Tuesday 28 October 2014


steadyaku47 comment: 

Reflections of what I wrote about Anwar a few years back....but much has changed since then....whether for better or for be the judge. 

Anwar Ibrahim...He cannot dance ...he cannot sing!

Anwar Ibrahim was born in August 1947. Me in October 1947. Two months separates us at birth-enough for me to be able to say that he is older, but possibly two or three lifetimes separates us knowing what he has gone through in his life.

I remember the time when I wanted to meet up with him to find out what he was doing with his life. He was then teaching at one of the shop houses along Jalan Pantai – possible with Yayasan Anda if I am not mistaken. I did find him and he was indeed teaching and in slippers. At home that evening I casually told my father that I had met Anwar that afternoon. My father was then Director of CID. He stopped, looked at me and said sternly “Engkau tak ada kerja lain?” Whenever my father uses  “engkau” when addressing me I knew that he was not amused. And he then went on to lecture me as to why it would be in my best interest to keep away from Anwar!
Then I was away in Australia for a while and he became DPM. The next time I was back in KL I remember going to the Ampang Shopping center with my family and getting a few toys for our children at Toy R Us. As we walked up to the counter to pay there was Anwar. We hug and he smiled that smile that light up his whole face and then he was gone again out of my life for a few more years. But always the familiarity of old classmates made for easy banter every time we meet.

Then this time he was away for a while – six years I think – as the British like to say – at her Majesty’s pleasure in Sungai Buloh. I was with Zakaria Salleh, one of UMNO ex-Ketua Bahagian who had joined Keadilan when we heard that Anwar had been released and was at home. My friend wanted to immediately head for Anwar’s house to pay his respect. Would I like to come along? He asked. I said ok. We arrived and there were people everywhere. We got into line and waited our turn. We were told that Anwar was not well – that he was sitting down and that at anytime he might need to rest. After about an hour of waiting in line I eventually stood in front of him. He looked up from his chair, again with that smile of his, stood up and gave me a hug oblivious to what pain he must have felt. We talked for a few seconds and mindful of the others waiting to see him, I excused myself and walked on.

The last time I saw him was at a class get together in Bangsar – at Fauzi’s house, a school mate of ours who was the host - a few years back. As always his arrival was greeted with good nature ribbing by everyone and for the son of one of our classmates who had not seen Anwar before – that was a real treat. We sat and talked and I could see that age had caught up with all of us – Anwar included. He looked not as robust as I though he would be- after all he has always looked good whenever he was on TV and photographed well. But sitting beside me he looked vulnerable. 

Was the pressure of living constantly under public and media gaze and scrutiny getting to him? Was UMNO getting to him? I could not imagine what he had to go through on a daily basis in what he chose to do – POLITICS. It is one thing to be DPM where everything is laid out for you, another to be in the opposition. He constantly referred to Azizah in conversation with us and we could see that Family meant a great deal with him. As we talked I found myself thinking what more has he got to endure before his work is done. I did not envy the situation he was in. 

But he had no regrets. No wanting to take his pound of flesh from those that have done him ill. A more spirited discourse came from him when we talked about Mahathir – but either he was in control of himself or that he did not think it worth his while to think to much of times gone by. The present was what mattered.

At 63 I will not run if I can walk. Stand if I can sit. Talk if I can be quiet. Anwar has chosen the path less traveled. This path requires an uncommon resolve to move relentlessly forward no matter what. He stands in front of crowds everyday. He meets more people then he can remember everyday and all this he does with a willingness that belittle his age. He could be anywhere he wants to be in the world and be welcomed by world leaders and acquaintances. He could be in business and be rich beyond our wildest dreams. Instead he chose to serve the nation. He chose to take us to the next election because if Anwar does not do so, who then will take us? I am sure sometimes in his moment of solitude he must question his capacity to physically last the distance but his commitment to our cause is great. That will see him through and he has said many times that Azizah has done enough while he was away.

This is a good man. We all know he cannot sing well and neither can he dance well even if his life depended on it but he is decent man. I wish Najib and UMNO will do battle with him on a level playing field. I wish they could have enough compassion in their hearts to accept that Anwar had gone though more that a baptism of fire – a baptism that neither Najib or Muhyiddin could ever imagine or endure. But then it that would be like asking Bush to go fight Saddam one on one. No shock or awe, no overwhelming force meeting defenseless people, no doctrine of Rapid Dominance, no weapon of mass destruction on stand by just in case they are needed….none of the above. Bush would never survive. Neither would Najib against Anwar on a level playing field. 

