Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bersih 3.O: Duduk Bantah lawan Duduk Muntah?


Mengikut berita-berita dalam dan luar negara, demonstrasi Bersih 3.0 amat berjaya mengikut takrif sesetengah pihak. Huru-hara telah tercetus, polis telah dapat diprovokasi untuk bertindak menggunakan kekerasan, ramai rakyat Malaysia telah dihasut menjadi marah terhadap kerajaan, dan mungkin terpenting bagi pihak penganjur, banyak berita hangat dan tajuk utama media massa telah terpapar dalam dan luar negara, yang memberi banyak publisiti bagi Bersih 3.0. Banyak gambarr huru-hara atau kacau-bilau di Malaysia menghias ruang-ruang akhbar serata dunia, menunjuk orang-ramai 'bangkit' menentang kerajaan, yang juga satu angkubah pengaruh dan kekuasaan Bersih3.0. Kesemua ini diandaikan telah 'mendidik' dan ' menambah kesedaran' rakyat Malaysia akan perjuangan 'keadilan sosial' dan 'pembaruan' atas nama 'demokrasi rakyat'. Akan tetapi adakah ini benar atau bertetapan?

Pengerusi bersama Bersih 3.0, Ambiga Sreenevasan menolak tanggungjawab atas huru-hara yang telah tercetus dengan insiden 'tembakan pemedih mata' dan ' semburan air kimia'. Beliau menjelaskan kepada media massa Bersih 3.0 tidak menyokong perbuatan individu-individu memecahkan rintangan-rintangan di Dataran Merdeka. Mengikut beliau Bersih 3.0 cuma inginkan demonstrasi aman menuntut pilihan raya yang bersih dan adil. Mengikut beliau tindakan ganas itu dilakukan oleh ejen-ejen provokasi.Timbalan presiden Parti Keadilan Rakyat, S.Surenderan, juga menolak segala tanggunjawab atas huru-hara yang tercetus. Mengikut beliau demonstrasi berlangsung secara aman sehingga saat polis bertindak dengan kekerasan. Beliau mengatakan rakyat tak bersalah dan hanya berniat baik menuntut pembaruan pilihan raya
.
Saya rasa kenyataan-kenyataan kedua-dua Ambiga dan S.Surenderan adalah samada kurang ikhlas atau kurang matang. Apabila kita mengambil sebarang tindakan kita mesti mempertimbangkan implikasi, kesan dan segala kemungkinan dari tindakan kita. Huru-hara yang telah berlaku adalah berpunca dari Bersih 3.0 yang mereka rancang dan anjur. Cara dan suasana Bersih 3.0 dianjur dan dilaksanakan sememangnya mengundang kekacauan. Adalah agak kebudak-budakan apabila kedua cuma mengatakan 'niat baik' Bersih 3.0 sambil menafikan tanggungjawab atas 'akibat natural' (natural consequences) demonstrasi tersebut. Apabila pemerintah atau pentadbir menolak beberapa permintaan mereka berhubung demonstrasi Bersih 3.0,  pemerintah dan pentadbir telah  mempertimbangkan segala kemungkinan dan kesan yang akan berbangkit sekiranya permintaan Bersih 3.0 dipenuhi sepenuhnya..

Sebenarnya penganjur mesti mengambil kira bahawa sesuatu demonstrasi itu bukan terdiri dari cuma mereka-mereka yang ' berniat baik' mengadakan 'pembaruan' dan ' menuntuk pilihan raya bersih dan adil'. Hanya kebongkakan rasa berkuasa penganjur yang membutakan mereka terhadap kenyataan ini, dek terlalu ghairah menggembeling seramai orang dan sebanyak NGO keluar  ke jalan raya.

