Commentary Politics

An Anwar rumour takes the focus off Pribumi Bersatu assembly

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

December 28, 2018

PUTRAJAYA: THE main agenda of its maiden annual meeting as a ruling party, its leaders had emphasised on in the run-up to today, was that of nation-building but a risque rumour was instead on the lips of most Pribumi Bersatu delegates, to the extent that this dominated the chat outside the meeting hall.

That shift was perfectly understandable as this gossip was one that implicated Malaysia’s potential prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who according to an understanding agreed before the May 9 general elections, will assume the much coveted post by just a little over a year from now.

“My God! Will there be a third time for Anwar?” was the question echoed by the more gossipy delegates over the Anwar-linked allegation which was enveloped in a narrative that he had been controversially associated to in the past – that of his sexual orientation.

Controversial post-GE14 claims against Anwar were first heard again after he officially became PKR president later last November. This second round, which was not surprisingly denied later today by the man alleged to be Anwar’s lover, resurfaced last night.

But the denial failed to put a stop to the tête-à-tête, with many arguing that the nature of accusations that Anwar is often susceptible to is the reason why he is ill-suited to be PM.

“He may have been pardoned but that does not change the fact that he was jailed twice after being found guilty by the courts,” remarked a delegate who spoke to his group at a cafe outside the hall who then nodded in agreement.

Against such a backdrop, some say they do not mind for the succession plan to be reneged and that Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad serve a full term.

Coincidentally, the view was in tandem with the hints that Mahathir had been dropping after GE14 – that Anwar’s succession was not cast in stone, adding that while he can promise “at the end of the day, it will be up to the people to choose”, which no one knows how it can be done when the country doesn’t have direct presidential/prime ministerial election.

While the opinions of most delegates about Anwar may not necessarily be the consensus of all Pribumi Bersatu members, at least for today this was what those on the ground had been occupied with.

It can be assumed from what has been seen in recent years that rumours and accusations over Anwar’s sexuality will continue to haunt him wherever he goes — maybe even for the rest of his life. To most of the Pribumi Bersatu delegates, this does not augur well for the country if he becomes PM because to them Anwar is a liability Malaysia can do without.



About the author

Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at