Wednesday, September 03, 2008

September 16 - Miasmatic mist of malarkey

My favourite Malaysiakini columnist, Dean Johns, is back after a long layoff recuperating. I hope he gets truly well so that we may enjoy again his tongue-in-cheek poke at various current affairs.

I am already jaded by the dull, dry and dead serious articles, and Dean’s return to Malaysiakini hopefully may inject a much needed boost to enjoyable reading. Yes, ‘all attacks and no laugh' make the writer a constipated … ooops, sorry for even mentioning that posterior-related word.

Dean wrote Anwar's spirit reigns, which I agree with, up to Nelson Mandela and Singapore’s JB Jeyaratnam, whence I then leapfrog (pun intended - wakakaka) over you-know-who to a lovely lady, Dr Wan Azizah.

Anwar Ibrahim is very lucky to be married to her, but ‘nuff said!

However, I like to comment on one of Dean’s paragraph, where he wrote:

Meanwhile, in the same 10-year time-frame, Anwar’s defied Mahathir, fired-up the Reformasi movement, got beaten blue-black, locked-up for years in solitary, reinvented himself as an academic, formed a political party, helped forge the Pakatan Rakyat coalition, got hit with another trumped-up morality charge, addressed countless ceramahs, won a by-election by a landslide and taken his place as leader of the Malaysian opposition.

I agree with Dean’s excellent summary of Anwar’s achievements, save the first two points, namely he defied Dr M, and fired–up the Reformasi movement … well, on second thoughts I agree with the latter but in a qualified manner, and I want to clarify on that … but later …

Firstly, his ‘defiance’ of Dr M!

‘Defiance’ sounds so heroic when in reality (we’re back to 1998) he was attempting to push Dr M out of (UMNO’s and the cabinet’s) No 1 spot. Of course he got his then sidekick Zahid to ‘volunteer’ for the hatchet job.

Two weeks ago I posted in The torment and impatience of Anwar Ibrahim (extracts):

But alas his faction started the campaign to associate Dr M with cronyism and nepotism - an act which Dr Mahathir saw as unforgiveable act of treachery by a man he had loved and anointed as his successor.

The subtext of the insinuations by Anwar’s camp was clear, that Dr M should leave because he was ‘guilty’. There wasn't anything altruistic about the attempt at seizing power - it was pure unadulterated backstabbing in the finest tradition of the Machiavellian medieval Malay court intriques.

As RPK said, Anwar’s impatience must have blinded him to the hard fact that Dr M was no Gaafar Baba. Here was a master of political manoeuvring, not one to be trifled with – see my story about martial arts written two years ago,
The Master & The Disciple, which may have some similarities.

Anwar made the biggest baddest bodoh-est mistake in his life.

T’was his impatience to reach the top - and he suffered such a humongous loss that he has never quite emotionally recovered from that fall …

… which may explain his obsessive need to reclaim what he thought was his, ought to be his, and shall be his, again.

… by hook or by crook …

… by reformasi or deformasi (frogs) …

What I had written in The torment and impatience of Anwar Ibrahim, above and as follows, may explain what Dean has labelled kindly as Anwar’s ‘never say die’ spirit:

… as they say, ‘There’s many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip’, and Anwar found that to his invincible distress.

I believe it has been this narrow miss at the highest political office, just by a hair’s breath, that has made the man super-geram, a frustrated anger beyond normal boundaries, even sending him into unbridled rage.

It has been an experience that has tormented him since.

And it’s this torment that has been driving him relentlessly to re-claim what he believes should have been his ..... if only not for his self-centred impatience … and not the myth that he had defied Dr M …

… because till the last part of his UMNO membership, and I was told by an elder, he still attempted to suck up to Dr M, to gain much lost grounds, as was observed during the ceremony to celebrate the opening of UMNO Penang’s (then) new building.

But it was too little too late and the rest is, as they say, history!