Jika pihak penganjur lebih ikhlas dan matang, mereka akan memahami demonstrasi selalunya melibatkan berbangai-bagai anasir dan kumpulan. Bukan semuanya yang berjenis 'niat baik menyokong' Duduk Bantah. Lazimnya dalam demonstrasi terdapat kumpulan-kumpulan yang sememangnya anasir-anasir yang berniat jahat mencetuskan huru-hara. Mereka turut serta bukan untuk Duduk Bantah tetapi Duduk Titah, yakni bertindak sebagai ejen-ejen yang taksub mengikut arahan-arahan dan kepentingan penganjur atau 'dalang' mereka.

Kita tak dapat mengandaikan ramai dari penunjuk perasaan digerakkan 'niat baik dan murni' seperti didakwa penganjur. Ramai yang cuma disitu ingin meluahkan rasa amarah dek dihasut oleh pihak penganjur dengan slogan-slogan 'cita-murni' perjuangan dan imej 'ideal' mereka. Oleh kerana dihasut mereka turut melibatkan diri dalam Duduk Bantah tanpa mendalami isu sebenarnya. Mereka ini lebih tepat kita katakan Duduk Entah dari Duduk Bantah. Mereka cuma ikut-ikut dek perasaan kurang puas hati atau kemarahan yang emosional dan tidak terarah. Saikologi mereka boleh disifatkan sebagai 'mob psychology' atau ' populis'. Juga sering diistilahkan sebagai ' crowd psychology' ('saikologi ramai).. Golongan sejenis inilah yang sering diperalatkan oleh demigog atau diktator seperti Hitler dalam sejarah buat merampas kuasa. 
.
Ada juga anasir-anasir lain lagi dari golongan Duduk Entah . Ada pemimpin penganjur yang kekuatannya terletak cuma pada kepandaian bercakap atau berucap berapi-api, yang tampak pandai dan 'berkarisma', tetapi yang sebenarnya tohor dari segi isi. Mereka jenis ini licik mempengaruhi anggota-anggota masyarakat yang mudah terpukau oleh 'gendang kosong' yang semakin lantang semakin kosong ini. Golongan 'gendang kosong' ini menganjur dan menyertai demonstrasi bukan untuk Duduk Bantah tetapi Duduk Latah, cuma sekadar meluahkan pekik lolong berunsur maki-hamun dan amukan. 

Sesunggohnya komposisi demonstrasi itu rumit atau komplek, bukan cuma terdiri dari yang 'berniat baik' mengikut slogan ' pembaruan pilihan raya' atau ' pilihan raya bersih dan adil'. Ada yang menjadikan demonstrasi seumpama Bersih 3.0 ini alat perebutan atau perampasan kuasa, tidak mengira apa jua laungan dan pengakuan mereka. Sifat mereka ini berpadanan dengan peribahasa Melayu ' ada udang sebalik batu' . Berhubungan dengan demonstrasi, mereka yang berjenis ini mengikuti demonstrasi bukan dengan niat Duduk Bantah tetapi secara tersirat berniat untuk Duduk Lintah.

Saya rasa ramai rakyat Malaysia yang tidak terpedaya untuk menyertai demonstrasi kerana pertimbangan mereka lebih mendalam, meninjau lebih dari 'niat suci' atau ' semangat pembaru' (reformer) yang cetek. Mereka ini memahami aspek-aspek pergerakan sosial atau demonstrasi lebih dari laungan-laungan dan pengakuan aktivis-aktivis yang taksub, justru sempit ufuk pemikiran . Bagi mereka yang bosan atau berasa  loya membaca berita-berita dalam dan luar negara mengenai 'kejayaan' Bersih 3.0 yang berat sebelah, akan tiba satu ketika mereka akan mengadakan demonstrasi mereka sendiri menentang kempen Bersih yang bersiri ini. Mungkin mereka kelak akan mengadakan kempen Bersin 1.0, 2.0 dan 3.0 pula. Apabila ini berlaku, mungkin Duduk Bantah akan berdepan dengan Duduk Muntah di Dataran Merdeka atau Stadium?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

UMNO and NFC: Rushing Rich

In this posting I just wish to note some recent development in the National Feedlot Corporation saga, which conjures a worrying picture beyond the immediate issues at hand.

