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Anwar Should Practice Self Reflection Politics

Anwar Should Practice Self Reflection Politics


I read with amazement the statement by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who labelled the government as illegitimate, incompetent and the proclamation of emergency as an abuse of power.

I would strongly urge Anwar to practice some self-reflection.

He appears to have completely forgotten that it was his recent actions that caused the “political instability” and distraction in the battle against Covid-19.

It was Anwar who held a press conference outrageously claiming that the government of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had collapsed and that he had a “formidable and convincing majority”.

Having said that he left the press conference without producing a single name to support his claim and this he did in the midst of a national health crisis.

Worse came when he was granted an audience with the King and again failed to produce the names of the MPs purportedly supporting him.

And while he carried on this protracted and frivolous drama, the government of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was daily grappling with the global pandemic. I cannot think of a single instance in which a senior political leader conducted himself in such a manner when his country was faced with an unprecedented health crisis.

Anwar who claimed in his statement the government lacked transparency, failed to even be transparent to His Majesty on his so called formidable and convincing majority.

At a time of a major national health crisis, Anwar should have risen above his petty ambition and supported the government of the day. That would have been the statesman-like thing to do.

What he actually did raises serious questions as to his fitness for the high office which he has been so ferociously and single-mindedly pursuing, to the detriment of the people’s welfare.

The bittersweet return of Anwar Ibrahim to Malaysian politics

Prime Minister-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim might win the by-election for the Port Dickson seat come Oct 13, but he will have to contest with bigger issues, says one observer.

Malaysians love acronyms and when you use “DSAI” in Malaysia, it can only refer to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, widely seen as the Malaysian Prime Minister-in-waiting.

Anwar will take a huge step to becoming Malaysia’s PM on Oct 13, when he is expected to win the Port Dickson by-election and become a Member of Parliament (MP).

This leads to an interesting question that has been the subject of much speculation in the Kuala Lumpur political class for the past few months: How will DSAI and incumbent Mahathir Mohamad co-exist in parliament?

Perhaps, more importantly, how will they deal with the power transition from Mahathir to Anwar, widely reported to be in the later half of 2020?


The power transfer is not as straightforward as many think. There are political calculations working in the background.

First, there is some unease among the political class that the way Anwar is getting into parliament might begin a bad precedent.

The Port Dickson by-election will be held merely five months after the recent general election. The incumbent MP, a retired navy Rear-Admiral who comes from the minority Indian population, gave up his post and will not be eligible to stand in the next general election.

Second, the popular opinion is that Anwar should have asked one of his two family members to give up their seat instead.

Anwar’s wife, Wan Azizah, and daughter, Nurul Izzah, are both MPs. Wan Azizah is also Malaysia’s deputy PM. With Anwar back in parliament in October, some said it sure looks like the Anwar political dynasty is up and running.

Anwar Ibrahim, wife Wan Azizah and daughter Nurul Izzah

Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim poses with his wife and daughter during a news conference in Kuala Lumpur on May 16, 2018.

Third, there have been persistent rumours that many in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition do not want Anwar to be the next PM. They prefer Anwar to play the role of elder statesman and help the PH government outside of parliament.

Part of the fear comes from their belief that Anwar will be a political liability among the rural Malay voters in the next general election.

The argument goes like this: The PH alliance under Anwar was unable to dislodge the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) in the past two general elections (in 2008 and 2013) until Mahathir came along.

Mahathir’s weapon was his ability to win one-third of the rural Malay vote which allowed the entire PH coalition to defeat the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and the BN. Prior to Mahathir, the opposition tried and failed to make any headway among the conservative rural Malay voters.

There are many who think Anwar will not be able to deliver the rural Malay vote based on his past track record. If PH does not keep the rural Malay vote, there is a real possibility that PH may be a one-term government.

Over the past month, there was speculation making the rounds in Kuala Lumpur that even Mahathir and Daim Zainuddin, his closest political advisor, think that Anwar is not the man who can ensure PH’s win in the next general election.

Though all three leaders have come out to debunk the rumours, they reflect an underbelly of sentiment that Anwar simply lacks the substance to rule. Anwar is “all politics” and “no substance”, (i.e., Anwar is good at political games but is sufficiently capable to run the actual machinery of government), some have said.

Anwar’s ascendancy has become a key issue in the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)’s internal elections.

Rafizi Ramli, running for PKR’s deputy presidency post, openly claimed that he was running for the position to help Anwar clinch the pinnacle position of PM, and that if he loses the deputy presidency’s post to Azmin Ali, Minister for Economic Affairs and former Selangor chief minister, Anwar may not succeed Mahathir as PM – as Mahathir is said to be secretly backing Azmin to derail Anwar’s plans. Anwar Should Practice Self Reflection

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