Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Not enough room in Malaysia for Anwar Ibrahim
IT'S likely that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, as de facto Parti Keadilan Rakyat supremo and Dewan Rakyat opposition leader, has the busiest schedule of all Malaysian politicians.
Here's a sample: London rendezvous with British members of parliament urging them to intervene on his behalf to stymie Sodomy II, appointments with world and non-governmental organisation leaders on pressing global anxieties and ceramah urging the gallery to remain steadfast with his political vision.
People unfamiliar with Anwar's travails in Malaysia would think that he was a global statesman of sorts, one who relishes a world stage to flex his grand foresight into what is wrong with the planet.
In between all that, Anwar is juggling with serious party infighting and rabid PKR dissenters, and in his latest escapade ignited a flashpoint in the house when he claimed that the 1Malaysia gameplan was blueprinted from "One Israel", a concept launched during Ehud Barak's tenure as Israeli prime minister in the 1990s.
Anwar banked his allegation on Apco Worldwide, the international public relations agency which he said was hired by the government to manage 1Malaysia in the same manner it handled the One Israel campaign.
Then Anwar got into a little jam: Apco emphatically denied anything of the sort. Yesterday, the Barisan Nasional members decided to call Anwar's bluff by filing a motion to refer him to the rights and privileges committee for misleading the house.
Anwar has yet to clarify his position after the Apco denial, prompting Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan (BN-Kota Belud) to move the motion against an incredulous but furious opposition.
The opposition bloc heckled violently against Rahman's merits to move the motion, claiming, as Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) did, that Rahman had no locus standi, but without wondering whether there was substance in Anwar's claims.
This was, after all, the same charmer who sold them the idea that he had the numbers to take down the BN government on Sept 16, 2008, an idea totally discredited as a bald-faced fiasco.
But credit goes to Anwar for his great salesmanship or, to be precise, a risk-driven gambler who knows how to up the ante to rattle his rivals and bluff his way into winning a big pot with measly pairs when the other players possess flushes.
Thrilled anticipation awaits Anwar's response to the full weight of the government's retaliation but a profound thought is gnawing away in everybody's head: why is Anwar even bothering with puny Malaysia when the world is his true calling? Why is he still obsessed with becoming prime minister, attacking Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak with all his might, when he has the world literally at his beck and call?
Anwar should seize this moment, maybe even lobby to become the United Nations secretary-general, a position that probably befits his grandi-loquence and a move his American backers would likely support.
Then he could use his wits to solve the world's titanic grievances. Palestine vs Israel, India vs Pakistan, terrorism, climate change, child labour ... there are enough problems to last 10 lifetimes.
It is time that Anwar realises that there is simply not enough room in Malaysia for his inflated grand designs. Editorial, New Straits Times Kuala Lumpur