Anwar Ibrahim – he cannot sing he cannot dance….

By Hussein Hamid

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 Adabi 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. I was at Ampang Shopping center with my Family patiently letting my kids wander around 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 one of UMNO ex Ketua Bahgian 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 in Damansara 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 anytime he might need to rest. One 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 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 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 quite. But Anwar has chosen the path less traveled. This path requires an uncommon resolve to move relentlessly ahead 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 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 that Azizah has done enough while he was away.

This is a good man. As we all know he cannot sing well, 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 filed. 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 Mahyuddin 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.

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 – 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?

  1. #1 by Joshua on Sunday, 13 September 2009 - 5:53 am

    If Anwar cannot sing or dance, he can tell Sabahans what he did in Sabah in 1994…
    it is not asking too much if….

    The days in the 4 star hotel in KK just prior to the State General Elections in 1994 leading to the power grab…

    pw: pared DONALD

  2. #2 by khairi ali on Sunday, 13 September 2009 - 9:14 am

    Everyone has its own story to tell. And I’v heard too from his ‘enemies’.

    But nation is a nation. Its not just about stories and personal experience.

    No wonder u r just a follower.

  3. #3 by papa on Sunday, 13 September 2009 - 9:28 am

    His younger days statment still haunting the Malaysians, especially the non Muslim Malaysians. How he could clear his provocative past is now being waiting.

    Though people change, his statement had a profound impact of life.

  4. #4 by ekompute on Sunday, 13 September 2009 - 11:07 am

    “This is a good man. As we all know he cannot sing well, neither can he dance well even if his life depended on it but he is decent man.”

    I beg to differ. Anwar is no angel, he was a thorough-bred racist through and through in his younger days. He was the one who revert the name “Bahasa Malaysia” to “Bahasa Melayu” He climbed almost to the zenith but fell to the abyss of disaster. Hopefully that experience has made him a better man.

    But truth be said, he is our only hope. No one can give UMNO a run for their money. He told a blatant lie when he claimed that he had the numbers to take over the government on 16 September 2008. Maybe we should forgive him for that. It was a poker game, holding a two pair and calling bluff. He was going for broke and had no choice but to call bluff until the end. He was hoping for the hand of God at the critical last moment.

    Well, I don’t know whether Anwar will be better than UMNO but he cannot be worse. So let’s give him a chance. Vote for PR in GE13.

  5. #5 by monsterballssgoh on Sunday, 13 September 2009 - 11:23 am

    Papa writer…Do not bring out grandfather stories to run down Anwar Ibrahim.
    Read the post from Anwar’s closet friend.
    22 years under a kept quiet.
    Anwar Ibrahim is destined to be ELECTED as PM…by the people.
    All pro BN can keep insulting him…or put out doubts about him.
    UMNO is so afraid of him…the day he was released from jail…until now…same idiotic charges…using religion….to shut Muslims opinions…speaks for dirty UMNO is.
    Get it very clear “papa” writer…between the two devils..and that is….if you are right about Anwar…the people still trust Anwar more than any UMNO devils.
    Yes…reading the post…one cannot help feeling the pains and sacrifices Anwar have gone through…to serve the country.
    He knows he is wanted and needed by Malaysians.
    UMNO loves to see him break and retire.
    Determinations and realizing he is Allah’s chosen one to lead Malaysians away from a real evil government…his sacrifices prove no matter how wrong he was in the past..all are loving and forgiving him.
    I hope “papa” writer have that same generous heart.

  6. #6 by ablastine on Sunday, 13 September 2009 - 12:10 pm

    I am not completely sure that it was a blatant lie when he said that he had the numbers to take over on 16th September, 2008. Certainly as we have seen UMNO took him seriously or they would not have insisted that potential defectors be ent out of the country at that time. Further, numbers are changing all the time. I believe he probably had the numbers but the problem was he announced it to the world and his opponents had sufficient time to take counter measures. He and Pakatan should learn from this. If they have anything of importance, leave it till the last to retain the advantage of suprise.

