The real issue with Anwar’s leadership - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, November 16, 2020
Malaysiakini : “He was as yet not sufficiently experienced in ruffianism to know
that one villain always sacrifices another to advance his own project;
he was credulous enough to believe in the old adage of 'honour amongst
thieves”. - French writer Émile Gaboriau
| Every time Dr Mahathir Mohamad needs to remain relevant, he takes a
dig at Anwar Ibrahim. Meanwhile, when Anwar needs to remain relevant, he
decides to stage a counter-coup. I have no idea why Mahathir thinks
that Anwar is a threat he needs to neutralise.
Does the old maverick think that he has any credibility with Pakatan Harapan? That is a trick question. He
probably does think he has some credibility with Harapan because he
always managed to find people who would bend to his political will to
get into power, including his former protege, no matter the abuse he
hurls at them.
Nobody in Umno, besides old relics, take Mahathir
seriously. Umno has more or less moved on. Do not get too caught up in
the honeymoon is ending narrative being floated around. Umno and PAS
were never on a honeymoon. The reality is that certain elements
in PAS were canoodling with certain personalities within Umno while the
grassroots of both parties were stewing in their juices.
commonality between PAS and Umno grassroots is that both despise
Mahathir, which is why the old maverick continues to piss inside the
Harapan tent (To use a Lyndon B Johnson, bon mot) Isn't it time to move beyond Mahathir and Anwar when it comes to the leadership of this country?
is almost impossible now because both men have stamped their imprimatur
on various acolytes, but there is always the hope that recent political
upheavals would result in a cadre of leaders not beholden to the
current toxic political duo who are still scheming to lead this country
when their time is clearly up.
While the old maverick is correct
when he says talks about Anwar’s missteps when it came to handling the
economic crisis back in the day, there is a litany of issues which would
make Anwar unsuitable to lead the country based on his past
performance, which, unlike Mahathir, he has made his public mea culpas.
Those standards in which Anwar is judged on could be applied to the old maverick, and folks kept voting him in. Not
only that for a man who publicly says that he chooses, “bad deputies”,
but the reality is also that his bad choices have defined racial, social
and economic realities for decades and he chooses to make bad choices
while blaming everyone around him.
The issue with Anwar – and I
say this as someone who has publicly advocated for his chance at the hot
seat in Putrajaya – is not his “don’t spook the Malays” agenda or his
waffling when he comes to committing to his supposed race-neutral agenda
or even his stance on religion, all of which neatly falls into
mainstream Malay realpolitik.
The issue with Anwar is that he
cannot even control his own party, and more damaging, his own coalition.
Now, if you are a Harapan supporter who is willing to make compromises
to end this PN or whatever it is called nonsense, then this should be
the most troubling issue that Harapan faces. When the treacherous
Sheraton gang were making moves, the politburo of PKR was telling
Malaysians who voted for Harapan that all this was the figment of the
imagination of the press.
He and those close to him did nothing
to stop the Sheraton move but instead gaslighted the public. He chose to
waffle all the while the treacherous conspirators were plotting to
bring down the government.
Ali brought down the Harapan government and Anwar, the supposed
seasoned political operative, could not even bring down a tottering
regime led by the most tedious prime minister – that would be the
current prime minister – this country has ever had.
Not only was
he played by whoever he was collaborating with, but it gave the
factional politicians in Umno a new lease of life because it made Umno
relevant again in Perikatan Nasional.
It is remarkable because if
Anwar managed to pull off this counter-coup, then at least the
political terrain would have shifted and Harapan could have a discussion
of whether working with the enemy was a reasonable proposition when it
came to ousting this back door government, instead of wallowing in
victim politics as they are doing now. They say the Malays were
losing faith in Harapan, so the choice for them when it comes to Harapan
is one leader who thinks that they are “lazy” and another who cannot
even keep his house in order.
Do not get me wrong.
was handicapped because his partners were bending over backwards to
support the old maverick and from the tear-soaked missives from
political operatives, it did not mean a thing to the Malay uber alles crowd.
yes, either you can believe that the DAP and Amanah were the dumbest
political operatives who were oblivious to the manoeuvrings of the
Sheraton gang or believe that, for whatever reasons, they and Anwar
decided that the better strategy was to tiptoe around the issue to stay
in power, even though the political ground beneath their feet were
Ultimately, leaders have to deal with these sorts of
issues if they claim to want to “save Malaysia” – otherwise the voting
public would just support leaders they think are "strong", confusing
this with some sort of ideology either racial or religious.
can make an argument for voting for a neo-BN, but what argument could
you make for these bunch of self-destructive political operatives? When Anwar decided to hold a counter-coup, his own partners were not aware of the moves he was making.
would be forgivable if the moves he made resulted in a shifting of the
political terrain. Instead, what it managed to do was destroy whatever
was left of his credibility but more importantly, made Harapan look like
a bunch of losers.
If you are going to make devious moves, at
the very least, they should not end up helping your adversaries and
damaging your allies. Can you imagine if he made such plays when in
All of Harapan's chickens are coming home to roost.