Thursday, 28 August 2008

Reservations And Misgivings

It came as no surprise that Anwar Ibrahim won. On that issue, only Khairy Jamaluddin seemed a little ... confused?

I believe some in Permatang Pauh may have been moved by his words. Others, however, felt it was their birthright to give BN exactly what it deserves - a solid kick in its rear end.

But now that we have our PM-in-waiting getting closer to his office in Putrajaya, it is all roses and celebrations?

Rox has her reservations:

It might not be so easy to kick Anwar out once he's in power. Remember Anwar had Dr M as mentor? And Dr M was a despot during his reign.

Might not? :) I assure you, it will be tough. BN is overflowing with village idiots and even they are difficult to kick out. It sounds simplistic, but the idea is not to go around removing leaders unless they are beyond help.

Despite whatever we may think of Pak Lah, most of us are allowed to speak our minds without being sent to Kamunting - we have partial freedom of speech precisely because he's a weak PM.

Which is why I have never supported the calls for Abdullah Badawi to step down. I find he is somewhat harmless and benign. But the economy is nosediving. We need to take proper action - start attracting investors, stop wasting money and allowing the politicians to plunder our national coffers.

Anwar, nominated as the right person for the job may be questionable - some of his plans during his tenet as Finance Minister and Deputy PM like approval of the IMF were clearly wrong moves.

But I believe Pakatan Rakyat, collectively, have what it takes.

Would we dare to speak out under Dr M? Do you think Anwar will allow us to be so vocal once he's in power? I'm a skeptic, I think not.

No one spoke during Dr M's despotic rule. For all the flapping his lips do today, it's a wonder he doesn't realise his own hypocrisy.

You speak of Anwar as if he is exactly in the same condition and situation as Dr M. In the 80s, Dr M started feeling around for his boundaries. Slowly implementing unjust laws and enforcing them.

The public was oblivious. You can't blame them, really. There was no precedent to compare with. The dude looked smart - after all, he was a doctor, and you know how much the average Asian worships doctors.

Today, it's different. There are a few other credible politicians within Pakatan Rakyat, and I like that they voice their dissenting views instead of cowering under a whip.

While I personally think some of the public have not learned - they still listen to what they want to hear - many are wary of what could potentially happen if caution (when it comes to politicians) is not exercised.

As for freedom of speech and expression, the government has realised the amount of damage that discussion and individual opinions has brought about. I'd forgotten about it, but the government has started imposing a crackdown.

Oh, and it's no secret anymore that the government is openly practising internet censorship - effectively breaking the laws of the nation. Need I mention what a negative impression potential investors are getting?

And why may I ask, would Anwar's "imperfections" - closer to Dr M's - more acceptable than Pak Lah's?

Purely because he belongs to Pakatan Rakyat. Barisan Nasional was given too many chances to change and reform itself. They are incapable of change.

In fact, the whole concept of UMNO revolves around race. You have to be Malay to gain membership of UMNO. Except for the multitudes of mamaks who infiltrate UMNO to calmly manipulate the Malays and have them thinking they have their best interests at heart.

Anwar, at least listens to those at ground level. Not that it is entirely a good thing.

As Poetic Injustice says: ‘Hope’ can be anything he wants it to be. Anwar has his ears close to the ground. Through his extensive network, he understands the sentiments on the ground and he uses this as colours for the empty canvass.

We could also be manipulated by the very people who listen to us - and that is very dangerous.

Personally, I don't espouse Anwar Ibrahim purely for Anwar Ibrahim. I want to see what Pakatan Rakyat can do, if given a chance.

It could have been any candidate - perhaps Hishammuddin Hussein, even Khairy Jamaludin. Okay, all of you can stop making those gagging noises, right now! :)

No, seriously. Those two for instance, are genuinely intelligent men. Their split personalities, whereby they brandish weapons and shout threats in a disturbingly uncouth manner is purely a BN-enhanced characteristic.

At this point, it seems like nothing good can come out of BN, and so it's time to bid them farewell. But...

Like I said before enticing BN politicians over to PR would mean that the immediate change you Malaysians are so gian after will remain a dream because PR will become BN again, so, I'll REPEAT, what change?

I have always been against that move. In fact, this, in my opinion is the heart of the problem.

And Poetic Injustice has some legitimate points about Pakatan Rakyat itself:

The Selangor government fiasco(s), the recent Perak ‘sex and money’ scandal all indicate that the message of hope somehow got lost in translation.

Zulkifli Nordin’s recent actions prove that there is trouble brewing in the multiracial party. What is Azmin Ali stand? Saifuddin Nasution’s? Even worse, Anwar Ibrahim’s?