    Really if Anwar ask for 100 million from UMNO and BN to keep away now, I think they will willingly oblige him. Better for Anwar, he could have easily re join UMNO now and stay on their corrupted course of robbing the country dry. Commission just for a submarine deal is 500 million. Tell me how many 500 millions he could have easily squeezed out of the nation before it is killed. Maybe another 20 billion? He could have made himself filthy rich beyond our imagination as many of he UMNO predecessors have but no, he stayed on as opposition and had to face ridiculous charges like sodomy. As we all know UMNO has the power to make all these charges disappear as fast as they appear.

    No. Anwar knows that salvation of the country cannot come from anybody else but him. He has no wish to see the country turning into another Somalia. Nobody else can command the type of respect and trust which cut across race and creed as him. If he fails now the outcome is certain. Malaysia will die. UMNO will see to that.

  7. #7 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 13 September 2009 - 12:38 pm

    //Read the post from Anwar’s closet friend// — monsterballssgoh.

    I am sure “closet” was typographical error on your part, that you meant “close” and not “closet” friend…

    Closet is a small space or an enclosure as it relates to a storage room or even a cabinet carrying with it all the connotations of privacy and secrecy, shielded from public eyes.

  8. #8 by k1980 on Sunday, 13 September 2009 - 12:52 pm

    Jib Raz— he can’t sing or dance but he can c4….

  9. #9 by OrangRojak on Sunday, 13 September 2009 - 1:19 pm

    k1980 but he can
    I was on the phone to my mother last night. She was trying to find a parking place in the nearby general hospital to visit a friend who is warded there. She told me she saw a policeman, so stopped to ask him somethign about the TV. She wanted to know why the police on TV (I don’t know if the UK is a police state yet, but we get a lot of police TV!) are always referring to “IC3”. The policeman whispered “it’s a black man”.

    I hadn’t heard that before, so looked it up online. Apparently the police have codes for appearance, and it starts:

    IC1 White European
    IC2 Dark European
    IC3 Afro Caribbean
    IC4 Asian

    So it seems the UK police are not altogether ignorant of what goes on in Malaysia, huh?

  10. #10 by BoycottLocalPapers on Sunday, 13 September 2009 - 1:30 pm

    Anwar Ibrahim should be grateful to God that he is no longer loved by UMNO. If he is still with UMNO today, he would be the object of hatred by many.

  11. #11 by cseng on Sunday, 13 September 2009 - 1:33 pm

    Money and power do corrupt people!. When you are in power you are surrounded by all kind of seductions, you need right value and moral to overcome these. Chen Sui Pein was the champion for democracy and anti corruption before elected as president, see for yourself what he did during presidency. Anwar has gone through the up and down in life, from the second powerful man in country to a prisoner. He tasted his Umno’s prescription, he knows how it tastes, and he probably appreciates the meaning of democracy, fairness, more than most of us.

    I trust Anwar, a man in sixties, what is he fighting for?. Sixties is the golden years of life, he is scarifying these golden years for what? I don’t think money is the point here, I means he can easily taking opposite path to filthy rich by now. He probably aims to be the second ‘bapa kemerdekaan’ after TAR. After we independent form British we are now under colonization of BN’s corrupted system anyhow. Somehow we felt the whole government system is corrupted, right from PDRM, MACC till Judiciary, there are no ways to right the wrong within existing system. So, Anwar is here to re-format the existing corrupted system, this is a noble action, why should not he be given a trust and chance to do so? If he succeeded, his name should be next to TAR in history book.

    I don’t trust Anwar becoz of his past deeds, then how about trust a system called 2 parties system. This creates competition to govern the country, this automatically right many wrong by itself. If we have no faith on Malaysian as individual, try the 2 parties system when the window of opportunity is still opened. Still you need Anwar’s pakatan for this.

  12. #12 by hurricanemax on Sunday, 13 September 2009 - 1:57 pm

    For better or for worst, anwar is all malaysia has for now. His past is linked to the present, but he is the only bridge and glue to make a workable second ‘ruling’ party…

  13. #13 by chengho on Sunday, 13 September 2009 - 2:23 pm

    Anwar waiting for UMNO to call him…

  14. #14 by nazryan on Sunday, 13 September 2009 - 3:07 pm

    During my younger years, I tend to believe everything that the mainstream media highlight. All the good things that the government of the day did for the benefit of the rakyat. Thus I can never understand my mom point of view of opposing many things such as the mega structure, mega project and others. She always mentioned about Bank Bumiputra, Perwaja, MAS, Proton etc bailout, She always ask to read and understand better on issues that matters such as NEP policy, privatization and transparency. She also urges me to understand more on judiciary and the separation of power between judiciary, executive and legislator.

