August 26th in Permatang Pauh came and went so we now have Saudara Anwar Ibrahim in Parliament and as Leader of the Opposition.
Victory in Permatang Pauh was a foregone conclusion from the moment Dr Wan Azizah quit. The real fight was for an increased voter turnout and winning margin and percentage. That achieved, the rest to me was just the same difference. As the advisor to Pakatan Rakyat, he was already the de facto head anyway and though Dr Wan Azizah stamped her own style, she was still very much a representative of her husband in spirit.
Whether his September 16th happens or not, it appears Anwar Ibrahim is destined to be our next Prime Minister. It may even take as long as after the next general elections in 4 years or so but barring a Robert Kennedy and based on Election Commission statistics alone (400,000 new and young internet generation voters per year), he will be a shoo in.
The foremost question remains whether he will turn out to be the savior of our nation after years of Preacher Man’s ineptitude. Then again, even mediocrity next to Preacher Man’s idiocy will appear as greatness!
Saudara Anwar Ibrahim is not new to many of us especially those in our 40s and above. We know him since his days in UMNO and some even before that. We have seen him in the mould of a political prisoner (for all intents and purposes he was one) that is the image most young Malaysians see. We now see him in the role of reformist and the catalyst and mover of change, which has sparked the imagination of the younger and older generations alike.
To many of my contemporaries, Anwar has too much “baggage”. The most common expression when his name comes up in conversations these days is, “…I still cannot trust him as such, but what better choice have we got?”
I like what blogger Ancient Mariner (Capt Yusuf Ahmad) said;
”As we celebrate our 51st National Day, we don't really have much of a choice. It’s either Anwar or the same old shit. He has been called all sorts of names, but the fact remains that after he had served his time, rightly or wrongly (and there are many others still getting away with murder), he has been brave enough to want to consign blatant racism in this country into the dustbins of history.
To those who still harp on what he did (or didn't do) when he was in government, go suck a duck. He wasn't the captain and the buck didn't stop with him, so stop pointing fingers at the wrong man.
I still love my country right or wrong and I'll be damned if I am going to let her go to the dogs with the morons now running the show.
Time for change, shipmates, so let’s whistle for a wind.”
To Capt Yusuf Ahmad, I just want to add that since we get the government that we deserve, let’s hope that this time around we deserve better; may the change of wind we whistle for turn out to be truly a wind of change!
Since Tun Mahathir we have been fed enough political fodder in the form of fancy slogans and Preacher Man has been no different. Now, after being spun too often and for too long (especially in the last 5 years) the difference is; we Malaysians are no longer swallowing! Who can forget Mahathir’s:
“Bersih, Cekap, Amanah”
“Kepimpinan Melalui Tauladan” or Preacher Man’s;
“Work With Me, Not For Me”
“Cermerlang. Gemilang. Terbilang"…err, Terhilang and Temberang”. Yes, temberang has become a slogan in itself to describe the Preacher Man. But still, I tend to agree with Raja Petra’s “bodoh sepat” label of the sod; I think no one can rise to be Prime Minister by being a bodoh…least of all, a “bodoh sombong”.
So now we have Saudara Anwar Ibrahim promising “Kemerdekaan Rakyat”, "Ketuanan rakyat" and his now famous "Anak Melayu anak saya, anak Cina anak saya, anak India anak saya”. Walking this sort of talk is never easy even after GE12 and I hope showing favoritism among his “children” will not be to the point that it relegates the latter slogan to the ranks of the “infamous”!
Well, can Anwar Ibrahim be trusted? Only time will tell.
Maybe he does carry too much baggage but he certainly has been consistent these last couple of years since his release from prison. His political revival has been based largely on the premise of dismantling Barisan Nasional shibboleth and his promises of commitment to meritocracy, accountability and equitability; ending race based politics; affirmative action by class rather than race; all point to a new dawn for the country. More importantly his “sales pitch” of a New Deal for Malaysians has been consistently heard around the world. He can only “hide in plain sight” when he takes over the helm and he knows too well that failing to keep his word would easily see him go down the very direction Preacher Man is heading now; historical infamy.
Does Anwar really believe in the supremacy of citizens? Can he truly forge a Bangsa Malaysia by removing racially divisive policies, practices and mindsets that we have been told for the last 40 years, are a necessity for the wellbeing of all Malaysians?
Perhaps we should look as his “legacy in the making” by looking at his daughter Nurul Izzah who is already a veteran politician at 27. Fifteen or twenty years down the line I think we would be hard pressed to find a more suitable and qualified Prime Minister than this true Bangsa Malaysia of Malay, Chinese (and Indian too perhaps?) parentage. I kid you not:
Or perhaps we should just be hopeful that soon the acronym SIL will mean this fellow:
rather than this fellow:
HAPPY FUTURE MERDEKA DAYS!!!!