Malaysiakini Yoursay

Yoursay: Should Anwar be Malaysia's 8th PM?

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YOURSAY | 'Representatives of the four parties agreed that Anwar shall be the next PM.'

Anwar's obsession with becoming PM

Multi Racial: I agree there are some issues, especially those on royalty and races, that we wish PM-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim would have taken a stronger stand.

Having said that, it is unfair to run down Anwar even before he becomes PM. Like it or not, he too has played a big role in where Pakatan Harapan is today. He has sacrificed two decades of his life fighting for reform.

We do acknowledge that many have contributed to the success of GE14, but there is no doubt Anwar is among them, if not in a bigger role. Let's give Anwar the benefit of doubt and give him a run to govern the country before running him down.

At least he has earned his right. If he does not do well, Harapan will have to pay the price in the next general election.

JW: I believe as good as Mariam Mokhtar is on other issues, she is blind when it comes to Anwar.

She said she could forget Dr Mahathir Mohamad for his transgressions but not Anwar, who never had been PM and had not done anything yet as seriously bad (not even close) as Mahathir had proven quite often when he was PM the first time around, when a lot of what he did to shore up his political base is still saddling Malaysia.

Just two examples would more than amply suffice: Mahathir was the first political figure who openly and cynically played up race and religion and the Malay entitlement mentality. And both are still a terrible yoke on Malaysia that is having a difficult time to be removed, if ever.

Those two of Mahathir's policies and deeds are a hundred times more serious a problem that Mahathir has saddled Malaysia with since the 1980s than whatever Anwar has ever done.

Yet, those actual deeds were now casually dismissed, even forgotten by Mariam, while Anwar simply could not be forgotten for whatever he did, even though he never had real power when he was in Mahathir's cabinet (when Mahathir was PM the first time) because Mahathir was simply an iron-fisted ruler, which, again, Mariam could just blindly excuse.

Abasir: Thank you, Mariam. This is so timely and a clear warning to anyone who still believes a more equitable ‘New Malaysia’ is a possibility.

Anwar suffers from a dangerous obsession with the title he has always coveted - lusting after it as an entitlement as the only reasonable compensation for his confinement.

This erstwhile rabble-rousing president of Persatuan Bahasa Melayu Universiti Malaya (PBMUM) cunningly co-opted the abstract noun "keadilan" to make it his - to redefine it to mean justice for the only thing he truly values - himself.

His narcissistic tendencies, cultivated since those early days, came to the fore when his black eye was graphically-depicted to represent his cause because he knew full well how Malaysians simply love victimhood... just as they are suckers for chanting slogans with no more than four syllables.

Sharpening his skills in rousing the uninformed, he devoted his time alone learning quotable quotes from many sources to mesmerise his adulating (and almost always, under-educated fans) with the power of catchphrases.

And so, we were rewarded with something called the "reform agenda", which incidentally, no one in Malaysia has seen.

But his qualification for the top position goes beyond even that. He had, over the years, mastered that thing called "playing to the gallery", being a man for all audiences.

Dancing to an MGR tune (despite his now legendary bad back) and uttering Arabic (or Arabic sounding phrases) with the practised ease of a wandering medicine man and at the next moment, spitting out quaint expressions in Hokkien, are, in his mind and those of his now ageing fans, the hallmarks of a PM-in-waiting.

Malaysia may actually deserve him, given that what it is today, in no small measure, is the direct outcome of his railroaded education thrusts, his Arabisation of the Malay masses and the brand of politicised Islam whose victims are, among many others, Indira Gandhi, Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat.

In terms of "keadilan" for the masses, you really cannot get more multiracial than that.

Quigonbond: Birthright? Obsession? Really? Would it be easier if I told the writer (Mariam) that I want Anwar to be PM because that seems like the right choice for now? If not him, who else?

Azmin Ali? Lim Guan Eng? Abdul Hadi Awang? Najib Razak? Internationally, Anwar has been seen as a prisoner of conscience. Not exactly of Nelson Mandela stature, but certainly not far off.

He was also a much-lauded finance minister at one point, so you can't say he is, technically, ‘in-proficient’.

