Welcome back Anwar!
The result has been unsurprising, and we have all talked about the rise of Anwar since he walked out of prison.
However for Anwar personally, this is a first since his arrest in 98′. He has never got an exact public endorsement from the voters – until yesterday evening.
The PKR leader has had large turnouts at all his ceramahs, but the detractors have always said two things – one, those showing up are his supporters anyway, so big deal. Second, they just are showing up to see the show, and ceramahs don’t translate to votes.
So Anwar had to walk with that large shadow palling his return. Is he a man with a devoted support of a substantial group, come rain or shine – or is he a political reality? You only know that when you put your name on the vote sheet.
And the Penang boy had to wait ten years, to say without reservation and qualification – he does have the mandate of his electorate.
That my friend, is vindication. It is not winning government, but for him euphoria.
Wan Azizah and family would feel a quiet elation. Before this vote, they trusted their father and husband, but only as that. So irrespective of whether you are an Anwarista or not, you must feel for the sense of relief his family is feeling presently, and there is no taking that away from them.
The quiet probably lasted two hours, and now they are back to the next challenge.
Yet, Malaysians are members of families before they are voters, and without rancour we must send our calm wishes to the Anwar family – no matter which political party we support.
The next days
They must be complete misery for Abdullah Badawi. The man never had the stomach for a real challenge, and the idea of getting up on Friday morning, sit and then pray before heading to Parliament to deliver the budget facing Anwar might just be too much for him.
And it is going to be live. Badawi loses his thoughts talking about basic things – what can we expect of him talking about how we are going to manage our economy while so much volatility and uncertainties – economically only this time – hanging over Malaysia? And to do it live and with Anwar looking on with his famous smirk?
Forget 16 September for now, place your keen expecting eyes on the telly, a real show might be on.
Many have said to me, the Anwar promise of crossovers is not guaranteed. I will grant that. In politics people give promises like candy in a dentist’s office, and they renege them as quickly. So Anwar has half-promises, a bag-full of them.
What will become of them?
We are all now standing around a poker table, with a grand game being played. The cards however are intemperate. The clock is on for when both players must place their cards – and it is so true that Anwar’s Full House can easily be a dud.
But the rub is in the pressure of the situation, and the cards must make their choice of who to stick to – with the present BN or to this Pakatan this man has delivered, this Anwar Ibrahim.
Anwar believes he has the cards, even if these are cards with freewill.
But in this Merdeka season, with a completely shaky PM, an undecided Umno, a completely disillusioned Gerakan, a slowly aware MCA, a redundant MIC, a score of calculating Sabahan MPS – their party name or affiliation immaterial, a tired Dayak community, a new vote from Permatang Pauh and a near confused deputy prime minister – are you really going to say, never?