Abdullah Badawi has been against the ropes for the better part of six months, and surely he must set the agenda – for a change.
Everything he has done in the past months have been pure reactions, and nothing more.
And yet when he has the chance to end the whole matter – batter the external attacks – before he can squash the internal Umno rumblings he backs down. What manner of man are we dealing with?
September 16 as a day will lapse in very short while.
However the main morsel of Anwar Ibrahim’s claim – since change of government did not happen today – is that he wants a peaceful transition, by sitting down with Badawi.
But Badawi won’t do that, and has said a direct you are a liar to Anwar.
Since a liar cannot produce 31 names that will stick if the meeting happens, why not meet him then. Once the bluff is called, then Badawi can stand and use the podiums he has, and the international media available to Anwar, and say that he met the MP from Permatang Pauh, and found the pakatan man wanting.
Effectively ending Anwar Ibrahim’s current drive to overthrow BN, and Badawi get three months to govern with only the internal wolves to deal with. The Anwaristas – like myself – will go quiet and we have to let him govern, since we don’t have the basis to stop him from governing.
From Badawi’s advisors perspective the only fear they might have is that Anwar once in the meeting will rattle their man – not with facts or statutory declarations but with rhetoric. And timid Badawi will cower to the will of the man.
That is overplaying Anwar, and underscoring Badawi.
Surely if Anwar is carrying a gun with blanks, then the outcome will be easy to force.
Or perhaps it is a cleverer game. The Badawi guys are hoping by rejecting a meeting, Anwar will be forced to release names, and this will give them time to damage control the matter or spin it. Everything will tailspin to the stratosphere.
But knowing Anwar, they must know he would not say, despite waiting for this PM meeting, he will assume power in next few days. There is a trigger he has not pulled yet.
The Anwar excuse
Surely those in power do not want to be seen as fearful of the former deputy prime minister. Plus Anwar will have an excuse. Short of going to the streets – and with Parliament not in session – the only place this can be done without any trouble is at a negotiating table.
With Badawi discounting that possibility, Pakatan will go out to town talking about how the impasse is the prime minister’s making.
It is peaceful Anwar is wanting to talk, and surely good Muslim Badawi is keen on a meeting with his budak negeri in cordial settings.
The Umno masses don’t love Ahmad Ismail because he is smart or visionary – everyone can see, the man epitomises intellectual deficiency.
He is pig-headed – I mean that in a halal way.
He is unapologetic, and he is quite willing to tear anyone not Umno down, for the sake of Umno. Now in that pretty primitive party, that is pure gold.
Badawi can learn from this, from a pure Machiavellian way. The opportunity is there for him to strike.
He has a chance to take charge of this. If he is quiet and the matter dies off along with Anwar, he is still going to be seen weak in contrast to other Umno leaders. The grassroots will ask, would Najib, Muhyiddin, Ku Li or even Ahmad Ismail handled the issue better – at least try to bloody Anwar in the exchanges.
If people think they would have been better, very quickly any semblance of Badawi the alpha male in his pack will dissipate, along with his intentions to have no challenges for the Umno presidency in December
Two days to conga
Wednesday will be telling, and if Thursday fails to spark – then the political storm will ebb.
But will Badawi risk two days of inaction?
This is becoming a game of chicken, with a very high stake pegged to the outcome. Do not avert your eyes, just yet.