    Well, I did read, I did saw way back in 1998 where everything start to crumble and now days it came out like worms everywhere. The failure of the political system, judiciary, high crimes rate, the un-solved murder cases, unexplained high profile cases that favors the ruling or associate with the ruling party. To make it worst, all these hanky panky project/ contract showed obvious fail structure or system such as the Trengganu Stadium, MR2, crack or collapse of the buildings, fail investment, PFKZ, Maika and many dubious contract revealed. And off course the evil of all evil like the Anwar prosecution, Perak fiasco, the Lingam case where the BN authorities and evil supremacy showed.

    For all its worth :
    1. The PR alliance already outshined & out run the Semangat 46/ PAS in terms of achievement & life span.
    2. They have already now rule (5-1) states and deny BN 2/3 majorities in many other states.
    3. Secured 49% of eligible voters & deny for the first time 2/3 majority in Parliament in GE12
    4. Won 8 out of 9 by-elections since GE12

    And I do believe that all these happened because of Anwar. For whatever his deeds in the past, I do believe he is already a changed man. Even before Najib came out with 1 Malaysia, Parti Keadilan Rakyat already came out with its Manifesto Rakyat in 2004. & Anwar is also persistent and consistent these days. No more cakap A, to Malay & B, to Chinese & C, to Indian etc.
    Who would have forget after his arrest in 2008, hundred thousand of people (mostly Malays) march to the street in KL and when in 1999 GE, Terengganu (a Malay dominance state) fell. He make us believed that there is other political parties that can re-present the Malays. He convinced the Malaysian that there is a political parties that can represent a really truly Multi racial party and an alliance that is a strong contender for a two party system in Malaysia. And with this alliance, Malaysian believed that there is an alternative goverment in waiting.
    Although I may not agree on some of his stand today (like the PPMI issue) but I believed with all the good people in PKR, DAP & PAS – they will counter check, cross reference and check & balance each other for a better Malaysia.

  15. #15 by Better Malaysia on Sunday, 13 September 2009 - 3:28 pm

    I do not think is right to say that Anwar is waiting for UMNO to call him. He would have been with UMNO again if he wanted to.
    At this moment let’s not put down Anwar as though he had done something terrible, he had not. If he is corrupted while in UMNO, the pariaj UMNI would have used that against him and not cook up something like sodomy!!

  16. #16 by nazryan on Sunday, 13 September 2009 - 3:44 pm

    Better Malaysia,

    I too do not believed that he had done any misconduct or else as you mentioned he will be all long gone & used against him. However, he was at one time an ultra Malay during his younger years. This fear many non Malays. But as I mentioned he is a changed man.

  17. #17 by tanjong8 on Sunday, 13 September 2009 - 4:41 pm

    Anwar may have blemishes in the past but he appears to have turned over a new leaf.

    Compared with the Umnoputras and Utusans, he is an angel.

    Do we have other choice ?

    As Elvis sings, It’s Now or Never.

  18. #18 by tanjong8 on Sunday, 13 September 2009 - 4:48 pm

    I think the people must continue to fight Umnoputras and the Utusans.

    And continue to support those who do battles with Umnoputras and the Utusans, such as Pas.

    If the majority of Malays are still not awakening, they are the ones who will suffer most if they continue to condone the wrong-doings of the Umnoputras and the Utusans.

    The people can still wait for the time when the new Malays are rising to get rid of the Umnoputras and the Utusans. After all, we have waited some 50 years.

  19. #19 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Sunday, 13 September 2009 - 8:32 pm

    Anwar can’t sing or dance. Sure. Malaysians don’t like UMNO goons who sing and dance around the loot from the nation’s coffers.

    Right now, Malaysians still demand change. And we think Anwar is still the best person to lead the campaign against a corrupt and perverse BN. I feel it in my bones, Malaysians are rallying around Anwar and we will stand with him till BN bites the dust.

