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Sakmongkol ak 47

Friday, 1 August 2008

Permatang Pauh and the Domino Effects?

Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim has finally ended the suspense. He had the nation on tenterhooks. He was hinting that he would contest in a few places. One such place is Bandar Tun Razak which is currently occupied by the Selangor Menteri Besar. The MB could have vacated the seat to hand it over to Anwar. Another possible seat is Kulim in Kedah.

In the end Anwar chose the seat he was elected the first time. Permatang Pauh. Dato Seri Wan Azizah has decided to vacate her seat to allow Anwar Ibrahim to stand as candidate.

What can we say other than acknowledging it as a masterful and deft move on the political chessboard? Everyone were anticipating Anwar Ibrahim will stand in kulim or Bandar Tun Razak. At least that what was the dungus in UMNO thought. They even have a running dog to the their barking in the form of one Ezam Mohd Nor. Obviously the government machinery was aimed at either these two places.

UMNO’s reaction was typical of the culture that has permeated it. It’s a culture shaped by the elite leadership divorced from the grassroots. It’s a culture that is at once condescending and trivialises the majority.

And so, first it mocks the decision by Anwar. It mocks the decision by Wan Azizah. Just as it mocks the genuine expression of the grassroots in wanting a change in leadership. The chief mocker is of course the UMNO secgen who doesn’t know the UMNO constitution. The same mocking and derision were parroted by other less mentally endowed UMNO apparatchiks.

Permatang Pauh eh? Wasn’t this the place that was assigned by Pak Lah to the UMNO youth leader, Hishamudin Hussein.? Hishamudin was assigned to wrest back Permatang Pauh from Wan Azizah. Hishamuddin left Permatang Pauh with not even so much of a whimper. Come to think of it, all Hishamuddin was able to manage was just an inaudible throat clearing. He failed there. Wan Azizah won with an even bigger majority. That would suggest that whatever Hishamudin and his band of soldiers did, were ineffectual.

UMNO has to confront its demon. It is not of any use decrying the decision taken by Anwar Ibrahim. It is entirely his choice. He has chosen a seat where the probability of him winning is the greatest. He would be stupid if he had chosen places where his chances are 50/50. As to the timing, that too is his choice. UMNO must accepts that he had done all this with the aim of winning. I am sure Anwar Ibrahim’s decision to stand in Permatang Pauh sends shivers down the spine of the spineless UMNO leaders.

Going into elections is not for the purpose of pleasing or answering childish dares. One goes to win. The big question is how will UMNO foil the imminent re-entry of Anwar to Parliament?

By rushing so that Anwar will be embroiled in a legal tussle with the ongoing sodomy case?

First the government responded to the Anwar declaration by announcing that the investigations on the alleged sodomy has been completed. The timing of the conclusion of investigations, defies the principles of an exact science. For once the Police are efficient or as they say it, crossing the tees and dotting the I’s. The IPs have been sent to the AG office to decide on whether there is case to answer. Let’s hope the current AG does not have access to the IP. The SG is now head of the prosecution team should it decide any.

The government can of course arrest Anwar and bring him before the court. If he is once again escorted like public enemy number one with a phalanx of armed to the teeth police crack units in balaclavas, such measures will cause severe damages to the government’s credibility. That would be a sure death knell to the governments hope to even put a respectable fight against Anwar at Permatang Pauh.

Yesterday, I was watching TV which showed former Thai PM Thaksin leaving court. As he was leaving, most of the police personnel politely proffered Thaksin the customary Thai salutations similar to our sembah di raja. Here, our police already smitten by the poco poco dance, dispenses with all politeness and waves their M16s menacingly.

Anwar’s imminent victory in Permatang Pauh, is sending loud tolls from the ringing bell into UMNO’s heartland. UMNO under the current leadership is severely handicapped to cope with a resurgent Anwar.


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