Najib or Anwar?
Reductio ad Absurdum by Chan Kheng Hoe
IN light of the recent Bersih 2.0 demonstrations, and the unjustified crackdown by the authorities, one may be forgiven if one were to be carried away in denouncing the current administration. They handled the demonstrations in an appalling manner, both in the run-up to the actual day and on the day itself. The conduct of the administration is shameful, arrogant, and senseless. The lies that are spewed to cover up the very public acts of violence add insult to injury.
In contrast, the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has cleverly stepped in to support Bersih 2.0. It cannot be denied that Bersih 2.0’s demands, which promote fair play and a level playing field during elections, would end up favouring the federal opposition. And except for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s gaffe in claiming that he could call off the demonstrations, the PR has generally allowed civil society to take the lead in this movement.
The dramatic unfolding of events on 9 July 2011, as broadcast to the world through social media, YouTube and international media, may lead one to conclude that clearly the PR is the better choice for the next elections. However, there is one major obstacle, to my mind: Anwar.
For all intents and purposes, and subject to the court’s verdict in Anwar’s sodomy trial, Anwar is the person put forward by the PR as Prime Minister designate. But is Anwar in reality a better candidate than Datuk Seri Najib Razak to be PM of Malaysia? With respect, I cannot at this juncture respond with a resounding “yes”.
Points for Najib
Grudgingly, I must admit that Najib has made some good moves as PM. The 1Malaysia campaign stands out as an extremely clever move. Yes, 1Malaysia means different things to different groups, but isn’t that part and parcel of the art of politics? And while many may belittle this campaign as nothing but empty talk, I beg to differ. As a practising lawyer, I have observed in the past couple of years an increase in the recruitment of non-Malay Malaysian personnel in the courts. Of course, this is anecdotal evidence, but the observation must be recorded.
The appointment of Datuk Sri Idris Jala to the cabinet is another outstanding feather in Najib’s cap. Idris comes with excellent credentials, and an enviable track record. I feel safe for Malaysia that someone like Idris is taking a hard look at the state of the Malaysian economy. I am comforted when Idris announces that Malaysia may potentially go bankrupt, because it tells me that at the very least, the authorities know the dire straits we are in. I would be much more alarmed if the authorities keep on insisting that Malaysia is on a fine growth track, and we are poised to be the next Asian economic powerhouse.
Najib has also eased much of the tension between Malaysia and Singapore, and that too is a good thing. Really, we have got to stop the rivalry between our two countries. Singapore can be very beneficial for Malaysia, and Singapore can gain much from cooperating with Malaysia as well. We have got avenues to strike win-win collaborations. Twenty years of demonising Singapore under Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s rule is enough. It’s time to move on.
Here’s another reason why I like Najib. He appears to be a man of the world. He does not pretend to be overly religious, or cite the scriptures wantonly. I don’t know him personally, but I suspect that he may have a quiet sip of Chardonnay on some nights. In Malaysia, there are so many politicians who want to claim the moral high ground, either by asserting religious or racial rights. That makes me exhausted. Sure, there would be occasions when Najib, too, would have to play to the gallery. But I imagine our PM is not reading books on political philosophy during his free time. One could imagine him sitting down on a quiet Sunday afternoon with his family watching The Simpsons, and actually appreciating the show.
Points against Anwar
In contrast, Anwar may speak much about unity, but he can never fully explain away his years in the Mahathir administration. Yes, imprisonment (usually referred to by Anwar as “solitary confinement”) can change a person. Nevertheless, I do not buy Anwar’s story of solitary confinement. I imagine the Malaysian prison to be a crowded and unpleasant place, and I imagine that Anwar was given his own cell due to his previous high position. Hence, what he touts as “solitary confinement”, I suspect to be a benefit accorded to him by the prison authorities.