There had been news circulating that a Singapore company is suing outfits and executives associated with the NFC for huge arrears in rentals. Entire floor of prime business premise had been leased in Singapore and yet left idle. If I am not mistaken the premise is said to carry a monthly rental of RM 22 million. If my memory is correct and the fact is accurate, I don't think the soft goverment loan of RM250 is going to last very long, given  such callous management style.

A few days ago I read a statement by the Chairman of the Parliamentry Financial Committee that NFC had failed to serve its first instalment for the RM250 million, due after three years from the date of its granting. This if of course worrying. Would this be just another case fitting the general pattern of abuses and corruption in Malaysia where loans are simply taken and never revoverable for many many 'reasons', ranging from bancruptcy, poor management, write-offs, to crisis requiring bail outs and many other forms of ' unforseen circumstances'. This is particularly worrying considering NFC had failed in its very first instalment of the payment, which could raise the question whether NFC's had ever intended to repay the loan of RM250 million in the first place.

In the meantime the Secretary General of UMNO had made a statement a few days ago that there is no need to pressure the Wanita UMNO Leader to quit her party position because she was elected to the position. I don't wish to question the party position on whether the Wanita Chief should or should not quit her position, as I understand internal politcs and calculations can be quite complicated. However the Secretaray General's statement and its implications is of another matter altogether. What if the demand for her to quit comes from those who elected her in the first place? Don't they have the right to review their mandate in the light of changing situation? Is anyone for that matter beyond review and accountability 'once elected'? Shoudn't any party be sensitive to the question of the integrity or performance of its office bearer's 'once elected'?

Looking beyond the specific case of NFC, one the major problems facing our nation is that there are too many people always in a haste to be rich, in lieu of hard work and toil. This is in contraventon to the natural law that rewards is always in return for work. Hence there is always many people dreaming of a life of ease and plenty, counting on networks, cronyism, nepotism, political influence, power, patronage and almost everything else besides honest work or toil. Those involved in this manner often forget or choose to forget that whatever is begotten in this manner is always at the expense of others who had done honest work and toil, yet being denied of the fruits of their labour and striving. An obvious example would be how tax payers money are being squandered ever so easily by those rushing rich!  

Monday, March 12, 2012

UMNO, DAP, PKR and Corruption: Principle or Ploy?

 

We have heard the announcement concerning Sharizat’s intention to step down from her cabinet post next month, in sync with the term of her senatorship, over the affairs of the NFL. Her announcement came at the time when the chief executive of NFL, Salleh Ismail, her husband was being charged in court for criminal breach of trust and misuse of public fund in connection with the RM250million loan from the government.

The announcement had solicited various responses from political parties, as expected along very partisan lines. I should like to share some of my own responses in reading them.

Shahrizats’s own statements and action raised some nagging questions. Why step down now, after months of tenacious defense of herself, as well as NFC? We still remember her dramatic antics at the UMNO Assemby , taking on the opposition, her denouncers, with rolled up sleeves and fist clenched. Her defense then was that she was not involved in any way with NFC, she just happened to be married to the chief executive. Why step down then if you are not involved in any way? It is hard for the public to believe though she is not involved in any way with development in the NFC, as her husband and children are directors in the company, drawing huge salaries and perks. Of course ‘involvement’ here does not refer merely to tangible legal evidence but signifies wider notion of ‘interests’ in the way of ‘family matters’.

What has been UMNO’s reaction to the announcement? Generally quiet among the top brass but some had felt compelled to comment I think. The home minister had said he respected Shahrizat’s decision and admired her for it, and urged her to continue to lead the party women’s wing. What sort of a statement is this? It sounded as if this is a purely personal matter which does not involve the public and the nation. It sounds like a company manager counseling a staff intending to resign over her domestic problems, but still needing her services to the company. There are other statements from UMNO leaders making a ‘martyr’ out of Sharizat over her decision. One leader praised her for her ‘courage’, another for her ‘sacrifice’. What ‘courage’ and what ‘sacrifice’? The Prime Minister expressed 'gratitude' for her decision. Why? Is UMNO anxious to stop the inquiry at her level and not higher up the accountability chain?