  20. #20 by raven77 on Sunday, 13 September 2009 - 10:41 pm

    Shouldnt you be looking to work with what you have got…

    With 5 states and one FT in the bag, thanks significantly to Anwar….Malaysians should grab this opportunity to dump the BN into the garbage bin of history. Whatever horror stories there are regarding the DAP, PAS and Anwar….nothing can beat the blatant looting and at times overt killings by UMNO alias BN…

    Focus,focus…focus….the goal is clear.

    BN must die. And Anwar is the PR’s greatest weapon.

  21. #21 by Jong on Monday, 14 September 2009 - 12:50 am

    Frankly, I’m more concerned about Anwar Ibrahim’s compulsive obsession in collection of garbage from across BN. Does he not realise that most of the problems Pakatan Rakyat has to endure came from direction of his camp? Will he ever learn, his shit-pot is overflowing and waiting to explode and he has no control whatsoever?

  22. #22 by Taxidriver on Monday, 14 September 2009 - 1:07 am

    Personally, I would rather not delve into Anwar’s past. The important thing is Anwar has been transformed into a better human being ever since he became victim of a high profile conspiracy and was sentenced to six years imprisonment.

    They say in politics there is no permanent friend or foe. Anwar may be regarded by some as foe because of his UMNO-gone-by days. But who can refute the fact that had it not been for Anwar Ibrahim, there would not be such thing as 308 tsunami and today our dream for change of regime remains a dream without a ray of hope.

    Anwar is the unifying force of the opposition PR and of Malaysians of different races who are crying out to free themselves from the corrupt, arrogant and cruel regime led by UMNO Baru.

    The bible tells the story about Paul who was a persecutor of Jesus followers. Going further into the account, Paul found favour in God’s eyes and later on became one of the 12 Apostles.

    I have been watching Anwar closely, attending his ceremahs in Chinese and Malay areas. This man is unlike UMNO Baru politicians who wear western clothings in-front of non-Malay audience and say “we are all equal. We all have a place under the Malaysian sun. Nobody should be made to feel ‘second class’ citizen” But the moment the ceremah ends they quickly change into baju melayu, put on a songkok and go to a Malay area and sing a different tune-‘Ketuanan Melayu.’

    Anwar may have his weaknesses and some people do not take too kindly to that. But let us not be too critical of him, remembering that like the Apostle Paul, he has shown repentance, and not contradicting himself in-front of audience of different races. Allow some room for him to play politics. He is after all a politician and he certainly is deserves a second chance.

  23. #23 by ktteokt on Monday, 14 September 2009 - 12:49 pm

    Ever heard the story of “The Ant and the Grasshopper”? Let the Grasshopper BN continue with the merriment of singing and dancing, while the Ant PR continue to work hard. Just wait till the long bitter winter arrives and we shall know who can survive the hard times!

  24. #24 by Jong on Monday, 14 September 2009 - 12:55 pm

    My comment still under “moderation” since
    00:50 am 14 Sept 2009?

  25. #25 by limkamput on Monday, 14 September 2009 - 7:11 pm

    //Closet is a small space or an enclosure as it relates to a storage room or even a cabinet carrying with it all the connotations of privacy and secrecy, shielded from public eyes.// wannabe

    See whatever i said about this wannabe is about right, forever, never stop showing off. Chi shin lah this fellow, real howlian pek.

  26. #26 by Jeffrey on Monday, 14 September 2009 - 11:25 pm

    ///See whatever i said about this wannabe is about right, forever, never stop showing off. Chi shin lah this fellow, real howlian pek/// – LimKamPut

    That is because you are dumb and insensitive to not know the sensitive implication and nuance of the word “closet” friend in relation to Anwar facing the sodomy charge.

  27. #27 by Jeffrey on Monday, 14 September 2009 - 11:52 pm

    Lim Kam Put, if you think that I am just trying to be pedantic and nitpicking on the word “closet” you are barking the wrong tree. I am just trying to help out here by making clear that due to a typo error an earlier poster here (MonsterballGoh), who had intended to describe Hussein Hamid a close or closest friend of Anwar ought not, by reason of typo error, to be taken to be sarcastic or insulting to Hussein Hamid by calling him a “closet” friend of Anwar – that has a radically different derogatory implication.