The differences runs deep in PKR and it indicates that there is no strong strand of belief that is holding them together.

Another clear indication of Anwar’s true brand of leadership is the behaviour of Anwar’s hardcore supporters. Reports of gangsterism involving local and international media, reports of disruptive behaviour towards women, all this reflects on the real leadership stand of Anwar Ibrahim.

I won't dismiss these pertinent questions as teething problems or such.

Anwar Ibrahim has spent his entire life wanting to be Prime Minister. He has a lot to lose if he doesn't at least accede to the needs and desires of the rakyat.

This are the rakyat that are feeling the effects of their 'people power'. Once believing it was impossible, they now feel empowered.

Sure, the Indians and Chinese are bowled over by the legendary "Anak Melayu, anak kita, anak Cina anak kita, anak India pun anak kita juga. Mengapa harus kita bezakan?" remark.

But the strange thing is, even the Malays are inclined to shed aside the racial politics which predominantly favours them. We need someone who can unite the people, even if he has ulterior motives at hand.

Regardless of what anyone says, no one has been as instrumental in getting the Opposition's act together to unleash the tsunami - brought on by the people, NOT the politicians - during the last general elections.


fergie said...

Hi Crankster.
I had my reservations about Anwar too but who else is there to start the ball rolling .. get Malaysia back on her feet again? Btw, any news of KJ resigning? He did say he was going to resign if Anwar won! Not a man of his word ah? Can't stand the guy and his arrogance .. so what if he is from Oxford .. I'm sure a most of you bloggers are more intelligent than he is, if not more qualified and not arrogant about it.

Anonymous said...

I believe the democratic process is like learning how to walk. You'll never succeed unless you try and fail.

Rox said...

The Opposition is a lose union, Cranskter, just a lose union. IF PR becomes government, it will not get anything done as DAP and PAS are polarised in each its end. BN is at least united in their stupidity.

When I watch the election in USA, I just shake my head knowing that Malaysia will never have a two-party system like the Americans as Malaysian politicians are still too anal. KTmoc's post on that reflects my view too.

Knights Templar said...

What ever said now ,is too late for we have released the Dragon from the Dungeon and set it loose ,beliving and hoping that it will fight the Evil that has oppressed and suppressed THE masses for far too long.The main glitch here would be as Rox pointed out is that PR is a Loose Union.When it matters the most,PAS and DAP will not see eye to eye and this will eventually break up the Union.For the Country's sake, i really do hope Chancellor Anwar has changed for the better and is a CHANGED man.Most Malaysians now are going through"Fabas indulcet fames" and to blame them is neither right nor fair.Crankshaft,thanks for the space and Sit vis vobiscum .

walla said...

All the rakyat want is clean and fair governance. Simple things. Yet Umno has gone and complicated things until they have made inclusiveness a rarity in order to hide the reality that they are neither clean nor fair.

Meanwhile this Pakatan comes up from nowhere as the alternative. It rode to success on the calculated sentiments of the rakyat. But it must remember one thing - the rakyat had voted less for it and more for their rejection of BN, especially Umno, in the same way the rakyat had once voted for BN only because it wanted to vote against PAS.

So Pakatan will have to prove itself. In those states where it helms, it has shown some progress, albeit by exposing how the previous Umno-run administrations had botched up against "clean and fair", and it could not do more because federal funds are held up by BN as opposition.

All this will show the rakyat in the remaining states still under BN that they can't keep their eyes closed any longer, for if things are not opened up, they will end up losing even more than they can by now suspect. In fact by holding up federal funds for the states led by Pakatan, BN is showing its trait of ruthless denial against citizens who also pay taxes, and raising the stake to all-or-nothing in the political battle for supremacy.

So the momentum is with Pakatan. Umno is not going to sit still. In all the things it has done todate since GE12, it has tried to trip and fix Pakatan. The rakyat can see this for themselves and should not be expected not to be very angry at such travesties against fairness. In fact, it shows to them that Umno is desperate. Why should they fear Anwar and Pakatan so much unless they have much to lose and hide? And what does one have which calls for such actions unless that which is owned has been taken by foul means, if in the first place public service is not just to deliver good service but also accumulate power and personal goods.

The same should also be reminded to Pakatan if and when it knocks out BN. In the end, Pakatan is just a joint-venture. By themselves, each partner cannot lead the whole country. Yet, together in the JV, the whole has become bigger than the sum of the parts. One acts as a symbiotic agent to the others. Forces are combined, strengths augmented, and weaknesses counteracted. BN doesn't have this symbiotic arrangement. BN's components have been neutered until they are just eunuchs so much so the check-and-balance, critically important in this multiracial nation, has been completely compromised.