In my opinion UMNO should indicate, by statement as well as gesture, its stand on corruption. If it fails to do so, it will lose lots of credibility to the opposition and in the eyes of the public. For the sake of its moral and political standing it should send clear unambiguous signals that it abhors corruption. It doesn’t have to apologise profusely or romanticise members entangled in scandals. It conveys very unflattering image of itself in doing so.

I scanned the news to make more sense of this. I read of  the following elaboration. She is courageous in making the sacrifice in the interest of the party, so as not to compromise the party in the coming election. What banality! Shouldn’t the issue be either she is blameworthy in some way or innocent of corruption or vested interests?. If she is blameworthy, the party should accept her stepping down, otherwise the party should insist on her staying as a matter of principle. Why this strange way of bestowing ‘martyrdom’ on her? Doesn't the credibility of leaders matter at all for the party? It suggests both banality and moral insensitivity, despite the pretension. There is also the response that opposition leaders should emulate her noble gesture and step down. Surely this is a rather immature political maneuvering . A better response would be to focus on the issue and then only proscribe it for all, including the opposition. To do otherwise looks like a glaring ploy to deflect and deflate the issue.

There is also the party response in thanking her for continuing with her party positions. There's much accolades on her dynamism as party leader. There is no consideration whatsoever for the issue at hand. I am not suggesting for a moment that the party abandons her or demands that she quit her party position as well. What I find disturbing is the lack of consideration for ethical or moral integrity altogether. Shouldn't there be deliberation at least on her blameworthiness or otherwise on this score before 'thanking' her for continuing?Or shouldn't it be deliberated if she might be a liability for the election if she continue to lead? 

The DAP, PKR and PAS should be credited with its various exposures concerning corruption. They had proved themselves effective in bringing down several UMNO and BN leaders over wrongdoings. They could be a formidable force in cleaning up the nation and its leadership mettle. While crediting them, I should state that they could be even more formidable if they combine militancy against wrongdoings with general or universal moral indignation. What the public finds disappointing is when they seem to be ever vigilant and tenacious when it concerns UMNO or BN leaders, but turn equally militant or banal in their denial, defense and dismissal when it concerns one of their own. Concerning this we have more than ample examples to go by.

The question then is this: For our political parties is the issue of corruption a matter of principle, or is it a convenient weapon to bring down the enemy? It has its uses in case of the later, but it would bless the nation much more if our political parties cultivate a genuine moral indignation against this scourge of corruption beyond partisanship.



Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sacralising the Secular? Secularising the Sacred?



Within the short termed objective of the election, members of Pakatan had indicated preparedness to compromise their generally known stand on religion and secular politics. PAS had ‘shed’ its long standing cause to champion an Islamic state, much to the disquiet of significant portion of its traditional supporters, who see it as ‘betrayal’. PKR had tried its best to project an open attitude to the question of religion, as indicated in its support of ‘Allah’ in Bible issue. Yet it is well known that internally its leader Anwar Ibrahim still leverages heavily on his supporters of the ‘ABIM’ mould, whose worldview and intellectual makeup are still essentially of their youthful Islamic ‘dakwah’ days.

After all Anwar still carries with him the appellate ' firebrand of Islamic youth movement' , among others like ‘reformist’, ‘champion of democracy’ and ' defender of human rights' . Indeed if we examine clearly the utterances and thinking of his Malay Muslim supporters within PKR, they reflect strong deeply rooted continuities with ABIM. In fact this is true of Anwar Ibrahim himself.

