Recently, in connection with the sex-video 'exposure', PAS leader Nik Aziz made a declaration to the effect that those out to 'mengaibkan'( to shame, disgrace) Anwar Ibrahim will have the gate of paradise closed to them, not unless they kiss the feet of Anwar and beg for pardon. I think this is the height of arrogance on his part to appoint himself the gate keeper to the door of paradise. Given his party position, which fuses theology with politics, he is virtually saying he has the authority and power to determine who should be the dwellers of heaven or hell. What is worse, his pronouncement is tantamount to abusing religion for a crude political ploy to safeguard PR vested interests. Such political move really exposes our public life and politics to dangerous trends. We all know that the approach of narrow and partisan orthodoxy and religious extremism is quite basic to PAS politics, and that Nik Aziz's pronouncement is by no means a departure from the past. However, the latest attempt to wield his theological influence over the sex-video issue takes it to a new level altogether, which I believe would violate the feelings of many PAS members and supporters.
Incidently, it should be noted that the issue of the sex-video is by no means confined to a question of the personal weakness of an individual. This is what distingushes the position of a public figure and the man on the street. When the man on the street indulges himself in this respect, we tend to view it as a personal weakness, or moral failing. In the case of a public figure, or a leader, it assumes a different meaning and significance altogether for us.
Now besides the issues of authenticity or the identity of the perpetrators, the sex-video raises many other crucial and significant questions. Going by the facts revealed surrounding the exposure, there are issues of concern. In all the cases accusing Anwar, a pattern seems to emerge. There has always been a middle man, a functionary of sort, who takes care of his sexual needs. Someone who makes the arrangement, who fixes things, who picks up and delivers so to speak In short, who acts as the pimp. We had someone in the first sodomy trial or in his other liasons. In a revealing video, Nurlia ( if I am not mistaken) with whom Anwar had had sexual relations, in a recorded conversation with Anwar, referred to ' your friend who always picks me up and bring me to you'. I think in the latest scandal, Eskay performs this function too. The question is this. Has this been going on for a long time, from the time when he was the Deputy PM to being the leader of the opposition.? It does conjure an image of an influential leader set in his ways and lifestyle, who seems to be predispose to using his resources to this end. I leave it to your imagination the consequence of such a figure leading the nation.
Then there are many other questions. Consider for instance the queries raised by Eskay for public consideration. How many times Anwar visits Thailand in a year? Who greets him and see to all his needs? In whose house does he stay? What does he do in the house? Who pays for all these facilities and comforts? These questions do suggest a poser who is in the know. And the questions are of very serious charges. It raises the question is Anwar a leader with a particular life style of decadence? And such weakness seems to place him under the control and manipulation of certain vested interests.
Putting it all together, we have a disturbing picture of Anwar Ibrahim ( of course subject to further public introspection) On the one hand we have the image of a leader with a powerful hold on a credulous and fanatical supporters, and on the other hand a leader who has personal weaknesses, very much in contrast to his messianic public image, and who on that account is easily controlled or manipulated by vested interests.
I am not naive not to know that many other politicians are similar. Neither am I saying that Anwar would be an exception in this regard. All I am saying is that the public be vigilant and subject all our leaders to the same scrutiny and critical examination, and not be blinded by theatrics and antics of all shades, including the theological and the millenial kind. This posting is nothing more than an earnest plea that we preserve and maintain the dignity of our democracy and defend it against its enemies