadow cabinet other than proposed by Ong Kian Ming and Oon Yeoh in one of their regular Malaysiakini articles, yet 16 September 2008 is only a mere 18 days away!
Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir like Clint Eastwood, is still 'unforgiving' of his once much loved protégé, whom he perceived as having treacherously betrayed his love and trust when the latter tried to sabo him in 1998. Anwar's sidekick then, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, had proposed an UMNO discussion on cronyism and nepotism, with the ulterior motive of ousting Dr M from the UMNO No 1 position.
Instead wily Dr Mahathir turned the table against Anwar and Zahidi when he showed lists of UMNO cronies who had benefited from government share allocations and privatizations. The lists included Anwar and Zahid - see Pollie Poo in Permatang Pauh.
Dr Mahathir in Star Online sneered that the PKR adviser could “convince even the devil to follow him”.
In that sense Dr Mahathir has been correct and lest you think he’s biased (which of course he is, given his perception of Brutus), he has not been alone in that assessment of Anwar. Even RPK, a man close to Anwar, has written of the PKR cult where many fanatical PKR acolytes would even consider Anwar’s fart as sweet smelling, so what more with a mere matter of 'following him'.
But as my good mate, famous blogger Susan Loone, had posted in her Anwar, can I drive you to Putrajaya? that “History teaches us that rebels who assume power often become worse than the dictators they overthrow.”
A good example has been Robert Mugabe, once his people's heroic and resolute leader of the Zimbabe's African freedom fighters who defeated the white Rhodesian racist regime. What has he degenerated into today?
It’s the old sad story of ‘power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely’.
The difference between Robert Mugabe and Anwar Ibrahim is that no one then knew that the former would turn into such a draconian dictator, whilst many Malaysians knew of, and still remembers Anwar Ibrahim’s conduct and performance as an UMNO minister (in several capacities). And let the bells in Indian temples ring forever to remind us of that!
Susan asked: “Would Anwar risk the chance of losing it all by gong back on his election promises after fighting so hard to install himself as leader of the Opposition pack, with a view to the PM’s seat?” and would “…his foes would actually make good their promises to reveal truths about Anwar’s corrupt practices when he was formerly deputy prime minister and finance minister.”
Susan believes that PAS and the DAP can play an important role in checking Anwar Ibrahim should he show signs of regressing into his former UMNO self, stating that leaders of the two parties “… are not going to sit on their laurels if Anwar or PKR goes astray”.
… unless of course, as kaytee has always predicted and still believe may yet happen, Anwar returns to UMNO – you know, that old unity clarion call of ‘demi bangsa, agama dan negara’, or rather when it suits him.
However, we may be leaping - pun not intended ;-) – too far ahead. Let’s wait for 16 September 2008.