What of the other segment of party supporters? We all know PKR has strong symbiosis with Hindraf, which of course bases its identity and cause with Hinduism. One of its central motif of political agitation had been the demolition of Hindu temples and the alleged discrimination against Hindus by the present regime.

As for the DAP, there is growing disquiet on the growing influence of Evangelist thinking within the party. In fact Helen Ang would argue that evangelists had ‘taken over’ the party. Leaving this aside, there seems to be now a joining of issues between the DAP and the Church, of course to their denial. For example there was the issue of ‘Allah’ in the Bible, the printing of the Bible in Malay, and more recently the issue of Article 152 of the Constitution and the innuendos of ‘ bullying’ on the part BN against non-Malays and non-Muslims.

Recently there were some issues over the handling of religion in the state of Selangor, culminating in the sacking of the state councilor in charge of Islamic Affairs, Hasan Ali, both from the state portfolio and PAS. After much vacillation, the portfolio had been taken over by Chief Minister Khalid.

Much heat had been generated in this episode and it is most instructive for Malaysians. Hasan Ali saw it as PAS abdication of its proper mission, that of championing Islam. We can deduce from this that he defined his task of state councilor as theological and not secular or administrative,  charged with managing religious sensitivities within the pluralistic and secular realities of the state. The secular and political interpretation of the counselor’s portfolio  is represented by the assumption of the duties by the Chief Minister. At the bottom of this conflict is the raging tension between religion and secularism, which is of the greatest threat to Pakatan unity.

The tension between religion and secularism is reflected in the objection or opposition leveled at Khalid. Many PAS hardliners had expressed serious doubt whether Khalid can lead the Friday prayer or recite the Quran competently. In short his theological credentials or general ‘piety’ had been called into question. Some elements in PAS had already denounced him as not of ‘the ulamak’ category, which within the epistemology of PAS mean many things, including unfit for leadership!

The significance of the issue is by no means confined to this single episode. It touches on the raw nerves of Pakatan in general . Contrary to their public stance of compromising on issues of religion,  for the sake of the coalition and the ballot box, they all know otherwise. All of them know that religion is still a potent force to be tapped politically.

PAS knows only too well that ‘Islam’ and ‘agama’ is its political lifeline. Its leader Nik Aziz continues to campaign on that theme. Persistent motifs include ‘PAS is Islam’, ‘Pas is religion (agama)’ and ‘UMNO rejects Islam ’. Anwar Ibrahim continues to project the image of the theologian, the authority on Islam and its champion. This is of course before selective audience. On the side he would of course encourage Hindraf to be more militant in its agitation against BN for its alleged discrimination against Hindus and their rights (even accusing BN of genocide). Judging by the heat generated over Church related issues, it is reasonable to infer that the DAP is developing some taste for ‘religious’ based issues and sees its political punch in whipping emotion. Lim Guan Eng and some DAP leaders had  even learned to tap Islamic anecdotes and historical lessons for their politics, albeit artificially and rather unconvincingly.

Over such development, it is interesting to ponder and reflect. Will the Pakatan be able to manage the tension and delicate balance between theology and secularism in the long run? Will it be able to invoke religion  to pitch level, then rein it in with its secularism and pragmatism? Can it temper religious fanaticism to appease its secular support base without domesticating it too much, taking out the political sting ? Can PAS risk its traditional support based on Islam for the sake of pleasing its coalition partners?

In the meantime, the BN is hitting back, not ‘theology for theology’, but by denting the pious  images of opposition leaders. This is done basically by dousing their ideallic representations with counter images of decadence, in fact very sensate life style. It is BN's way of  subjecting the opposition to the scrutiny of their own standards, values and pronouncements

There is a more fundamental questions before Malaysians. Given present development, will future conflicts in Malaysia be along religious lines? Between Islam, Christianity, Hinduism in various allignments and configurations?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Anwar Ibrahim Case: Making An Appeal Unappealing