Now, on to why I have to qualify his reformasi ...

After he was booted out of UMNO (and thus the cabinet), he thought he could effect his return to power by his 'overnight' created reformasi movement - maybe the Jakarta students had inspired him?

For years in UMNO, in the trappings of power and lap of luxury, we didn't hear a single peep from him about reformasi, but instead lots of nationalistic taunts and Islamisation policies like baca doa for school children.

And may the bells in the Hindu temples ring forever to remind us of that.

As acting PM, he had not only condoned the attacking of the international conference Apcet II, but claimed the credit for it. I posted in Who was in charge when Apcet II was attacked by thugs? that:

This was what that bloke, the one who was then in charge of the nation, said of the UMNO thuggish disruption of Apcet II:

“Our mission was to stop the conference and we did just that.”




He said that as acting Prime Minister. So you think he wasn't aware at all, or had no part in condoning, if not approving that shameful thuggery?

In case you missed it, read this again "OUR MISSON ...", not 'their' or 'his' but "OUR MISSION".

And why was that allowed to happen where Malaysia’s good name was dragged down into the gutter, all for a foreign nation?


However, there’s no doubt his silver tongue is mesmerizing because he can sell his katak-fication subversion of the ballot box as reformasi – amazing, isn’t it, where the faithful tries valiantly to explain why his proposed 16-September's re-enactment of his stunt in Sabah in 1994, which turned Pairin from an elected State CM into an opposition leader with just a few froggie croaks, should be considered as 'political reforms'.

Yes, this is a man who can convince you that black is white and white is black, so what’s a little matter like the NEP, fuel price, manna, ambrosia, 16-September as a public holiday, or anything you may desire? Just a wee man man lai and all will be possible.

Deformed politics or deformasi should be the correct label for his brand of snake oil.


  1. what a confusing piece of article? All over the place! Clearly, trying to spin confusion itself???

  2. At least Anwar never called me orang tumpangan.

    Hidup Anwar!

  3. Tell me kaytee, is there a better alternative than Anwar now? Najib?

  4. I share Ktemoc's concerns about how dangerously persuasive Anwar Ibrahim can be.

    He has offered lower oil prices, justice, anti-corruption etc and nothing else.

    Where is the health policies, wage policies, policies to introduce foreign investment, transport policies etc?

    Anwar knows that people are sick of Barisan and he has successfully postured himself as "Only one choice" as he intoxicated everyone with his vitroil.

    I agree with Anonymous 3 that there is no better alternative to Anwar, but even if Anwar is made PM, we best be on our toes.

  5. I have much misgivings about Najib but I have no doubt who is the bigger snake. Anwar via his Minister of Disinformation, RPK, has done a brilliant job of discrediting Najib to the point where Anwar is painted as the only viable choice. Goebbels would have been proud.

  6. "Where is the health policies, wage policies, policies to introduce foreign investment, transport policies etc?"

    In case you didn't read about PK policies on those matters, go to anwar's blog.

  7. This piece involves what appear to be incontrovertible facts, but in fact they are facts which are spun in a certain direction. All very well. But pray tell who has changed the language of what a Malaysian government should do and for whom it should do it for? Anwar!

    That, in itself, is an unmitigated success story of enormous proportions, which, if this Anwar experiment and project fails (I was - and to some extent still am – an Anwar cynic), would mean it cannot be resurrected for another 50 years.

    The language of the rulers (primarily UMNO) is also changing. That alone is enough for this country to highly regard Anwar for a very long time to come.

    Why was Badawi given 90% of the countries votes in 2004? It was because people (mainly non-Malays, I concede, but even some Malays) wanted him to change the language of UMNO and slowly but effectively govern for the transparent benefit of all. In his first 4 years, he failed miserably to do so; but, not only that, he also managed to hoist upon us a morally corrupt regime de facto headed, among others, by his super arrogant son-in-law and Hishammuddin (This Is My Keris/Prick) Hussein Onn (his father and grandfather would have turned in their graves). And so, the people gave him Badawi bloody nose on March 8 2008, which was wonderfully redelivered in Permatang Pauh recently.

