We shouldn’t lose sleep when pak Gus Dur comes a calling. Remember, the former MP from Jasin? Well he asked us to close one eye. With Gus Dur, we can close both eyes and nothing happens.
Gus Dur’s visit, whether he comes lending support to Anwar or just stopping over, does not change what’s written in the stars. Malaysians will remember the image of Gus Dur in shorts cradling a cewek on his lap. By the way, that shorts looked uncannily similar to the ones we can get at the Pasar Malam in Taman Tun. The joke then was- when Gus Dur was asked whether this is not frowned upon by Islam, he was said to remark- ngak apa, bisa tobat.
And so if this kind of character comes to pay a visit to Anwar and Anwar entertained and received him as a show of filial respect, I don’t think we should worry at all. If Gus Dur isn’t important and will not be a factor to Anwar’s defeat( which the author thinks is just wishful thinking), then why do we create a ruckus about who visits Anwar?.
And that same thinking applies to whether Anwar went to give a talk to Asgar Ali Engineer’s Islamic forum or he is a friend to JL Esposito. All these people do not factor into Anwar’s victory.
Our analyses have not gone beyond giving our often similar and unsolicited opinions on the contests within UMNO. Suppose there are two contestants for the post of ketua bahagian. One is a sure winner( we think) and the other must be the loser. And yet, we overstretch ourselves to giving advice on strategy, pointing out the would be loser’s weaknesses and so on. What purpose do they serve? He is going to lose, so leave him be.
“…Gus Dur tampaknya sadar bahwa kekuatan politik tak dapat dilepaskan dari uang, maka ia pun menempatkan orang-orang kepercayaannya di wilayah-wilayah yang banyak berurusan dengan uang…..Ia ingin mencintai demokrasi, tapi ia sendiri telah menempuh jalan yang sering tidak demokratis. Ia membenci KKN dalam ucapan-ucapannya, tapi ia melanggengkan KKN dalam pemerintahannya. Ia ingin menegakkan hukum, tapi ia sendiri juga sering melabrak hukum.” (Detak, 2-8 Mei 2000).
Gus dur is a practitioner of the usual politics associated with the powerful. Corruption, collusion and nepotism. And so if Anwar by associating with Gus Dur conceals the same preferences and inclinations like Gus Dur, then like the character Alfred in Mad Magazine says, WHAT ME WORRY?
The fact is, people love Gus Dur because he is such a comic providing us relief from the humdrum and pain we are suffering caused by politicians. Can the blind lead the unblind?