Anwar promotes populist economic policies. He claims that the eradication of corruption would be sufficient to maintain subsidies for the Malaysian economy. I think this is a muddied approach. Yes, we need to install a social net for the poorest of the poor. But why should money saved from the eradication of corruption go towards maintaining subsidies? Why should the subsidy mentality be maintained?
Anwar was in the forefront of the fight to restore the use of Malay language in the teaching of Mathematics and Science. That is subjecting our education system to politics, and that is irresponsible. We are in a global village, and English is the lingua franca. Perhaps the policy to use English could have been better thought out. Perhaps there could be a dual system. And perhaps some schools may be given a choice. Anwar did not discuss any of these options. It appears as if he sensed an opportunity to score some brownie points with the populace, and he took the opportunity. Opportunists do not make great statespersons.
And finally, I sometimes cannot understand Anwar when he launches into his intellectual mode. An old proverb says, “When words are many, sin is not absent.” Have you heard Anwar when he tries to assert his intellectualism? Sure, bombastic words sound impressive. And when someone quotes multiple sources, he or she sounds credible. But in doing so, he or she forgets that 93% of communication comes from non-verbal cues. To me, in Anwar’s case, his words get so much in the way that I cannot sense his heart. And that makes me have reservations about him.
So what is the impact of Bersih 2.0? It has shown me that I have no credible choice in the next general election.
No credible choice? Look no further,believe me,we've got more talents in PAS and DAP than you could ever imagine........ReplyDelete
Dear Tuan Hussien,ReplyDelete
This is my reading/understanding from this post of yours.
Points For Najib
2.Idris Jala on the ETP RM444.0 billion Big Results Fast projects
3.Re-establishing good relationships with Singapore
The writer also wrote this about Najib, which I stand to be corrected:
1.I suspect that he may have a quiet sip of Chardonnay on some nights
2.I imagine our PM is not reading books on political philosophy
3.One could imagine him sitting down on a quiet Sunday afternoon with his family watching The Simpsons, and actually appreciating the show
Points Against Anwar
1.speak much about unity
2.the solitary confinement
3.populist economic policies i.e. eradication of corruption
4.fight to restore the use of Malay language
5.tries to assert his intellectualism i.e. bombastic words and quotes from multiple sources
Below is not from the writer but from the Wikipedia on The Simpsons.
1.Bart's (oldest child of the Simpsons) rebellious nature, which frequently resulted in no punishment for his misbehavior, led some parents and conservatives to characterize him as a poor role model for children.
2.In schools, educators claimed that Bart was a "threat to learning" because of his "underachiever and proud of it" attitude and negative attitude regarding his education. Others described him as "egotistical, aggressive and mean-spirited".
3.In a 1991 interview, Bill Cosby described Bart as a bad role model for children, calling him "angry, confused, frustrated".
4.On January 27, 1992, then-President George H. W. Bush said, "We are going to keep on trying to strengthen the American family, to make American families a lot more like the Waltons and a lot less like the Simpsons."
The writer, Mr Chan Kheng Hoe, a lawyer, concluded that there is no credible choice.
The question that I like to ask you is: If you have no choice but to choose either NTR or DSAI, and for discussion sake, overseas Malaysians are allowed to vote, whom do you choose Tuan Hussien?
Anon first thing first...call me Hussein not Tuan..I hear you. Why not we continue this dicussion via our email : mine is email@example.comReplyDelete
I see that you have given this matter some thought and I would very much like to take it further. regards.
Very surprising a lawyer like the scribe is still wandering between two choices of leaders, NTR or DSAI, to me looks like he is a fence sitter who, like all fence sitters, when asked to pick A Or B, he picked Or. Mind you in any struggle we cannot stay neutral, we have to take side. What the heck man, Najib or Anwar is not the matter, what matters is which side are we, BN? or PR? With all the points against Anwar, we still look at PR, we don't look at Najib no matter if he's ten times better than Anwar, but he's ten times worse than PR. That makes Najib a zero and for that matter when any best BN leader is not the leader of our people, they can never be good for us, unless we want to become their people. Don't fancy listening to a fence sitter.ReplyDelete
Dear Pak Hussien (a title I use as a sign of respect),ReplyDelete
I have never missed any your writing since 09 and I find you to be very learned and someone whom I can respect, hence the title Pak.
