In the storm, many of us are just trying to keep above the debris. The storm is settling a little and it is becoming quite real that the next four weeks will decide the fate of this present reincarnation of Anwar Ibrahim.
Qualifier: At the end of the time if Anwar does not present a substantial body of traction to indicate actual handover of power to Pakatan, then there is a high chance of all inroads since the elections may fizzle out, and attention will transfer to the Umno power struggle. Anwar’s phase post elections ends. That is not the end of Anwar, just the end of this round of play. And he has to start building again, probably around the administration of the five Pakatan state with less inevitability about himself.
In politics you only get to cry wolf once.
Anwar may be left to pursue more mortal means to getting the party to the top of the Malaysian political pyramid.
The clockdown was about to be released anyway, but the Saiful Bukhari allegations just rushed it along a tad bit sooner.
The Najib complexities is the counterforce, and now the Malaysian public will have to meander back and forth based on hearsay and little evidence.
Why? Because the accusations against Anwar will rely more on testimony than fact, and the examination of Najib will be clouded by a misdirection and information scarcity thanks to a Barisan government laying the truth at the bottom of a mountain of concrete.
The issue will be settled by the court of public opinion and currently Anwar has the edge.
But the underdog has to be on top once you decide to bite and battle.
And victors get to write history ( lowly paid ex-philosophy lecturers get to write blogs).
Mr Ten Percent
Najib’s biggest problem is, himself. He has become quite a figure in the field of self-aggrandisement – in the eyes of the average voter. Mr ten percent himself is seen to fit the “he would share his woman with his political advisor” bill.
Anwar on the other hand is the modernist islamist poster boy. Even if PAS leaders denounced him in 1982 for joining Umno, his carefully constructed personality in the 16 years in Umno have made him the most accessible political leader to those on any end of the Islamic spectrum. What has aided him is that there has never been a severe theological debate in the country that would have forced Anwar to take one side or the other.
The downside of religious plurality in Iraq or Pakistan does not plague Malaysia due strong Umno one sect rule in Malaysia.
So presently Anwar has the broadest Muslim appeal in the country, and that helps deal with all allegations – sodomy included – in the court of public opinion.
Colossal tidal wave
But the bottom will give way if there are no more meaningful nuggets from Anwar. The last few speeches have been rehashes. The Sapp decision (from Malaysiakini report) has given some cheer, but you need more cheers to build on small waves to a colossal tidal wave.
So the outcome of the situation will have less to do with any press conference from Anwar or Najib, unless they have a real evidence, but on what the MPs do in the next weeks leading to August.
The countdown is on. If you like Anwar, you might want to call your nearest BN MP and ask him or her to take that trek to the PKR HQ in Merchant Square.