Kajang and the Anwar-Mahathir showdown


– Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
February 25, 2014

When Anwar Ibrahim announces he wants to contest in Kajang, the whole country erupted into a fit. Most affected is the BN side. They don’t know what to do and say. So they shoot at each other.

Ahmad Maslan, the 3.85 CGPA-man, announced that Umno will use Anwar’s sex issue as the main issue. I am sure at the very moment, Kajang inhabitants wake up in the morning to find packages containing various CDs on Anwar’s sexual encounters enclosed. That’s how Umno educate Malays.

Even Dr Mahathir has entered the fray; first by saying that Anwar is only fit to become the menteri besar. As usual his initial response developed into the typical Mahathir vitriol on his onetime protégé turned nemesis.

The whole political saga involving Anwar which sets the country into political turmoil was created in the first place by Mahathir. That is why Mahathir is attacking Anwar. Mahathir knows Anwar will eventually win. So he tries to delay the inevitable.

Despite his admission that he wanted to retire earlier then when he actually did, he was actually planning to stay as long as he is mentally alert. He has to look after his friends’ business interests. He has to take care of his sons’ businesses. He wants to ensure his legacy is intact. Most of all he needed a guarantee to make sure all the mess that he has created is not exposed. He was jolted from his own perceived invincibility and infallibility by the challenge Anwar marshalled against him.

To me and I hope to many more Malaysians, this is a case of a great injustice done to Anwar and his family. He has taken more punishment than he deserves. This time it is the people of Kajang’s turn to show the world and Mahathir, this country is not owned by Umno or Mahathir. The country has been ill for some time. Now it’s time to heal.

The Kajang by-election is an opportunity for the people of Kajang to do some correction. It’s true that the right to recall should be initiated by the rakyat. But it’s unrealistic to expect a group of satay sellers, hawkers, pasar malam traders to do a political version of a class-action like this. It must be initiated by a creative minority such as politicians.

A right to recall should not be confined to applying a referendum on the ruling government but can also be extended to correct internal politics. This is what PKR is doing. It’s correcting internal politics within PKR.

As to the face-off between Mahathir and Anwar, Mahathir’s persistent interest on Anwar is another phase of a political struggle between an impatient Anwar and Mahathir. In the proper context, impatience is not a personal defect. Tolerating the excesses of Mahathir on the other hand, shows something is terribly wrong.

Dr Mahathir should not be deceiving people further by saying his continued fight with Anwar is spurred on by his desire to protect Malaysia from Anwar. That is a decision to be made by Malaysian citizens. Mahathir must stop patronising Malaysians with his wisdom in deciding what’s best for our lives.

Anyone with leadership material is sure to be impatient with Mahathir.

Tengku Razaleigh, Musa Hitam and Anwar all are leadership material impatient at the way Mahathir ran the country. Those of lesser constitution, like Najib, are people who can be cowed into toeing the line. Mahathir loves that kind of pliant and submissive material.

Mahathir wanted to remove a political threat. It’s all politics to decide who gets to keep power and who can’t. And the excuses contrived by Mahathir were only just that, convenient excuses. Because if Anwar were to be destroyed because of his legally unproven sexual deviances or moral misconduct, almost all of Mahathir’s cabinet should have been asked to go. All it needed was Mahathir saying so. They were many drunkards and fornicators in his cabinet then.

If Anwar were to be destroyed because of corruption as he was indeed convicted of, then the entire cabinet should have resigned a long time ago. So minus the sexual misconduct and corruption, it all boils down to a power struggle between Mahathir and Anwar and the former needed to remove a political threat. Anwar was a threat to him, to his friends and to the politicians hiding behind Mahathir.

Anwar is still a threat now. With a more powerful Anwar helming Selangor, life as Umno and BN know all this while will come to an abrupt end. No more halcyon days. No more salad days.

The second-rate and half-past-six BN leaders reacted as dullards do when they don’t have the answers, issuing threats and the usual show of outdoing each other by uttering disparaging remarks. Nallakarupan says he will expose the dark side of Anwar. Why would anyone believe and place faith in someone who has benefited from his friendship with Anwar but now has turned against him?

Zaid Ibrahim is a close friend of mine. But I find his rationale for contesting because he cannot agree to having Anwar replace Khalid Ibrahim as MB a bit patronising.

