Malaysiakini Letter

Dont bet on Anwar to change things

Chai Ming Hock  |  Published:  |  Modified:

So much has changed, or has nothing changed over the past six years? It depends on how you see the entire episode.

While some observers argue that the real winner in the release of Anwar Ibrahim is Prime Minister Abdullah Ahamd Badawi, it's still too early to speculate how this would affect the political scene in Malaysia.

But this writer is sure of one thing - the real losers in this entire episode are the ordinary Malaysians, some of whom had rallied behind Anwar since he was removed from office. Once again, we have been taken for a ride by the political elites.

When Anwar was removed from government and Umno six years ago after years of being part of them, he rallied for his supporters to push for reforms. What can be more hypocritical and hollow than this?

Inequality and injustice have existed in Malaysian society for a very long time and only when Anwar had the 'privilege' to experience them, suddenly justice and equality for all becomes the his most important agenda.

If Dr Mahathir Mohamad did something very 'un-Malay' by publicly humiliating Anwar - the same can be said about Anwar's 'un-Malay' conduct disloyalty in challenging his political mentor and political party.

Could Anwar have achieved his status if Mahathir did not invite him to join Umno? Could Anwar have built up his populist image without the entire Umno, and in effect the entire government machinery at his disposal?

Remember, when Anwar and the reformasi supporters point their fingers at Mahathir, accusing him of everything they are not, they have three fingers pointing back at themselves. If we were to accuse Mahathir of politically destroying Anwar, isn't Anwar's reformasi movement politically motivated as well?

These are the actors on Malaysia's political stage, and we, the general public can only watch and offer our worthless comments. Essentially, we have no say in the plot of the story. Nor do they care what we think of them.

I agree that every Malaysian should be treated equally and justly. However, the reality is that Malaysia is an unjust and unequal society. Connections ensure opportunities and special treatment for the elite. Ordinary Malaysians get slow responses from the police and other government bodies. The list goes on.

During the Lunas 2000 by-election, Keadilan's Ezam Mohd Nor, while negotiating with then Umno secretary-general Khalil Yaakob on the issue of six bus loads of phantom voters , reminded the Umno veteran that he knew Umno's tactics as they were ' dari lubuk yang sama' .

Indeed, they are. We all know this, but some of us choose to ignore it. I am not writing this to show my support for any political elite or to apologise for Mahathir's political conduct.

Of all the mistreated Malaysians, some of us choose to rally behind Anwar. We rallied for the wrong man. Anwar had years of opportunity in the government to make things right and to do away with all the injustice and inequality.

Did he? So why should we bet on him now? How some things remain the same after six years.

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