Only an idiot murders a political adversary. A wise man defeats him. For killing a person never destroys what he stands for. Nor the idea he embodies. On the contrary, it brings it into sharper focus and, as we have seen in the past, makes heroes out of often undeserving people. A perfect example was Bhindranwale whose followers made him a Sant the moment Indira Gandhi stormed the Golden Temple and killed him in Operation Bluestar. It was a brilliant tactical strike but a wrong political move. The outcome was years of strife and non-stop terrorism in Punjab. It ended ultimately in the assassination of Mrs Gandhi herself. Even that didn’t lay the ghost of Bhindranwale. It has taken many long years of political struggle to rebuild peace in the state. In retrospect, the killing of Bhindranwale achieved nothing. It only delayed the process of reconciliation and healing.
Assassination, as Woody Allen said, is an extreme form of censorship and, as we all know, particularly those among us who write, paint or make movies, the act of censorship diminishes the censor more than the person or the work being censored. DH Lawrence has outlived the censors and is recognised as one of the greatest writers of our time. So is Salman Rushdie. In fact, every philosopher, scientist, painter, cartoonist, movie maker or journalist ever gagged, jailed or murdered has eventually survived the censors and critics. Galileo Galilei spent his entire life in prison for defying the Church and saying that the earth spun around the sun. Four centuries later, the Pope who sent him to prison has been forgotten. No one knows his name. But Stephen Hawking acknowledges Galileo as the father of modern science. So did Einstein.
That is why this sudden strike in Abbotabad, the killing of Osama may end up achieving the precise opposite of what America wanted. No doubt there will be some kind of emotional closure. The ghost of 9/11 will be exorcised. But who knows?. You may even see some random terror strikes to prove that Osama may be dead, not the Al Qaida. Rabids could emerge from secret safe houses to reassert themselves, avenge the killing of their leader, and try to reconstruct their universe of terror fast disintegrating in the face of new, emerging ideologies of hope and freedom even in the most despotic Muslim nations. That’s why I believe it was a wrong move. The conspiracy theories it has spawned may help to resuscitate an ideology that was dying on its own. It would have been so much simpler to bring Osama to trial and expose his crimes. As they did with Saddam.
Murders are never popular. Especially political murders. They create a backlash, often far worse than the original crime. That’s why it’s important to reconsider downloading assassination as a smart app. You run the risk of working up sympathy even among those who hate the victim. It’s this sympathy that morphs the most villainous among us into putative heroes. That’s why the canny Mahatma said, An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. It wasn’t just pious rhetoric. It’s smart politics. The most enduring hero of our freedom struggle wasn’t Bhagat Singh nor Khudiram. It wasn’t Sri Aurobindo nor Subhash Chandra Bose. It was a man who repeatedly spoke of non violence as the most powerful weapon of our times. And, what’s more important, proved that again and again by his life and deeds.
He also proved by his death how stupid and meaningless assassinations are. Six decades on and there are still no takers for Nathuram Godse who tried to assert his patriotism by shooting the Mahatma with a .38 Beretta.
Abdullah Sani Haji Said, who has been the driver to Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim for the past 28 years, suspects someone or some group of trying to sabotage his boss’s car.According to a statement issued by the PKR communications department, Abdullah will lodge a police report on the matter at the Merchant Square station in Petaling Jaya at 3pm this afternoon.“He will make a report against suspected foul play for the purpose of sabotaging the car which is used to ferry Dato’ Seri Anwar and his family. One accident has occured on April 19, 2011,” the statement issued on Tuesday read.Meanwhile, although shaken, PKR leaders said they were not surprised and many had even expected some sort of “move” such as this against Anwar.“I am not surprised by this sabotage. There is a culture of political lawlessnes taking root in our country which is mainly caused by the inflammatory actions of Umno and the BN and newspapers like Utusan. The BN leaders’ conduct encourages extremists,” PKR vice president N Surendran told Malaysia Chronicle.
Lawlessness and sabotage
Indeed, the 63-year old Anwar is no stranger to sabotage. He has been thrown into jail where he had to spent 6 years in deplorable conditions that created permanent injury to his back. If not for full glare of the international press during his incarceration over fabricated sodomy charges in 1998, many political veterans believe he would been killed off in jail “News like this is always surprising to me because while you think badly of people, you never expect them to be really so bad. But analysing the history, I guess it is something many of us have always warned about and that’s the truth. In 1998, they dared to give him a black eye. In 2008, they dared to replay the whole sodomy drama. They didn’t care whether people believed or not, they just did it. There really is no respect for law in this country anumore,” Eddie Wong, a PKR veteran told Malaysia Chronicle.Eddie was referring to the physical beating personally dealt out to Anwar, who was then the deputy prime minister, by former Inspector General of Police Rahim Noor. This was done at the police lockup where Anwar had been detained during the first round of sodomy charges levelled against him by ex-premier Mahathir Mohamad. The federal courts only dared to acquit Anwar in 2004, months after Mahathir retired.After he was freed, Anwar spent years getting his back treated and is still a patient requiring regular phsyiotherapy and medication. That has not stopped Prime Minister Najib Razak from launching a second wave of sodomy charges against his political arch rival. But the latest trial has proven to be just as rickety as the first, only shaming the country and deterring investments without really denting Anwar much.