This joint-venture is held together by Anwar. He has a past. People remember him for being an Umno ultra. Even if he makes PM, this will continue to stick in the minds of half the population of this country - unless he comes out to make a clear apology for his past actions and make amends by fullsome deeds for the neglected nonmalays. If Hishamuddin of Umno could make a grudging, halfbaked, and semiinsulting apology to the nonmalays for unsheathing the keris, would Anwar stand up and make his own apology? The probability is low because he would fear that it would be taken against him. He would also fear that the malay segment of Pakatan would equally fear the same.

But there comes a day in nation-building when a man must do what is right. Politics in this country should not be about which banner, what manifesto. It's not about Umno, or PKR or DAP or MCA or PAS or whatever. It should be about principles. The best political leader in the world is he who will bravely shun realpolitik, even at risk of losing everything in the end. But the time which stands before us today, now, is just ripe for such a paradox to be applied. Because the rakyat, especially the silent malay moderate majority, have made a tectonic shift in trying to end race-based politics and move towards a more balanced way of life for all.

If Anwar and Pakatan fail, Umno and BN will be emboldened to tighten their noose around the necks of all, and make sure such a revolution, call it that, will never see the light again in Malaysia. Were this not so, they would have reformed and changed in the last few critical months. Instead, they intensified their racial overtones until the rakyat are pushed to the corner. That includes the malays.

Yasmin Ahmad mentioned today that statistically in the race riots, for every one killed, ten others were given refuge and protection by other races.

There is a lot of goodwill between our races. Only unreasonable tribalism has stoppered it from manifesting more to all. People like Mahathir can talk down the rakyat by saying they only care about their food plates when they vote and things like accountability and transparency don't mean a thing. Yet, if the election results have shown anything, the rakyat have connected the dots and seen for themselves how a more transparent and accountable government, such as one has seen in other more successful countries, is in fact the main factor for putting more food on their plates. After all, if wealth is stolen for a few, how can it be distributed through the economy to the many?

Permatang Pauh was said to be a defining moment for this nation. One hopes Anwar realizes how defining it was. Because what is at stake is not the resurgence of a new reality but the last sentence on all the long-suffering rakyat of this country. If the dark side of the force gets to him in the same way it got to every tom, dick and harry in Umno and its slaves, then woe betide the future of all malaysians. He would then be delivering the final death blow on the hope for our young ones to have a clean and fair country. Because when you kill the last hope, there's nothing left to believe in after that. You will only reap permanent cynicism. Think what that does to young, earnest and hardworking people. If he makes it to the top, he will have to fight himself and stop those who have been supporting him to hand out by the same methods the goodies that Umno had squandered on their cronies. Being such a man should be easy. After all, when one is in the sixties, what else matters than being truly relevant to the Almighty?

It remains to say one should be thankful for Badawi being weak. Not that his flipflop, narrow and unmitigatable approach to internet analysis can stop the virtualisation of the peoples' voice. One should also thank Najib for being such a character. May the truth come out soon on what he really is.

hi, i am wall-e.

Patricia said...

I think you're right in that Anwar's greatest contribution was getting our pitiful opposition together, and uniting them under one umbrella.

That has been a herculean task, given the idiots that man these parties, his included. And despite this, some loose cannons managed some stray fire anyways!

Now that he heads the opposition, I think he should just stay there and oppose lah. And what's with the walkout already? Would it not have been better to stay and be counted as a 'NO'?

I am still waiting for something to 'break'. I'll trust him when I see something that I think is sincere. So far, all I see is political posturing: he's doing what it takes to keep up support. I hope he realises that it is not 'for' him per se, but rather the vote for change.

What will he do if he is PM? When he is PM? I dunno how much better than Badawi or Mahathir he will be....

'We put you there; we can take you out!'

Sounds kinda kosong, doesn't it? I think we are fooling ourselves if we believe this crap. Didn't we learn anything in the last 51 years?

Rox said...

fergie. Just a correction. KJ described Sept 16 as the “biggest propaganda in the history of Malaysia” and offered to resign if Anwar fails to keep be PM on Sept 16. Not the by-election. :)

Crankster. I've been busy all week, now I've a moment to catch up as doc is working this weekend. I've some rhetorical questions to add here.

"""You speak of Anwar as if he is exactly in the same condition and situation as Dr M. In the 80s, Dr M started feeling around for his boundaries. Slowly implementing unjust laws and enforcing them.

Today, it's different. There are a few other credible politicians within Pakatan Rakyat, and I like that they voice their dissenting views instead of cowering under a whip."""

