Anwar’s twists and turns

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – May 17, 2016: Jailed politician Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has written to PKR leaders to caution them against being overly excited with the so-called “Citizens’ Declaration” initiated by his former boss in government and politics.

Essentially Anwar doesn’t want those in the opposition, including his trusted lieutenants, who now are working hand-in-hand with former prime minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to be hoodwinked.

In the letter that was leaked yesterday via an online news portal, Anwar writes about how he thinks the movement may do the opposition more harm than good.

He expresses concern over the declaration which has “dragged our leaders and apparatuses to be in cahoots with Tun M and Daim (former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin).” (As far as The Mole is aware, Daim has never been in the picture since the declaration was launched on March 4 and as far as is publicly known, he hasn’t made any comments on the issue either.)

“My view might be in contradiction with the stand of the majority of leaders. I am apprehensive, assuming that this strategy is a little overboard and threatens our struggle,” writes Anwar.

“We must steer clear of the danger of falling into the games of the power elites and their skillful trickery to maintain an outdated system.”

The letter also describes the promises for reform in the declaration as too superficial.

“Principally, the document remains a Mahathir document – flawed and inconsistent with reform perspectives.

“It only focuses on Najib’s (PM Najib) resignation as prime minister, as a result of the 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Berhad) scandal.”

But politicians are politicians and Anwar may have had more than enough free time in Sungai Buloh Prison to reevaluate his position.

The Reuters news agency quoted Anwar in this report linked to the launch of the declaration: “Anwar issued a statement from prison a day earlier, saying he would support the position of those in civil  society, political parties and individuals, including Mahathir, in the push to remove Najib.”

The rather stern letter from Anwar has prompted many opposition supporters to re-evaluate their previously unwavering devotion to the declaration/Mahathir-led movement.

Social media was chocked with comments from these supporters who now say that it would only benefit Umno, not the opposition.

“Mahathir to join the opposition bloc? Give me a break, who would be dumb enough to swallow that?” was the sarcastic response from Mie Muhammad Tamimi.

“It was crystal clear that he just wants save Umno from Najib and once Najib is out of the picture, trust me he’ll re-join Umno like he did before.”

“Whatever Mahathir’s agenda may be, principally he just wants to save Umno from Najib and that is all,” wrote Irfan Kamal.

“He also wants the opposition to remain as opposition forever, Pakatan Harapan (PH) should have distanced from him right from the start.”

“Only idiots support the declaration,” wrote Her May, “Everyone knows that the main objective of the declaration is to oust Najib while maintaining the Umno-led government.”

Interestingly, some have also pointed out that if Anwar’s concerns hold water, then Pas had definitely made the right call when it decided not to join the movement.

There were also those who said that Anwar’s concerns were a reflection of Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s opinion on the declaration.

“Ustaz Hadi has been expressing similar concerns but they would not listen to him and only now they realise they have been conned. Good for them,” wrote Zul Lubis.

“Now we know how far sighted Ustaz Hadi truly is when choose not to allow Pas to cooperate with Tun M,” wrote Tengku Faiuz.

“Pas was called a traitor for not joining the movement but now it appears that Pas is the only one who remains true to the opposition’s reformation agenda.”



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 zaidiazmi91@gmail.com.