The Anwar Failing

This blog said that the clockdown was on for Anwar when he mentioned 16 Sept, and the clock has lapsed.

The deadline has not been met and the phone rings intermittently with Umno and Umno sycophants telling me how off the mark I’ve been.

No qualified retraction here – the thing did not happen.


It is the other complaint that irks me, that Anwar has let a whole nation down.

We as adults have the right to choose what to believe, and who to believe. Politics is the business of perception, and we put our chips based on our own personal read of the situation – and losing happens.

Yet this country as we know it has become a completely different proposition since Anwar left prison walls, and the arrogance of those in power ebbed so much that spasmodic convulsions have become a real feature inside the confines of PWTC.

Would Umno be at a precipice otherwise?

Every NGO, ex-ISA detainee, party leaders and religious leader has huffed and puffed Umno since 1970 with no real threat to it.

1974 poll was a walk over election, since only DAP was out of the newly formed BN juggernaut. Malay unity of PAS and Umno together forever (but like Rick Astley, only for a season) was too nice to fail.

1978 the oil crisis, the purge of Razak supporters and protesting students did not dint the win, since political activism amongst non-Malays was almost-comatose. The late departure of PAS was spun for success.

1982 elections were all about containing the Malay extremist elements since PAS left the BN acrimoniously – which was weathered easily, and PAS getting one parliamentary seat as Mahathir played up the this is a multicultural Malaysia.

1986 brought no success to either PAS or DAP, since Mahathir had now a brilliant way of ensuring neither party supporters can ever vote for the other. PAS will be Islamic and anti-others, and DAP will be secular and anti-Islam. BN just had to be neither party to win in the peninsular.

1990 The ill-organised Semangat 46 had the numbers, but not the ability to draw DAP and PAS into a cohesive coalition. PBS made a late U-turn on BN, but the gamble did not pay. The lack of trust and Semangat’s Malay first did not wash except in Kelantan. BN triumph.

1995, the mild scare of 1990 was over, and the wealth in the nation made no one interested in change, not since DAP and PAS went they separate path, and an abysmal result resulted.

The story of 99, 04 and 08 are spoken enough by everybody. The salient and vital analysis is, for the first time ever, the idea that it is BN’s to win and for the rest of us to fight for scraps ended.

Just like that.

MCA, Gerakan and other component parties are openly telling Umno how to lead the coalition, even if they submit to its power.

PAS and DAP are in government in 6 states, and all states are under siege to perform. Every Umno politician lives with real fear.

Umno Supreme Council meet more than people in a barbershop, deciding then changing their mind then saying solidarity then changing their mind then having a meeting – datelines are just conveniences.

The change is real – even if it is not in government, yet.

And for that we have to thank Anwar Ibrahim. In supporting him, we the many who were not willing to think changes can happen in the present, now do. What is so bad about that?

The next steps

In a chess game, you have to sometimes wait for your opponent to make his move, and in this game we are moving into that period, Umno trying to win ground.

The country is still lacking in leadership, and you have to be quite courageous to think Najib nor Muhyiddin are the answer. And so, who to leave the controls to?

People have to move from the think that it is Badawi who is weak to the real part, that it is Umno that is weak – and that is attributable to its main leaders. They are either apologists or arrogant vicious personalities.

The bogeyman period is over. There are issues of jobs, economic management, education, social reform, civil society and many more policy issues – not just the screaming of amorphous rights.

We all know Umno lacks that ability, it is a one trick pony.


Leaders lead, yet Anwar is now without a direct agenda. The passage to rule by Sept 16 was both alluring and intoxicating in equal measure that now restoring our stride is a challenge.

Anwar lost the round, yet the war is not limited to a battle.

We have lost some fence-sitters who were waiting for a resolution. Without repeating myself it is suffice to say, BN’s unwillingness to stay fair has had a role in a lack of outcome.

I have faith in the change, because it is not possible the evil that comes from Umno can persist because we have neither the resolve nor cunning to beat them. They are weak and we are strong. They have all the arms of government and we a worship of reason. It is coming, because the arrogant will always be sloppy.

The whole power transition plan in Umno might just end up being academic, if the whole party is out of power by March. Now that’s a thought to keep my weekend lively.

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