Which few credible politicians? As I experienced it there was no dissenting voice when Anwar ran his one-man show in GE12 with RPK opening up the cesspool with accusations without backing them up with proofs whatsoever.

RPK, as usual with great conviction, promised the proofs later but they were never hard evidence but all kinds of nonsense that really convinced me those Malaysians who go to his site/altar to worship him must be nuts or incredibly STUPID!

RPK is an expert at smoke screens and Anwar will use him to control fools if he fails to deliver. With this Munchausian and sophist behind a govt with Anwar as PM, how do you expect me not to fear for all of you?

And about dissenting views, the only dissenting view I heard so far belongs to Kulim-Bandar Baru MP Zulkifli Noordin who protested the Bar Council’s open forum on conversion of Islam. Why do I suddenly have this queer taste in my mouth?

And even Anwar agreed with BN that the forum should be held behind closed doors, so I rest my case. And if he had changed his mind since saying that, don't blame me. That man flips and flops just as much as those in the BN, so I repeat, what change?

"""As for freedom of speech and expression, the government has realised the amount of damage that discussion and individual opinions has brought about. I'd forgotten about it, but the government has started imposing a crackdown."

Oh, and it's no secret anymore that the government is openly practising internet censorship - effectively breaking the laws of the nation. Need I mention what a negative impression potential investors are getting?"""

That's the most stupid thing Pak Lah can do at this point. To me, the partial freedom of speech we have enjoyed since he took over as PM will be the only thing we'll remember him for. His lack of foresight was ironically his only saving grace - his last shred of credibility as PM. Take it away and he's confirming himself as the stupidest PM Malaysia has ever had.

If Pak Lah had been as farsightedly cunning as Anwar, he should have counteract Anwar, who used the internet as his propaganda machine through RPK, earlier - before GE12. It's too late now for damage control and the crackdown will backfire on him.

As for potential investors being frightened away by internet censorship, I think not. Singapore is doing very well with it so potential investors will not be concerned with it as much as they will with the political instability an infighting govt will present. The only way Anwar can keep his govt together and stay PM is to betray the rakyat. And I can bet you, he will do it and can still look you straight in the eye.

"""Anwar, at least listens to those at ground level. Not that it is entirely a good thing.
Regardless of what anyone says, no one has been as instrumental in getting the Opposition's act together to unleash the tsunami - brought on by the people, NOT the politicians - during the last general elections."""

Yeah, and how did Anwar profiled himself as Opposition leader? Through propaganda and all the political ploys laid out by RPK before his entrance to the centre stage. He's a truer son of Machiavelli than of Dr M.

If we begin to accept deceit just to expect less from our politicians in our desperation for change, we're not going to change at all. If the end justifies the means, we truly deserve the next govt we get.

Knights. For all our sake and like all of you, I really want to believe Anwar has changed BUT I hate to say this, big God says no, and who am I to argue with him? But all is not lost as long as there are commentators like all the above. We'll figure something out. I'm more optimistic since Crankster dropped the upside down flag. :)

walla said...

"But all is not lost as long as there are commentators like all the above."

and for me, the one immediately above.

What a breathtaking post, rox, knocked the wind off old me.

I 'regret' coming here - surrounded by so many smart (and perceptive) women, and all. ;P

Hats off again, gentlemen.

Hitam Had said...

Hi Miss C, we are just begining to see a glimmer of hope for our country's future. We can but pray that the Rakyat will not continue to be be deprived of their constitutional rights by design, deceit and by selective application.

I watched Obama's Presidential nomination acceptance speech and I must admit that it nearly brought tears to my eyes. Can we even hope that our politicians will be able to make any of these promises to us? But then, on reflection the situation in the USA cannot be much better than ours as these are the promises that we yearn for.

Notwithstanding this, Obama is offering the hope of a better future for the people of the USA through his idea of "change", if elected. We can but hope that the glimmer of light (which is still hazy in the mist of the new dawn) will reveal an enlightened environment and an invigorated economy for our future generations to be proud of.


zorro said...

Crank (and RoX if you are within ear-shot): Haris and I have had near-violent tete-a-tete over DSAI Despite the fact that we agreed to disagree agreeably,invariably the decibels increased. It becvame apparent that Haris was less forgiving and I tend to be more forgiving (a symptom of old age?)but we both agreed that we cannot forget what Anwar did not do: say sorry for what he did and did not do. Then we heard this from him: God punished me with the jail term...for the things I did and did not do. That was enough for both of us and that was why we took off to PP.

