THE 13th General Election will determine the fate of Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. And the chances are he will see the end of his obsession to become the prime minister of Malaysia.
He had cheated me and Umno into believing that he was supportive of Umno’s struggle and wished to join it. And he was welcomed. It was a clever move for only Umno could make his obsession to become PM a reality.
Pas, whose struggle seemed to be more in line with Anwar’s pretensions as a Muslim zealot, would not be able to meet his expectation to be PM. Pas never won federal elections.
His strategy nearly succeeded but his base desires came in the way. He failed. Expelled from Umno, he immediately decided to make use of the opposition parties, Pas and the DAP, to achieve his objective.
He founded his so-called Justice Party and persuaded Pas and DAP to form a kind of opposition coalition. The group lost in 1999 and in 2004. But in 2008, the opposition captured five states, one Federal Territory and denied Barisan Nasional the two-thirds majority at federal level.
Excited by this partial success, he openly declared that BN members of parliament would defect to his side on Sept 16, 2008, and he would become PM. But the defections did not take place. His ambition was once again frustrated.
Now he has to place his hopes in the 13th GE. The strain is showing on him. Belief in him by DAP and Pas has waned. There is now talk of other candidates for the high office from Pas.
Scandals followed him everywhere. He was once again charged with sodomy. The court acquitted him on technical grounds. Muslims, including Pas backers were outraged by his defence of Israel.
The US makes it clear that Anwar is their candidate for PM. This does not sit well with Muslims in Malaysia.
While he seems to be looking for victory in the 13th GE, he is clearly preparing for defeat. If he loses he will claim that the BN cheated at the polls, that the Government manipulated.
Already he has laid the groundwork for his expected accusations of election fraud. His strategy invariably include demonstrations. That is his trademark.
In 1974, when I became education minister, he got university students to demonstrate over the alleged death from starvation of a Malay boy in Baling, Kedah.
This was nonsense. In Malaysia, no one dies of starvation, least of all in a Malay village. The villagers simply would not let this happen. They would send food to anyone who is starving. It turned out later that the boy had died of natural causes. There was food aplenty in his house.
After Anwar joined the government, there were no more demonstrations in Malaysia. Then he was sacked and immediately demonstrations started again.
His people plagued Kuala Lumpur with demos every Saturday. People stayed away from the city, not wanting to be caught up in the demonstrations. Traders lost business.
When he was being tried for sodomy, his followers demonstrated in front of the court house, apparently to intimidate the judges.
It is not surprising that the Bersih demonstration was launched to condemn the government for cheating during elections. Had the government cheated, the opposition would not have won any seat. But in every election in Malaysia, opposition members won many seats and even captured many states. But the opposition still claim that the elections were manipulated by the government.
Foreign observers immediately took up the cry and so did a good number of Malaysians. The Bersih demonstration was followed with a request for government to allow foreign observers to oversee the coming election.
The government had never prevented the foreign press from covering elections. So, actually, there was and there will be foreign observers in the 13th GE. But the demand for foreign observers create the impression that the government is going to cheat.
Now papers are being circulated on how to disrupt the 13th GE by alleging that the government is preventing voters from voting. The story of this action by government would be circulated via Twitter and uploaded on YouTube.
Foreigners and some locals will assume that the defeat of the opposition is because of election fraud. Then there would be orchestrated demands that the election be declared null and void. There would be a call for new elections.
When the government refuses, then demonstrations would be held country wide. The demand would go on and on. If the government is strong, it will not give in. But the demonstrations would destabilise the country, putting it in a bad light, obstructing its progress and deterring investments by foreigners.
This is the way of Anwar. If he cannot get what he wants, he will prevent others from getting it. Malaysians who love their country and have lived a good life here must do their best to stop the disruption of the elections. We must make sure we put in place a strong government. If we have grouses, take them up after the 13th General Election. –The NST Online / TMT