COMMENT | After the drubbing in the Malacca election, naturally many are going for Anwar Ibrahim’s blood. Calls are loud and clear for him to step aside as leader of Pakatan Harapan (and for some), even as the leader of PKR.

Anwar has done much to introduce new ideas into Malay politics, taking a more inclusive and liberal position on issues of multiracial and multireligious settings for Malaysia. He wanted to bring about racial harmony and a more compassionate role of religion in society.

He has also canvassed openly on the need to approach Malay special privileges with fairness, introducing a needs-based formula in the application of affirmative discriminatory policies – a very controversial position to take in this country. But ideas do not get support easily in our society.

Good values or talking about good governance doesn’t get you very far. The people want something quick and the leader who can give quick fixes and quick service, whether in the form of cash or goodies, will win the day.

I have always felt deep empathy for the travails Anwar (above) had gone through. I don’t think a man should spend 10 years in jail for a sodomy offence (assuming he was guilty in the first place). It is a moral offence at best.

Few men had endured as much betrayal of his close colleagues in the struggle to make life better for the country as Anwar. Of course, Anwar should not be rewarded...

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