02 July, 2008

Déjà vu for Malaysia’s Anwar?

An excerpt from "The Other Malaysia",written by Farish A. Noor

"At a time when Malaysia is forced to deal with a global economic crisis of mammoth proportions and which has already incurred a significant political cost to other neighbouring states like Indonesia, this latest scandal is just one other straw on the back of a camel strained beyond endurance. The question therefore is this: Can Malaysia withstand yet another repeat of the persecution of Anwar like the one that took place in 1998 and which split the nation in half? Following Anwar’s detention in 1998 the elections of 1999 witnessed significant gains for the Islamic opposition party. Following the recent elections of March 2008 where the opposition parties finally managed to deny the ruling coalition of its two-thirds majority in Parliament and where the opposition managed to gain control of five state governments, it is clear that the mood has clearly swung in favour of the opposition."

"Now that Anwar is back in the limelight and grabbing the headlines for all the wrong reasons, it would appear as if the movement for change is once again forced to address the plight of a single leader – at a time when the country is facing the challenge of an economic slowdown and when international financial agencies like Morgan Stanley has indicated that some RM330 billion (US 90 Billion) has been dissipated from Malaysia through corruption. Malaysians seem to relish scandals and controversy to no end, but many Malaysians are also asking whether such scandals are a convenient way to distract the public’s attention from the harder real issues of daily governance and Malaysia’s economic survival in the future. For now, however, Anwar’s plight will ensure that the dominant theme of Malaysian politics will return to the narrative of heroes and martyrs, temporarily at least."

Addressing some 7,000 people on Tuesday night, Anwar accused the ruling National Front coalition government of being corrupt, inefficient and uncaring. He promised to set right the problems plaguing the country, including bringing down fuel prices, which were raised by a whopping 41 percent to 63 percent last month.

The opposition will "rule in a short while" and "the next day we will lower the price of oil," he said to loud cheers in his first public meeting since he was hit by the sodomy accusation last week.

The government has denied any hand in the claim.


“The government will not do anything to frame or make baseless accusations against any party, so to say that the government will repeat what was considered as a conspiracy, this is not true …”

By implication, Badawi is saying that he will not repeat the conspiracy. He is indirectly accusing the previous administration of conspiracy. This is but another attempt to plant an insidious idea and buttress his so-called “Mr. Clean” image by the use of another negative – that he will not repeat a conspiracy! He has cleverly planted the idea, that what happened before was in fact a conspiracy!

But “Mr. Clean” will not get away with this kind of cheap and dirty propaganda!
read on...

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