Friday, March 21, 2008

Renaissance Man or Desperate Dan?

Two days ago, I posted an article by Newsweek magazine about Anwar Ibrahim being "Back In The Light". That may well be the case after April 15. But since Anwar himself admitted in Malaysiakini that the Opposition Coalition were looking to form the next government with the support of defecting Barisan Nasional politicians, quite a number of people have expressed alarm that Anwar may be putting the cart before the horse.

Simply put: Yes - the people voted out 5 state governments in the 838 political tsunami. Yes - the Opposition won 82 parliamentary seats. Yes - they were probably cheated out of outright victory if the allegations that up to 10-20 seats had been rigged are found to be true. Yes - Anwar would have the moral support of a large number of citizens if he did indeed became the next PM. But, one sore point stands out: Why is Anwar in such a hurry?

The people have indeed voted in on paper a very balanced government-opposition ratio. The BN has been denied the dreaded 2/3rd majority. The government cannot alter, ratify any new legislation without the express consent of Parliament. There would be greater checks and balances than ever before. The Judiciary would need to be cleaned up. The crime rate index would have to be brought down as soon as possible. The corruption cases currently collecting dust in the Attorney General's chambers and in the ACA would have to be resurrected. All these and more would ensure that the present BN coalition really gets down to business and work its socks off otherwise come 2013 or thereabouts, they would be completely annihilated in the next GE.

Which comes back to the question, Why is Anwar in such a hurry to be PM? If the wind continues to blow as it does now, the BN in its present shape will be history come 2013. Looking at the dearth of real leaders within the BN itself, the path would be clear for Anwar to step in then. Yet, if he does get the PM's post via a "back-door listing" as in the BN parliamentary seat holders jumping over to the Barisan Rakyat fold, his credibility would be on the line.

Isn't this how the BN operates? Does the BR need to go down the same route too? In that case, there wouldn't be anything new after all. Remember the "Animal Farm"? The oppressed animals that overthrew the farmer themselves became the new oppressors when power got to their head. I believe the majority of the people would prefer Anwar and the BR coalition ensure that the current government does what it has been elected to do: govern with justice. I believe that's what those who voted the Opposition want. I don't think they voted to chuck out the BN despite its abysmal record as far as the ordinary Malaysian is concerned. After all, close to 50% still voted BN. Anwar should remember that.

But circumstances beyond his control may swing that wish just yet. The real worry is the current leadership crisis within UMNO in particular and BN in general. The PM is being clamoured by many voices to resign. True, it may be the right thing to do under the RIGHT circumstances. Yet, when we look at what's on offer within the BN heir apparents, there is a complete lack of true leaders. Bogus ones, we got a plenty. If only for this reason alone then, Anwar staging a back door entrance to Putrajaya may yet be a possibility and maybe an uneasy yet acceptable compromise for most Malaysians. Or am I wrong?!

For more on this subject go here and here.