I wondered when Michael Backman would finally comment on the shenanigans revolving around Malaysian politicians.
His observation on our priorities when it comes to the character and morality of elected representatives while holding office, is a thought I've wanted to verbalise for a long time but not known how.
Malaysians need more from government
In any event, why should sodomy between consenting adults disqualify one from office when allocating millions of dollars in contracts to one's relatives seems almost a prerequisite for high office?
By any measure, one is a personal and a religious matter, whereas the other is quite clearly criminal. It really is a case where those living in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, particularly when those houses are worth millions, despite the fact the occupants are only on government salaries.
The bigger problem for Anwar is that in 1998 he was also charged and jailed for asking police to heavy witnesses into withdrawing their statements against him. That any deputy prime minister should have done that is unthinkable. Now, it is this that is Anwar's real crime. By comparison, the sodomy allegations barely matter. But of course people are far more titillated by sex than by matters of governance.
Now that Anwar is back in parliament, he has targeted September 16 — next Tuesday — as the date on which he will attempt to have the Government fall, as Government members switch sides to his coalition of opposition parties.
Malaysia's Government is tired, complacent and out of ideas. It needs some time out. All governments need this, which is why in modern countries, parties take turns at being in government. There is now a quantum gap between the government that Malaysians deserve and need and the government they get. But is Anwar the answer?
If he does come out on top, it would be nice if he doesn't award lucrative contracts to his friends, or manoeuvre his supporters into key positions in the national media, like he did last time. He must reduce the Government's role in business and not exchange one set of cronies for another but get rid of cronyism altogether.
He must make bold, precise statements that he will allow the judiciary to be completely independent, that he will tightly define corruption and adopt zero tolerance towards it, applying this stance most harshly of all to his friends and colleagues. And he must guarantee media freedom.
He might also like to decriminalise sodomy too, not because of all the trouble it's given him, but as part of a push to modernise Malaysia
A worldwide economic downturn is coming and the Malaysian Government really does need to be enthralled by more than the colour of the interior of someone's backside.