    Can you get that into your thick head before you got excited to jump and seize this clarification of mine of the meaning of ‘closet’ as an opportunity to call me as showing off or what you called ” howlian”?

    This shows how quick – and erroneously – you pass judgment based on the most negative interpretation of what others say – just to hit them – and how your foot is always caught in your loud mouth. Appropriately you chose the right handle/nick – Limkamput which in Cantonese ‘Lyun kam’ [Cantonese] ‘put’ [English] means daring simply and recklessly
    put what you say or comment heedless of rationale, sensitivity and decorum.

    Which only confirms you are just a snivelling uncharitable cretin of a man consumed with only spite with no charity at all for others due to personality disorders.

  28. #28 by Jeffrey on Monday, 14 September 2009 - 11:59 pm

    A vile tongue does not mean you have a keen mind. And anyone who cheer you on to be yourself couldn’t have given you any worser advice. A real flibbertijibbet!

  29. #29 by GilaPolitic on Tuesday, 15 September 2009 - 1:35 am

    Anwar Ibrahim – he cannot sing he cannot dance….correct , correct , correct !

    Dulu UMNO, Anwar spoke bloody anti-non-Malays to Chinese and Indian communities until UMNO warlords betrayed him, victimised and jailed him for corruption allegations and sodomy conspiration.

    Kini PAKATAN RAKYAT, Anwar spoke itu anak Cina, anak saya, ini anak India, anak saya dll until UMNO, MCA and MIC warlords lost their 2/3 majority and 5 states.

    UMNO, MCA , MIC and Gerakan and BN component wardlords are very concern and worried: What can Anwar does in his next song and dance this coming 13GE?

    Can Anwar sings and dance naked at the poll bar ..never mind if he cant but of course, I had fun. I get to drink beer while watching bikini-clad women performing sexy dances in the last BN campaigns in Perak ?

  30. #30 by limkamput on Tuesday, 15 September 2009 - 11:43 am

    I love what I wrote about you, and aptly so. If you have got problem trying to rationalize why I did so, then you must be a confirmed oxy-moron, no more no less. Yes, you are so howlia – now you want to tell me I don’t understand what closet is. You know the difference btw you and I. I choose to deliberately nasty and show-off. You don’t even know you are howlian, conceited and patronizing. That is the difference.

  31. #31 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 15 September 2009 - 1:31 pm

    ///now you want to tell me I don’t understand what closet is/// – LimKamPut

    You may know what a closet is, but you jump on opportunity to attack without understanding the context of what the other said or why it was said which shows the superficial nature of your understanding of matters – including your use of the word “oxy-moron” as when you said you are a “confirmed oxymoron”- but the deep nature of your spite, as evinced by your on admission “I choose to deliberately nasty and show-off”.

    Oxymoron is not a moronic ox.

    When I call you stupid and also schizophrenic, that may be an ‘oxymoron’ because stupidity is a condition not normally viewed a personality disorder caused by a psycholgical affliction.

    In your case I would concede the possibility that it may not be an oxymoron because although stupidity is normally contradictory in terms to psychological affliction like delusion, and stupidity and delusion cannot be embodied in one person, in your case however they could : for eg. ordinarily you may be delusional but in some rare moments you may be ‘lucid’, and thats when you display stupidity (not delusion)!

    I believe when you made your preceding posting September 15th, 2009 11:43, it must have been one of your ‘lucid’ moments since you have compounded greater your mistake blatantly evident in your comments of earlier posting of September 14th, 2009 19:11…..

  32. #32 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 15 September 2009 - 1:36 pm

    Of course if by your own admission you choose to be deliberately nasty and show-off, you should expect no quarters from others towards you from now forward.

  33. #33 by limkamput on Tuesday, 15 September 2009 - 6:13 pm

    you should expect no quarters from others towards you from now forward.

    Only from now forward? Come on, how long you have been doing this against me. No, I don’t expect anything.

    I notice you have not made much comments of late. Why, no confidence? Worried that I will point out your silly obwservation?

  34. #34 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 15 September 2009 - 7:43 pm

    I choose at this moment not to take up bandwidth unnecessarily so that there’s space for something more diverting, ie flushing out your defecatory vomitus when I see it posted in this monitor screen.

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