    Wake up and smell the samsu, man!


  8. There is no doubt that political snake oil salesmen realise the importance of the powerful message of "Change". From Osama to Obama to Anwar, the message is the same. Choose me as your leader and I will deliver the change that your mortal beings so craved about.

    Of course, when you are in the position of zero responsibility, you even promise to give your own mother and granny along with a year supply of snake oil to get the votes.

    The true measure of these snake oil salemen is not so much on what they say but what they have done up to the point. At no point of his governmental career did Anwar ever speak about Reformasi or Janji Janji Basi or whatsoever. All he was doing as I recall is to cultivate himself as the new generation of Asian leader and there was no talk of human rights, good governance nor democractic reforms.

    His record as DPM is abysmal. He introduced racist and fundamentalist Islamic parctices into the civil service and the education system. He completely corrupted the UMNO linked companies by installing his cronies. He removed editors and elected those who supported him as replacement.

    That BNM lost billions in forex gamble happened under his watch too.

    He wrested the control of awarding and monitoring projects from Works Ministry to Education and Finance ministries. The kind of wastages due to this pervertion of good governance cost the country billions in stalled and failed projects. That this continued until very recently, only to be ended by AAB.

    I still think the country is still losing millions due to the policies that was institued by Anwar. For example, someone should
    look the taxi contract awards and especially the KLIA limo service.

    Another monument of Anwar's corrupted legacy is the Sg Nyior toll road and the monstrous and misguided Bandar Perda development in which MPSP (MP Seberang Perai) spent hundreds of millions.

    But now the Great Snake Oil Salesman accuse others of corruption, cronism and nepotism.

    Since I had covered the damage he created to the education system, I will skip that this time. But it worth remembering that the legacy of Anwar is still being felt as the useless and highly damaging KBSR/KBSM systems are still in use now.

  9. You keep mentioning his impatience as his downfall. Then you cite how he tried to overthrow the old man.

    Actually, I think you got it wrong here.

    I think he was FORCED to make a move back then. If you look at the timeline, the Asian Financial Crisis hit while he was Finance Minister. As we all know, he was going to kiss the IMF's ass before the old man intervened.

    His incompetance was found out and he was going to be kicked out. Therefore he HAD to make a move. It was all or nothing. Thankfully, it was NOTHING because the old man won, imposed the capital controls and kicked him out the very next day.

    I think it is funny these days how he keeps talking about how the current government doesn't understand finance (and his anwaristas believe him) but let's not forget that he nearly sold our asses to the IMF, and not many people know this, but our current finance minister II was on the team of advisors that helped Mahathir through the crisis.

  10. I feel most commenters that discredit Anwar here are they either think they are very smart enough to be great political analysts or they are just so unrealistic to the point of being so blind to the current political scenario and situation where I find many lowly educated people could clearly see and understand. Can't these commenters differentiate in general what is good or bad for the rakyat and nation? What is there to analyse further? What is there to deliberate about? The virtues of the 2 political factions are well laid distinctively infront of your very eyes. The choice of preference is too obvious. To make it short, a change of government is not about an individual, it's about a good, honest and efficient governing system that uplifts the welfare of the people.

  11. jamos: many views and comments here are from wise and experience people.

    Obviously you have not been following us.

  12. Err ... killer 10:51 pm

    Dr M has no responsibility at all for all the cases of mismanagement, wastage, corruption etc you mentioned and attributed to Anwar?? Also, what about the various BN Ministers in charge of the various portfolios?

    If we follow your logic, it is like saying that the mess in U.S. domestic and foreign is all due to Vice-President Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush
    has nothing to do with it!

