LETTER

What of Anwar's less than admirable history in Umno?

KTemoc

Published
Modified 22 Nov 2010, 6:22 am

I refer to Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad's letter to Malaysiakini in which he responded to Dean John's criticism of the sad state of affairs in PKR.

Significantly, Nik Nazmi wrote that "while Dean unquestioningly accepts that 'suspicions of bastardry still remain from his days as Mahathir's deputy' in regards to Anwar, he is silent about Zaid Ibrahim. The fact is that the latter's record is not as liberal or flawless as some may believe."

He then went on to list for us the sins of Zaid Ibrahim, but not denying Dean's lamentation of Anwar Ibrahim's less than admirable conduct in his previous incarnation as an Umno minister and deputy prime minister (DPM).

Not surprisingly, when he invited us (the readers) to examine Anwar Ibrahim's record, he only provided sparing information. Perhaps more would be too embarrassing.

I think I can do a better job, but before I come to that, I have to decline the honour conferred on me by Nik Nazmi as a blogger who is ‘consistently anti-Anwar.

I'm certainly anti-Anwar but much as I wish to be seen as being consistent in this respect, I had on some admittedly rare occasions actually conceded that Anwar has been the vital adhesive that keeps Pakatan together, though like most glue, he didn't do much for my taste.

Then, on one occasion, in March this year, I frightened myself and astounded a number of my friends when in a letter to Malaysiakini, I defended the de facto leader from Khairy Jamaluddin's jeering of him for dancing with the daughter of Lim Goh Tong.

It was an embarrassing blemish to an otherwise perfect record of being anti-Anwar. But it did underline my personal values in defending anyone, even Anwar Ibrahim, from unfair criticism, and in the same token, criticising local demi-gods for their wayward conduct.

How could I not be anti-Anwar when I examine his record in his Umno days. He was a bad education minister when under his term, his ministry issued the proselytising policy of compulsory weekly doa for school pupils including non-Muslims.

I recall with disgust how as DPM, Anwar boasted of Umno Youth physically wrecking the APCET II forum in Kuala Lumpur like hoodlums, stating: "Our mission was to stop the conference and we did just that."

Was that what Nik Nazmi meant when he wrote gloweringly of Anwar's open, humanistic Asian Renaissance values?

Of course his supporters put the blame for the appalling hooliganism on Dr Mahathir, who by the way was out of the country at that time in (I believe) Ghana. And it was certainly not Dr Mahathir who boasted "Our mission was to stop the conference and we did just that."

In 1994, as has been traditional with all DPMs, he was BN election campaign director in the Sabah state elections. The BN lost and PBS won.

When the head of PBS, Pairin, went to see the State Yang Di Pertua to claim he had the majority in the Sabah DUN and thus the constitutional right to form a cabinet to rule the state, he found he couldn't meet the strangely missing Sabah head of state, but by the time he was able to, he discovered to his astonishment that he had become the opposition leader instead of the CM-elect of the winning PBS party.

The winning PBS party was no winner any more because Anwar Ibrahim had engineered sufficient number of defections from PBS over to BN to make the latter the winning party.

By a wave of his magic wand the froggy godmother turned Pairin from Cinderella with the glass slippers into the ugly stepsister with the gross (Japanese) slippers.

That ultimate perversion of democracy should have reminded us of what sort of person Anwar Ibrahim is likely to be, but alas, for years it would seem the only non-BN person to be so aware was KTemoc.

The real reason for Anwar being sacked from Umno was an internecine struggle within Umno for power. He used his erstwhile close ally Zahid Hamidi, yes that one, the most remarkably ‘patriotic' defence minister, to pressure Dr Mahathir out of Umno by accusing the senior man of corrupt cronyism.

Unfortunately, for Anwar, the wily old fox turned the table on Anwar and Zahid by revealing publicly a list of shares and assets to show that in fact the two were the ones in Umno practising corrupt cronyism.

That Anwar went to prison for (initially) corruption was questionable justice but we must be truthful and not fabricate that sad event into something heroic for him, like he went to prison for us and reformasi, as some PKR supporters are wont to do.

His records, as Nik Nazmi has invited us to examine, didn't convince me of his claims of reformasi, more so when his reformasi claim was born overnight only after his expulsion from Umno.

I was to be proven indisputably right in 2008.

Let me cut to the chase. Was his outrageous 916 of reformasi or deformasi values?

To boast of an invisible force of 30 BN MPs defecting to his side was not only an outrageous affront to the supremacy of the Malaysian voters' decision but a hideous insult to democracy, exposing his reformasi as nothing more than a lip service sham.

And did his frog hunting expedition all the way to Taiwan signal his reformasi? I shudder at the embarrassment of such a shameless gambit.

Was his (initial) praising of a revolving door Adun in Perak the stuff of reformasi? Much as I hate the BN's thieving manipulation, I have to say PKR sure as hell deserved that padan muka (serve you right) sneer.

Now, we have the PKR polling scandal. Much as the PKR establishment would like to brush away the several questions challenging the party process, there are two outstanding personalities who indicated otherwise.

I am not referring to Zaid Ibrahim because we have to accept that he had been an interested party in the PKR polls.

I am referring to well-known and respected political activist Haris Ibrahim and PKR member Jonson Chong.

The latter had written an open letter to Dr Wan Azizah appealing for an audit sampling to settle once and for all the allegations of votes rigging in the party election for the post of deputy president. Has Dr Wan responded to Jonson's appeal?

I think I'll remain anti-Anwar.

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