Jailing Anwar: Umno poised to make its biggest mistake on Jan 9Written by Nawawi Mohamad, Stan Lee, Malaysia Chronicle
There are many things that Malaysia's ruling party UMNO has done during its 54 years in power. Some are good and some are bad. Sad to say, the bad overwhelms the good not just in terms of quantity or volume but the rot is simply so deep, it has put the country on the road to disaster.
And on January 9, UMNO will make the mistake of its life when it jails Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim on manifestly fabricated sodomy charges. Whoever wins the 13th general election will have the toughest time cleaning up and straightening out all the kinks from an already kooky, over-stressed and out-of-control system.
Just to list down the string of UMNO of bloopers and scandals would take weeks. There have been so many articles written about these scandals, yet little or no action has been taken against the perpetrators who hide behind their UMNO badge. Of course the present UMNO-led government won’t open the file on these debacles, especially the recent ones but what can we do about it?
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and police are both working for UMNO at our expense. Police brutality continues unhindered with the latest beating of the UPSI students for demonstrating against an unfair law that bans them from participating in the country's politics. The MACC nabbed the “Datuk Fix-it”, a man who is alleged to have been paid by the NFC boss, Salleh Ismail, to bribe the authorities from uncovering corruption at the national cattle livestock company. But why hasn't the MACC arrested Salleh, or is it because he is the husband of UMNO minister Shahrizat Jalil.
Getting UMNO to make redress for its wrongdoings - when?
The list of the UMNO wrongdoings is really much too long to be detailed, but we all know most of them. The hot question around town now is, should Malaysians wait until those responsible for the misdeeds are too old to answer for their actions, or perhaps even passed on, before there is official acknowledgement that the people have been wronged. As the saying goes, justice must not only be done but be seen to be done.
Perhaps, before any redress can take place, there has to be a change in government. If UMNO continues to retain power, Malaysians can rest assured there will be no admission of wrongdoing and citizens can look forward to financial doom, with the country bankrupting soon from the massive corruption taking place even now as we write.
UMNO can be expected to do everything it can to sweep everything under the carpet. They will even change the law to re-write history so that their ruling elite can escape scot-free, and all issues safely forgotten. Historians and authors will be hired to write only what UMNO wants on record, omitting all the unpleasant details that might emerge. Imagine the Sodomy I trial pressed by former premier Mahathir Mohamad against Anwar Ibrahim. How will the UMNO version be like? Will it mention the huge international backlash and how former US vice president Al Gore walked out from a dinner given in his honour so as to protest Mahathir's skullduggery?
We shudder to think what would happen to our children and how Malaysia will be remembered if UMNO pursues its current path of excesses and megalomania. PAS and DAP have struggled for years to explain why Malaysia needs to reject the UMNO-led BN ruling coalition, while Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has suffered too much at the hands of an UMNO petrified of his charismatic leadership and ability to galvanize an alternative government.
Right now, he is being disgraced by the Sodomy II trial, a reprisal of the manifestly fabricated plot drummed up by Mahathir in 1998 and borrowed by Prime Minister Najib Razak and wife Rosmah Mansor in 2008 to attack and prevent Anwar from challenging their power.
From his university days, Anwar has been accused of being anti-establishment, sacked from the post of Deputy Prime Minister, jailed for abuse of power and even received a black eye from ex-Inspector General of Police Rahim Noor. Yes, Anwar was beaten to the brink of death in jail in a bid to extract a false confession from him, asked to strip naked, purportedly fed arsenic-laced food in jail, denied medical treatment for hi slip-disc, incarcerated for 6 years for Sodomy I, then prosecuted since 2008 for Sodomy II.
Failed to knock Anwar off his perch
But the 64-year-old Anwar continued to stay high in the people's favour. Malaysians recognized a survivor and real fighter when they see one. So it wasn't surprising when they again rejected the Datuk T sex scandal that 3 UMNO members tried to attach to him.
Make no mistake, given Najib's paranoia of Anwar, the Opposition Leader can expect to find himself in jail again. Even so, Anwar has remained steadfast and has even prepared for the worst by knocking together an agreement with DAP's Lim Kit Siang and PAS' Hadi Awang on who should replace him when he is jailed. The question of succession, whether temporary until he is out of jail or not, is crucial in view of the imminent GE-13, where Najib is bound to go on a rampage to win the election wielding all the power he can grasp.
To have come so far and laid down such preparation is a huge task and responsibility that not many people can effect; indeed it is a very heavy burden for him and it is amazing that he has managed to simultaneously go on a tour of ceramahs or political lectures all across the country to drum up support for PKR and Pakatan.
Anwar has also face to face hurtful criticism and problems within his own party and the Pakatan coalition. Many of his friends and colleagues have betrayed him, with the latest being blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin. These former friends have now become his enemies and of course a few like Ezam Mohd Nor were so close and personal it was hard not to doubt Anwar. But by now, it is clear that these people were unworthy, selling out for top dollar from UMNO.
So whether Anwar goes to jail or not, Pakatan supporters have their individual role to play. Firstly, do not get distracted from the main aim, which is to effect a change in government. Yes, some may get disheartened by the inordinate number of road blocks and hurdles blocking the way to Putrajaya, but this is a goal and a mission that cannot be compromised.
Ultimately it is the voters who will determine the outcome; you and us, the rakyat. So Pakatan supporters must do their part and not give up at the very worst of times. Do your part, convince others, assure the fence-sitters that we have to vote out UMNO-BN and all more if Anwar is jailed. No, Anwar is not perfect nor is he an angel, yet just compare him with Najib - what wrong has Anwar ever done to us the rakyat? No, Pakatan is not perfect either but they have made enormous progress and shown themselves as capable leaders and administrators who are more than ready to govern.
The rotten apples have all been removed or clearly identified such as Hasan Ali, the former Selangor PAS commissioner. The cleansing will make Pakatan stronger with less baggage. This alone makes it a clear-cut comparison for the better against the decadent UMNO, which refuses to even admit it has internal problems.
Najib's agent provocateurs
Lastly, a word of caution to Pakatan supporters attending the 901 Free Anwar rally.They must stay alert and refrain from backstabbing each other because UMNO is bound to fight to death to retain power.
Agent provocateurs are bound to be stationed amongst the crowds that will throng the court house on January 9. These can be expected to trigger scuffles just like in the July 9 Bersih rally for free and fair elections and in the recent UPSI students protest against the draconian UUCA Act 1971 that prevents them from participating in the country's politics.
The uglier the demonstrations turn out, the happier Najib will be as it would 'prove' his claim that Pakatan was up to no good! But just like in the July 9 Bersih and UPSI protests, Malaysians are expected to point the finger back at Najib, whose under-performance and inability to put in place critically-needed reforms have shocked the nation.