A new page has been turned...we will WRITE a new page. Lets give Pakatan and Anwar a chance. We cannot eat an elephant in one bite. Lets probe them along, cajole, scold, discipline, whack them into shape. Last night I heard for the first time of this chinese proverb: Water floats a ship; water can sink this same ship. The rakyat is the water. That is the power we have. They had a taste of this on 8 March and recently at PP. We bloggers have a an enviable vocation. Lets help them along when they need the help and we will steer them right whenever they make a mis-step. RoX, if only we had the two party system like the US of A. But we can plant that little seed and nurture it.YES?

Crankster said...

Hi guys,

Thanks all for the comments - it gives me hope to know we ARE indeed capable of critical thinking. :)

Rox, I find the US election disturbing - I feel like a starving citizen of a war-torn country being led to a laden buffet table.

But the reason we can't have a two-party system is not because Malaysian politicians are too anal - instead, it's because Malaysian citizens and subsequently, voters, are too anal. Anally resolute in bowing down to their servants, when they should be giving out orders.

I think it was a good thing there were no dissenting views during the election campaign or that would have blown it completely.

But while they were forming their respective governments, there were some dissents among themselves, I recall hearing Lim Kit Siang, Karpal Singh and a few others.

Granted, some of their issues were lame, but the fact that they were not under the whip like BN, gives me at least slight relief.

RPK is a skilled spinmaster who spins himself dizzy at times. But there are moments when he combines humour with some hard facts which hit right home. I think he has been very instrumental in uniting the races and helping them see each other for what they are, not what BN says they are.

Knights Templar, Dungeons and Dragons? Dude, I never knew you were into such roleplay! ;-)

Walla - I agree. The rakyat voted less for PR and more for their rejection of BN, especially Umno, in the same way the rakyat had once voted for BN only because it wanted to vote against PAS.

Pat, the walkout was drama mama establishing himself. :)

Hitam Had, it's interesting to note that while we miles apart geographically and politically, both Malaysia and United States want the same thing - change.

Zorro, I know your stand and that of Haris as well, in fact I've been privy to a few ummm... discussions. :)

Perhaps you have both personally attended his ceramah and know him better, but from my perspective, I cannot quite trust a man who is in a tearing hurry to be Prime Minister.

I cannot trust a man who calls for change but has no qualms inviting leapfrogs from the very party he is proposing change against.

So what change?

Crankster said...

Hey hey hey. Roxie baby, I *just* saw that comment about being optimistic since I dropped the upside down flag.

Hmph!! I'll have you know that I have a Competent Crew Certificate from the Royal Yacht Association of UK, ok?

That, my dear, gives me the nautical credentials I'm prepared to pull rank, over the upside down flag, which is purely a distress call and not to be interpreted as subversive anarchist behaviour.

So quit giving me flak over that, girlfriend!! :)

Rox said...

Crankster, I'll try to stay optimistic (give me credit as it's a hard thing for me to do) ... as long as you don't put out anymore signs of "distress" (to you) interpreted as signs of "death" (to me), haha!

Like I say before, as long as we have commentators like us, all is not lost. The politicians should learn from us. We may differ in opinions but we're certainly not anal.

There must be room for different opinions so we may think over and reflect on our own. In that way, we grow and learn.

PS. Yeah, this format makes it easier to write and saves us from making too many of those stupid typos. :)

cherrytree said...

i did gag at the Hishamuddin-KJ-intelligent bit alright.... ;) KJ has chosen his bed and now he has to lie in it - intelligent or not.

i agree that for all Anwar's abilities and charisma, he needs to be in check. the other PR leaders need to be able to know when to support him and when to rebuke him if the need ever arises. After all, he did originate from the racist cesspool that is BN. some habits die hard. i'm not saying Anwar is racist (right now) but he should not be allowed a free hand with PR and Malaysia. no one should.

But I suppose, I'm with many other Malaysians who are willing to give Anwar and PR a chance and time to prove themselves. After all, as my parents always say, it can't get any worse than it is now. (although it can - think war and hurricanes)

Crankster said...

I never did understand Rox, why people take it personally when I disagree with them. I would never bother engaging in debate with someone unless I felt they were worthy of my attention.

But fine, no more distress signals. :)

Cherrytree, KJ traded in his intelligence for popularity, or what he perceived as such. He doesn't seem to be getting much right these days, though.

Anwar definitely needs to be kept in check. He's trying to declare Sept 16 as a public holiday for Pakatan states - what I perceive as a populist move. But of course, no one dares oppose for fear of being criticised or getting a "bad guy" image.

But do we really need that many public holidays? Looking beyond the personal desire for one, of course.