Does Khalid need someone like Zaid to defend him? Accordingly, I give Zaid two chances on wining Kajang, slim and none. But if he were to enter the fray with financing from Umno boys, please share with me.

Some say it’s a waste of public funds. Some say it’s a betrayal of trust, even well-meaning NGO leaders appear to accept the BN stock-in-trade explanation of the motives of Anwar.

Anwar need not contest if two things remain. (1) If those having constitutional powers stick to their constitutional role, and (b) Selangor has an MB strong and resilient enough to withstand the onslaught. The two requirements are not there.

In order to understand the Kajang move, we have to widen our sights. In the 1980s when Mahathir held sway, the Malay rulers were held at bay. Mahathir even created a special court to try royal miscreants. The rulers were weak then and Umno wasn’t that enamoured with them. Umno did not need the Malay rulers then.

Nowadays, the reverse is true. Umno is weak despite winning 88 parliamentary seats. BN won only 47% of the popular votes. No matter how they want to disguise it, Umno knows it does not have the moral victory. The people have rejected them. And Najib knows Umno won because the gerrymandering and lopsided voter representation. Umno won in many areas with relatively smaller voter population. It lost in almost all urban areas.

On the other hand, the Malay rulers have become stronger. This isn’t happening only in Selangor but in almost all the states. They have begun to reassert themselves on a weakened Umno. In Johor, Perak, Pahang, assertive constitutional rulers are making demands that Umno is only too pleased to accommodate in exchange for political favours and also in exchange for a lifeline. Ask and you shall be given.

Selangor, in particular, is the crown jewel. It’s the richest state and control of the state confers on a seasoned politician strategic advantages. We already got some indications in this direction when Anwar announced that he will be bringing Tan Sri Muhammad bin Muhammad Taib to help him in Selangor.

I was among the people who initially thought the plan to do so was so wrong. But when I look at it from a political angle, I find the plan to bring in Mat Tyson to be a brilliant move.

With Mat Tyson assigned an important and substantive role in an Anwar administration, Umno’s influence in Selangor can be extinguished. The five parliamentary seats now held in coastal Selangor will be recaptured easily with Mat Tyson working his magic there.

When he was MB of Selangor at one time, many of the local leaders owed him more than gratitude. The 12 state seats in Selangor held by BN can be easily converted by Mat Tyson. There will be complete annihilation of BN in Selangor. The rakyat should cherish such an idea: a complete decimation of Umno in Selangor.

Those vested with constitutional powers are asserting themselves on a weakened Umno. Umno is too pleased to accommodate them temporarily because Umno needed the constitutional rulers to support them.

Anwar on the other hand has the stature, resilience and bold enough to resist attempts from any quarters to launch a coup d’état or mount a Perak-like putsch. Selangor is the crown jewel of Malaysia. Controlling it means having a big say on capturing Putrajaya. — sakmongkol.blogspot.com, February 25, 2014.

* Sakmongkol AK47 is the nom de guerre of Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri, the MP for Raub, Pahang.

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  1. #1 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 26 February 2014 - 7:57 am

    Anwar was a threat to his pocket indeed.

  2. #2 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 26 February 2014 - 8:00 am

    Mat Tyson knows the operations of Umno through and through. He is an invaluable asset to PR.

  3. #3 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Wednesday, 26 February 2014 - 8:33 am

    I am no politician. So I know little about political moves until after the event, i.e. when the results are out.

    Really, what I hope to see are the results. And of course I could be persuaded even by the promise of results.

    For now and for some time to come (given umno’s 50+ yrs of broken record) any promise to bring umno down would sound good to me.

    I have had enough of umno’s rubbish. I want change. I want some fresh air. I want pakatan.

    So go anwar. Do what is necessary. You have my support.

  4. #4 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 26 February 2014 - 9:08 am

    Actually I am looking forward to Anwar-Mahathir actually out in the campaign trail. I am sure UMNO/BN is debating the issue – MCA probably think if they confine it to the Malays, it will be OK but the Chinese may not be polite as they will not be when Najib shows up either.

    Even among the Malay vote, it will be a bruising battle and its no guarantee that nothing will go wrong if Mahathir shows up..

  5. #5 by Noble House on Thursday, 27 February 2014 - 5:47 am

    A “Ringgit and Sense” theory on the intricacies of Malaysian politics – for those with an intensely inquisitive mind.

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