I beg to differ this once. Our fight is to end the BN's hegemony in Malaysia politics, the emergence of a viable opposition and the birth of a two party system.
Many a times, politic is the choosing of the lesser of two evils. If voting for PR enables DSAI (by the way, someone I don't much trust) to be the prime minister designate, I will gladly give him and PR a chance.
Besides, I thnk too much emphasis is place on DSAI. If PR wins the GE, I suspect our next PM will probably be from PAS.
After 54 years, I would want anyone but BN. A BN loss will do us good as they will work harder and with more integrity to serve us.
Kok Wai...we still agree..we agree to disagree lah!ReplyDelete
fmzam,i see u never like dsai( as seen in all your comments).u seem to like corrupted leaders to lead the country and i believe u must be one corrupted guy.and for pak hussin,u are another idiot who had been dsai's close buddy since mckk days and in politics and after so many years(maybe 45 years)suddenly made a belakang pusing and started to bring his dear friend down the drain( i believe u are a pious man and a good muslim).tell me all these years have u accompanied dsai to a brothel or he hentam yr buntut?pse be frank with me!u answer me frankly and i salute u.ReplyDelete
mr shuk,u are a stupid idiot.i think keadilan had more brainy people and equivalent to pas and dap.tolong baca lah sadikit,tukar surat kabar dap nst,star,metro and baca keadilan,harakah and rocket and that will open your mind.i tink u must be a malay guy,corect me if am wrong?ReplyDelete
You're the same stupid Anon ya? You sound more a moron than you are a stupid. You a Melayu too your years working in the government must has made you nothing more than a donkey you are now. And you a muslim too, but a munafik too. I don't like Anwar but I never say bad about him. You sound like you're in love with Anwar and yet you have the heart to say DSAI go to brothel and hentam buntut. In your many comments in Arshad Raji's blog you portrayed yourself as pro UMNO/BN, you think I don't know ah? Over here you twist your stand. Why are you so bloody MUNAFIK? You pray 5 times a day and yet you fitnah us. What kind of muslim bastard are you?
To anon,you just could not compare the talents in PKR with the talents in PAS and DAP-PAS and DAP have been an opposition powerhouse in Malaysian politics since time immemorial and now with the talents that is available in both,we are ready to be the captain of the ship and PKR is nothing more than a splinter made up of a bunch of opportunist frog whose culture is similar to that of the corrupted BN,maybe Nurulizah is an exception but the rest is just a bunch of rotten hypocrites just like you and yes I am a Malay and right now not very proud of it......ReplyDelete
mr shuk,pkr have more talented people becos in every cheramah i atended there were more people attending when they(people)hear dsai,azmin ali,tony pua,tian chua giving the ceramah.when dsai gave his ceramah people listen even in the heavy rain and thunderstorm/lightening(i was there to be the witness).people sit everywhere on the grass just to listen to (what u say )the stupid keadilan guysReplyDelete
DAP on its own will not be accepted by Malays, PAS on its own will not be accepted by non-Muslims. PKR, although made up of many fence-sitters, rejects and so on plays the very important role of gluing the parties together, giving the whole coalition a semblance of moderation. The 3 parties have their own steadfast beliefs and viewpoints but they are blending on the universal issues of freedom, equality, fairness. Anwar is playing that role of being a moderate. With all due respect, Malays will find it hard to believe that Lim Kit Siang is thinking of their interests and non-Muslims will never believe that Hadi Awang is going to think of their interests. It may not be true but that is the perception.ReplyDelete
I see "Points for Najib" and "Points against Anwar". What happened to "Points against Najib" and "Points for Anwar"?ReplyDelete
Don't tell me there are no points against Najib and no points for Anwar?