Anwar in prison

This column first appeared in The Malay Mail Online, on February 12, 2015.It is reproduced here.

I was the media go to guy at PKR between 2012-2013, working out of Anwar Ibrahim’s office and managing both social media and traditional media for the party for the duration leading to the 13th General Election.

 

He enjoys the limelight, but shutting the lights out so viciously tarnishes this government .
He enjoys the limelight, but shutting the lights out so viciously tarnishes this government .

FEBRUARY 12 — “Life had already given him sufficient reasons for knowing that no defeat was the final one.” (Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, from The General in His Labyrinth)

Have you seen Anwar Ibrahim walk into a room? It’s quite foreign in these parts — in Putrajaya certainly no less — to see a consummate public figure soak up the room and make it an occasion whether it is a large coalition meeting or just a small group of out of towners seeking his time.

It’s not aura exactly, it’s the immersion he has to his role. No one believes in Anwar Ibrahim more than Anwar Ibrahim.

It explains why all discussions about the Opposition leader assume a different feel than other politicians past and present. At the same time, his detractors will say verily that that is why he is always entangled in one surreal political subterfuge to the next. Continue reading “Anwar in prison”

This column first appeared in The Malay Mail Online. It is reproduced here.

 

Be careful, there are worst things than being a heart donor
Be careful, there are worst things than being a heart donor

FEBRUARY 5 — Have a look at the date again — the fifth day of the second month in 2015.

Nine days to Valentine’s Day and the naysayers have not started with their tirade over the dual — real or imagined — threat of fornication and layered proselytisation through the reference of a till lately, obscure Christian saint. Phew!

They are starting late this year, but don’t doubt them, they will start even if they sound like broken records — to sympathisers and supporters alike.

(Talking about Valentine’s, I really don’t want to know how ISIS will be observing it this year in order to warn Muslims worldwide away from performing unsanctioned love acts. I can suggest some nasty “ideas” as a joke, but I fear — through the mysterious powers of the Internet— somehow they’d hear about it, and actually carry them out. Those ISIS dudes, they raise “doing” to a whole new stratosphere.)

Over here in Malaysia, it has become an annual ritual — I know, it’s cute, a ritual to fight a ritual — to demonise those who are inclined to dating on the day. Continue reading