When the popular movement broke into celebration over the acquittal of Anwar, one can still feel an undercurrent of apprehension in Anwar and the leadership of the opposition, whether the whole thing is over, finally and absolutely. The defense, as well as the opposition, has not quite rested, even with the acquittal.
Almost immediately upon the acquittal, Karpal Singh, lead counsel, called upon the AG not to file an appeal. This was shortly followed by the Bar Council of Malaysia recommending the AG not to file an appeal, a move seen by many as going against the grain of professional ethics or impartiality, indeed against the principle of justice itself.
Right from the beginning the opposition stubbornly clung to the ‘conspiracy theory’, refusing to draw the line between legal and the political. To the opposition, the trial of Anwar is a trial against the opposition. The acquittal was greeted with a triumphant mood signifying a victory for the opposition and a disgrace for UMNO. All indications point this way, the banners, the chanting, the celebrative congratulatory messages among opposition supporters. It was as if the opposition had won the election and UMNO had been vanquished.
The point is the trial was never perceived and projected by the opposition as the trial of an individual, not even as leader of the opposition, but as the trial of the opposition itself. It was consistently billed as ‘ opposition versus state’, only that it was personified as ‘Anwar versus Najib the Prime Minister’.
Immediately after his acquittal, Anwar was interviewed by Al Jazeera outside the court complex, amidst a jubilant crowd of supporters. He was asked if his acquittal had somewhat given a lie to the conspiracy theory, he responded in the negative. After railing against aspects of the trial, he said it is to be seen if the judiciary is really independent, almost as if anticipating an appeal. He was not yet willing to put to rest the charge of conspiracy.  
As the deadline for the AG to file an appeal draws near, Lim Kit Siang called upon the AG not to appeal, in an intonation characteristic of political intimidation. He said an appeal would destroy whatever ‘little faith’ the public has in the independence of the judiciary. Such statement clearly reflects the political framing of the trial beyond the legal.
Hours ago I read the AG has filed an appeal (according to the media). The defense has already responded I think. Sankara Nair is quick to frame the AG's move as 'persecution' rather than 'prosecution' of a political leader.
Clearly, even as the AG contemplates his move whether to appeal, the defense and the opposition had already launched its defense. By all indications we know in which direction this will take.  An appeal had been anticipated right from the point of acquittal and preemptive move had been taken to make it appear unsavory and unappealing to the public. If this is something to go by, clearly the trial is going to be conducted well beyond the court and the legal. Perhaps the opposition will fight it more in the political arena, both local and international, in the street, the media, through the embassies and the foreign press.          


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Anwar Ibrahim vs Saiful: Victor's justice?