Sirach: There is a very capable successor to Mahathir – PKR deputy president Azmin Ali. He’s had a good track record as MB of the wealthiest state in the peninsula. And he’s not had any scandal (of note, anyway) associated with his name. And he’s the right age.

Despite Anwar’s less than discreet lobbying to unseat Azmin as deputy leader of PKR with his puppet, Rafizi Ramli, Azmin prevailed.

Azmin’s at the peak of his career, in his 50s. Compared with the leaders of France and Canada, Azmin is relatively old, and Anwar is, well, ancient. Anwar should just retire, play with his grandchildren and jettison all ambition of becoming PM. He won’t be missed.

Anonymous #59817899: Azmin is not qualified now. Hopefully, he is ready in 10 years after Anwar.

Representatives of the four parties agreed that Anwar shall be the eighth PM. These representatives are chosen by the majority of Malaysians. Harapan won partly because of this agreed arrangement.

Anwar can only function well when he is officially the PM. Be patient. Judge him at the right time.

Anonymous_1371547149: Mariam, you need to take a chill pill. You have too many conjectures as to what will happen if Anwar becomes PM.

You use his past to assassinate his character but I don't see you doing the same to Mahathir. If you can give Mahathir the benefit of the doubt, why can't you accord Anwar the same courtesy?

Instead, you have resorted to fear-mongering, which is very unprofessional of you.

And this article is not the first time you have done it. I'm surprised that a woman of your intelligence cannot understand the meaning of the sanctity of an agreement that was forged among the parties.

You may cite freedom of speech but your freedom ends where everybody else's reputation begins.

Monty: As usual, Mariam you have said everything that needed to be said. And so well too.

Just with the Harapan government, I felt that Mahathir and his government needed more than just a year to prove themselves. But Anwar has been released for a year now and we wait patiently to hear about his plans for the country and so far, have been disappointed.

Unlike Mahathir, who has publicly admitted that he was surprised to win the elections, Anwar had a whole year to reflect on his plans and so now we, PKR members, demand to know his plans for the country. He should, for starters, answer clearly how he feels about the points raised in this article.

Malays need help, but so too do other Malaysians. Help all people in need. Build a Malaysian identity I can openly and proudly call mine.

It does not matter much to me if we achieve First World status or not, as Mahathir would like to. But we should all be able to share equally in the country’s progress and prosperity, regardless of our race, religion or sexual orientation. In peace.

That is not an impossible dream and you especially have had all the time to reflect on it. And if for some reason you think you cannot do it, please step aside and give someone else the opportunity.

Anonymous: Spot on Mariam! My salute for your well-articulated concerns of the masses.

Anwar's latest rhetoric (as Mariam pointed out), including his close relationships with Islamist leaders, are serious concerns. Mahathir, despite being "racist", at least has some principles.

But without the handover of power to Anwar as agreed, Malaysia would become Arab Spring.

I concur that we seriously need new blood but can't find anyone who could provide political leadership. A few have potentials but probably still young to command respect, especially from veteran politicians.

In the foreseeable future, irrespective of who becomes the PM, the race and religious card is here to stay. Eventually, the people must be smart enough to pull the strings so they would dance to our tune.

David Dass: It would seem that Anwar deserves a shot at being prime minister. If for no other reason as a reward for his hard-fought campaign and his trials.

And as with Mahathir, there is the belief that whatever his early credentials, his years of suffering and the support he has enjoyed from all races would have mellowed and matured him.

But there are many detractors. And there are those from the religious right who would not support him. So it would be challenging. He also succeeds someone who is not only skilled in statecraft but is also a technocrat, someone who understands economics and technology as few leaders do.

Anwar must assemble his team of advisers. He must begin to formulate his strategy for the government. He would be wise to continue with whatever Mahathir has started to do. There must be continuity. Ideally, Mahathir is able to set in place the critical components of his intended reforms before he leaves.

It will be tough for Anwar. PAS and Umno will play the race and religious card. And he will be pressured or tempted to do likewise. That would be a mistake.

HH: Let's give Anwar a chance, just like we gave Mahathir a second chance knowing his first chance was not so 'gemilang' (glorious).

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These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.

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