We know that Anwar was with UMNO many years back. We do not know what he will be in the future. But this I know now. He and the other leaders in Pakatan Rakyat are the leaders we now have to lead us to the next General Election and they give us our best hope for a new beginning. A new beggining without an UMNO that has already abused the trust we Malays placed in them many times over, without a corrupt PDRM, a cowered MACC, without a Government that steals from its people, without a Judiciary that does the bidding of its Political masters, without many of the injustices and unfairness that we now have. 

Are these not reason enough for us to give them the opportunity to do so? 

First posted on Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

If not Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim then who?

What is most vivid in my memory of the time when Mahathir was Prime Minister and Anwar Ibrahim his Deputy was in the manner by which they both conducted themselves. God and demi God! Tales abound as to how Mahathir dominated Cabinet and all facets of Government – if need be he knew who was the OCPD of any District and if required would and did direct that OCPD to do his bidding at district level. Anwar was no slouch at getting things done. The manner by which he turfed Ghaffar out of the DPM post is now stuff of legends. These two rule the roost and Malaysia was their stomping ground. Any lesser being then these two had reason to fear their ire.

How things have changed today. Mahathir is now a caricature of himself.

While in the past during the Mahathir’s years as PM this  Ibrahim Ali would not have been able to approached Mahathir even on bended knees, today Mahathir is Advisor to Ibrahim Ali’s Perkasa! Now Mahathir stands beside this Ibrahim Ali waving a Kris to denote his support of Ketuanan Melayu to the Malays?   

Where Mahathir once could silence the Malaysian Cabinet by letting it be known that he was not amused with the antics of its Members, today he is reduced to using sarcasm to show his displeasure at the antics of KJ, Nazri or anything else that displeases him. More often than not his words falls upon deaf ears or are dismissed with contempt by the recipient of his ire.

He could once decide the fate of Deputy Ministers, Ministers and Menteri Besars. Today he shots blanks at Pakatan Rakyat and increasingly finds himself to be the target of an ever increasing group of people that treats him with utter contempt and disgust. And these are people whom Mahathir would not have the time of day for in his years as PM.

Anwar is not any better then. In Mahathir he had a good teacher and Anwar was an eager disciple. Do you all not remember the rarefied atmosphere of the rich and the powerful that Anwar moved in then? He had his people everywhere  - especially in the corporate world.

I marvelled at how these two have managed to put themselves into that strata of the high and the mighty without ever considering the need for humility in the job that they do – that of being leader to the people of Malaysia. Humble leadership was not in their vocabulary!
To them being ever so confident, bombastic and extrovert without an ounce of humility was what they perceived to be the way to go! If you were to see any humility in them it was feigned and certainly insincere! But those were the days.

Things are different today. No one now fears Mahathir anymore.  Mahathir is politically impotent and has been so  for many years now though through bouts of self medicated Viagra in gestation he has from time to time manage to stand erect above the UMNO fray to spout forth his views on what ever he thinks would give him that fleeting recognition from the public that he so much craves. What self imposed humiliation is worse for Mahthir than to be the Advisor to PERKASA. The old Mahathir would have considered it beneath his dignity to even be in the same room as Ibrahim Ali what more be his ADVISOR!

DSAI is finding his feet again. Standing tall amongst his peers but this time in a different arena, in the strange world of those not in government. To succeed in the new world that he is now in he has to distance himself from the world he was once part of. And there my friend lies the problem for Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar and Mahathiir knows enough about each other to bury the other!  So why have they not done so? They both know that even if one of them were to strike the mortal blow to the other, there would still be enough time for the dying to do enough to kill the other. So for self preservation they will joust with each other but not kill each other.

For both the days of glory, unbridled power and influence is long gone and will never comeback. Today Mahathir and Anwar fear the people they once dominate. 

When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty.”

Liberty is close for us but not yet a certainty. But I think there are more good people amongst us than evil one.Those in political power  can no longer deceive or overawe us with the pomp and circumstance that they surround themselves with. 

My greatest hope is that Anwar Ibrahim is a change man. We all would like to believe that the sum of all the experiences that he has gone through has made him into a better man. We have need of a changed Anwar Ibrahim. Many of us will give Anwar the benefit of the doubt but there are still many who will not do so. But as I have often asked before…if not Anwar then who?      

Saturday, April 27, 2013

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