We know of the verdict in favour of Anwar Ibrahim. We read how it brought tears of joy to many, to close family members, followers, party supporters, sympathetic members of the public, and those with political interests in the turn of events.
Fanatical supporters danced in the street, like an intoxicated mob (of power), chanted ‘we shall conquer Putrajaya!,’ , ‘ go die UMNO’(mampus UMNO)
Foreign press and media, completely sold and bought into the cliches of the Anwar’s saga, of near template-like motifs of a former Deputy Prime Minister being victimized by the evil machination of a ruling party, bent on clinging to power (dubbed as the theory of conspiracy); the formerly brilliant Minister of Finance, the man who headed the wave of reforms and democracy in Malaysia, once charged and convicted, vindicated by an overturn of conviction by the court (often not mentioning it was on technicality), went to town toasting the ‘justice had been served ‘ theme of a happy ending.
And yet if we look at the whole coverage of ‘the saga’ more objectively, beyond partisanship, we have a sense of gross one -sidedness, a skewed picture of the whole. Perhaps foreign (international?) press coverage of the episode would go into history as one of the major chapters of ideological distortion and falsification ever committed by the press (ironically all in the name of freedom of the press and democracy!)
I give a few illustrations to convey the point. While exaggerating  the heroic picture of an ‘ex DPM and Minister of Finance battling UMNO', it was almost never mentioned that he was DPM and Minister of Finance within the UMNO setup nevertheless, and was very much true to the UMNO ethos then. Anwar is constantly drummed up as the beacon of reforms and democracy, but it is rarely mentioned it was an overnight metamorphosis from ‘UMNO' to 'Reformasi’ for Anwar, immediately after his sacking from UMNO, and at a rather late stage in his life (in terms of ideological evolution)
Saiful must be one of the loneliest human being on earth right now. He started as an underdog in the opening of the case, was an underdog during its course (in the sense all publicity and media coverage were generally devoted to Anwar’s politically charged defense and ‘antics’), and ended up perhaps worse than underdog. After the verdict, abuses and profanities had been hurled at him. The youth leader of PKR demanded Saiful be charged and sentenced under the syariah court for 'slandering' Anwar. Not much international coverage was accorded to Saiful's response to the verdict (have you seen his statement?) He was  only supported by the solitary figure of his devoted father who swore to stand by his son.
 In the meantime the influential Bar Council of Malaysia had issued a statement recommending the Attorney General not to file an appeal against the verdict. Saiful’s father had issued a simple statement that in doing so  the Bar Council is denying Saiful justice and due process of law, perhaps because Saiful is a small man, a non VIPand a non politician of no consequence(have you seen his statement?)
Perhaps this could be a reason why Saiful insisted on seeing PM Najib before deciding to file the case ( the occassion of which was exploited to the hilt by the defense in alleging  the conspiracy theory) Perhaps  the reason too why he hesitated and vacillated before deciding (which worked against him in the DNA evidence due to the time lag). He must have had a daunting sense of taking on a powerful, skillful and shrewd politician. Just a small man looking for support in confronting  an awesome public figure with a powerful political machinery, both local and international.
So what’s next? Had history been finally sealed on this infamous case? Is it just a turn in a yet long winding road, a continuing saga the ending of which is yet to be written (who writes it? Historians, UMNO, Pakatan, the foreign press?) Meanwhile I hear ‘joy flooded the Tweeters’ over the verdict. PAS goes on chanting ‘Putrajaya we shall conquer’. When a TV3 newsreader slipped in referring to 'Anwar'  (instead of Prime Minister Najib) visiting Johannesburg , Anwar was fast to quip in public ‘she knows, except she is mentioning it a bit early…would like to meet her’, greeted by the laughter of an adulating crowd!
Certainly for now everything seems to be going the way of Anwar and his powerful supporters, local and abroad. Saiful and his devoted father would have to endure the rough edges of victor’s justice, for now?

     

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Anwar Ibrahim verdict: Justice or conspiracy, or both?

Congratulations to Anwar Ibrahim and his defence team.  As we all know the court had returned a 'not guilty' verdict on the case, which must have surprised many, most of all I feel the Pakatan.

The opposition, the Pakatan, had braced itself for a 'guilty' verdict. All the posters reflected that, playing on the main theme of 'reject the lies, slander' and ' resist conspiracy'. Besides the posters, the stancing around 'the number game' (which normally suggests just a show of strength) of mobilising 100,000 for the verdict also indicated gloom anticipating an unfavourable verdict.

The actions of Anwar Ibrahim themselves seemed to expect an unfavourable outcome. His public statements, confined to the antithesis of ' not guilty' and ' conspiracy', placed greater possiblity on the later. There was much talk of 'never fleeing', ' possibility of accident', 'shot',  ' whether I am in or out of prison' and the like.

On the whole, given their determinism of either 'not guilty' or 'conspiracy', how would the Pakatan interprete the 'not guilty' verdict?Will it say that our judiciary is one with integrity? After all Anwar himself had responded with a 'justice had been served' statement. Given the verdict, will the Pakatan now accord a modicum of respect for our judiciary and other vital institutions?

Concerning UMNO, is the Pakatan capable of saying this case shows the inadequacy of the conspiracy theory, or will it simply say with an even greater tenacity that UMNO's idiocy pervades all areas, even that of conspiracy.