    You can condemn Anwar but the condemnation should be fair and reasoned. (Note that I am wary of Anwar and don't believe Anwar is an angel. But neither do I believe that he is the Devil Incarnate).

    Phua Kai Lit

  13. Yo Jamos

    I think you missing our points the big time....

    We ARE saying that having DSAI as the PM would be disasterous for the country and that's the reason why we are against this Pied Piper of Permatang Pauh seizing power through unethical and perhaps illegal means to make Malaysia the world's first Katakcracy.

    How do you define the virtues of two factions ? From their track records or their sweet promises ? We know that any Anwar, Ah Tan or Gopal can make promises to turn Malaysia into the next Singapore or even the US in the next 5 years or bring the price of petrol down to 10 sen /liter if we vote them in. Heck, even Osama promised scores of pretty virgins in heaven for the suicide bombers. But political maturity is in evaluating the feasibility and the practicability of these promises and not swallow them like some Kindy kids without analysis.

    German people were considered among the most educated in the Europe but they let themselves seduced by the intoxicating promises by a fiery and charismatic politician called Hitler who promised them to bring to greatness after the humilation of the WW1. And we all know what happened next right ?

    Also please do not insult low-educated people by saying they support Anwar, a lot of them know DSAI is a Great Snake Oil Salesman.

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  15. Well Mr Phua

    I wonder where in my posting did I exonerated Dr M for all these wrong doings and stated that Anwar is solely to blame ?

    For someone who claims to be nuetral and non-anwarista, you are remarkably quick and "protective" when it comes to DSAI.

    My view is that all along Dr M has to accept at least some of the responsibility for many ills that ailing the nation now. But I have a great respect for that man for his achievements and consider him the best and greatest Malaysian ever. Very few world leaders even fit to clean his shoes.

    But Dr M never claimed such lofty moral high grounds or speak with a forked tongue. He said what he meant and his track record is there for all to see. Despite all his flaws, Dr M remains the man I deeply respect.

    No doubt Dr M has to bear some responsibilites for the mismanagemet and corruption but his fault was to trust Anwar and tolerate his corrupted ways rather than nip that in the butt, oops, bud.

  16. Killer, don't try to bullshit your way through this-la.

    "Sg Nyior toll road and the monstrous and misguided Bandar Perda development "

    The Butterworth BORR contract which handed over Sg. Nyior to be a toll road was finalised long after DSAI had been thrown into prison.

    Yes, Bandar Perda was originally Anwar's brainchild - to his credit I would add. The massive mis guided contracts were subsequently inked long after DSAI was already jailed.

    Another BN bull-shit artist on this blog.

  17. Yo anonymous @ 9.48am

    That the contract might have been finalised later does not absolve the Great Snake Oil Salesman of the moral (if not material) corruption.

    Only a dimwit townplanner or greedy politician would even bother to pump in millions of ringgit into a sleepy backyard of Bandar Perda.

    I find it laughable to claim that this is a credit to Anwar. Remember when DAP took over Penang, they found MPSP's coffers to have been bleed dry. Upon checking they found all the monies were spent on the Bandar Perda. And strangeley, there was no more noise were raised at all, no police reports or public debates. I wonder why.....

    Just drive around Bandar Perda today and you will see it is practically a dead township. If it is not for the recent addition of Aeon Supermarket, no one would even bother to visit of this place.

    Millions have been spent on this place and until today and an examination of the contracts awarded would make some interesting reading.

    Thankfully since Anwar was sacked, the pace slacked and then stopped, we are spared of hundreds of millions of more public monies being swindled by well connected cronies of the Great Snake Oil Salesman.

  18. Ramai sangat yang percaya cakap Anwar tengah berangan tu. Dia bukan fikir sangat apa nak jadi, yang dia fikir hanyalah diri dia menjadi PM. Habis ditabur cerita angan2 yang 16 Sept ni dia akan berjaya. Kita tengok jelah nanti siapa kena tipu.