Those who doubted his popularity and political resilence were reminded of his charisma, when despite all odds, Malaysians somehow still chose to believe in Anwar rather than Najib over the by-now infamous Datuk T sex video scandal.No amount of snippets leaked onto YouTube could silence the enthusiastic cheers each time Anwar gave a ceramah or political lecture and slammed the BN for their “dirty tricks”.In fact, the sex video actually helped PKR and the Islamist PAS party to regain their shine, with the overly blatant gutter-politicking pushing fed-up members of the Malay community over to the Pakatan side.Magnificient gains by Pakatan partner DAP and also PKR itself at the recent Sarawak elections caused further panic. Historic wins by the opposition in pro-establishment Singapore was another reason for Najib and the Umno elite to get flustered.“The plan in Umno seems to be to jettison everything and everyone – just focus on the Malay vote. They just want to secure as far as possible all the Malays. This is their area of the battle now,” PKR vice president Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.“They don’t care about the non-Malays, the further the Chinese and the Indians go away from them, the better. It is too late for the reforms they want, Najib has dilly-dallied too long. Umno can only rely on emotion and racial and religious emotions are the strongest. This is why you get absurd dramas like the Christian state, mosque oath-taking, bullet-proof vests. But our feedback on the Malay ground and also that from the PAS markas is that the Malays are disgusted. It is too much to digest and they are vomiting Umno.”
Stay away from helicopter, small plane rides
But within Umno itself is a long-standing leadship vacuum of its own making. Its ruling elite comprising family members of the founding leaders are quick to cut off any new blood that tries to get onto the top tier. Through the years, the party has become a very tiny and factionalised old-boys club.Sensing this, Malay talent has opted to join the ranks of PKR, PAS and DAP rather than Umno. Whether Najib admits it or not, under him, the Umno brand name has sunk to its lowest level since independence from colonial rule in 1957.“There is no one to take over from Najib. He can’t do a thing and everybody knows it. Muhyiddin has his own baggage and may not be palatable to the Najib and Mahathir families. The thing is that Anwar is from Umno and the darling of the grassroots in 1998. Even Mahathir couldn’t challenge him and that’s why we had Sodomy I,” said Eddie.“Anwar doesn’t talk about his Umno roots anymore because he has his own PKR party now, and there is no question of him re-joining Umno. But when you look at the Malay community as a whole, you find that there still isn’t anyone but Anwar. And this will be why his car may get sabotaged. If I were him, I wouldn’t take helicopters and small charter plane rides.”
During my younger days, I never liked this shady character: Anwar Ibrahim. I thought he was a big ass. His stint with ABIM and his fiery calls for change, coupled with his religious leanings left many wondering whether this firebrand was suited to be the next Prime Minister of Malaysia.
When he was charged for Sodomy and convicted for Corruption, it reinforced my conviction that this man deserved his fate. I even bade him “Good Riddance.” But those were the days, where the MSM reigned supreme, without any alternative media or Electronic Media. So everyone, including me was duped as the government continued their relentless persecution of this man. Until today, the Government has not given up trying to seal his fate.Thinking back, Anwar really does have superhero qualities. When he was in jail, his family believed that his life was in danger and that he might be poisoned or injected with AIDS. His dice with death is extraordinary, and the extra long tentacles of the government still have not managed to put a dent to his credibility.
His fame keeps growing, and the continuous headline reports about him only serve to inflate his image. And the mega onslaught on his character only reinforces the people’s belief that Anwar is more innocent than guilty.Sieving through the current leadership pool of this country, only Anwar has passed the test of time. He is one leader among the many wannabes, who has the qualities and the capability to lead this country. No one else in this country comes close. There is something about him, which no other leaders possess. ‘Credibility’ is the word.He has that cool, suave demeanour about him. He comes across as an intellectual, able to carry across his message in a clear, concise and consistent manner. He can bridge the racial divide and appears credible among all races. His confident approachable manner emanates a certain charisma unlike the dead-fish glaze of some others. Even in UMNO, he commands a high respect among his peers and many would not think twice to lend him support.
He not only looks intelligent but sounds smart as well. Anyone who has met him, or listened to him wowing the crowd, knows that this guy is somehow different from the rest. It is only natural that his enemies fear him. Even infatuated Lovers, female or male, Umi Hafilda or Saiful, may have had sexual fantasies about him.But sadly, he has many good friends from the past, who cannot accept that he is somehow – as far as the public is concerned – a better human being than themselves. So from envy, friendship turned to jealousy and then to hate.In the past, he was the Finance Minister and even a Prime Minister in waiting. He ascended to heights that many could only dream of. His superiors viewed him as a threat. Those beneath him couldn’t accept he was somewhat different. He led a varied life. Even nearly beaten to a pulp, living with a spinal injury, his life until today is still a living hell, being accused of the most heinous of sexual crimes. Twice for unnatural sex and lately being allegedly videoed in a sex act that involved oral and natural sex.
Unable to pin more credible charges against him, his enemies resorted to tarnishing his image through triple X renderings of sordid sex. Malaysians got a free sex education in the process, learning new and different ways and routes of being probed, which we never dreamt existed. But even that still failed to tarnish the image of this man. From DNA profiling where he was CSI’ed to mass DVD circulation in the country, he has managed to hold on to his ‘face’.
And now, most ridiculous of all: A Lie Detector Test!! Even a kid can tell you that the Lie Detector is the most unreliable machine operating in this world today. Built by a Liar who tested it on himself and found that it actually worked. Today, Lie Detector results are not admissible in any court of law.
Not the Police, mind you, but his accusers the Datuk T trio are actually asking him to take a Lie Detector Test!
Fresh from a disgraceful Koran swearing ceremony, while wearing bullet proof vests that failed to make any impact, the Trio has resorted to asking Anwar to do a lie detector test. Isn’t this TS trio supposed to be locked up for distributing pornography? (By the way TS stands for the Three Stooges.)
When, is the government going to learn that: Nobody really cares whether Anwar is found innocent or guilty. Malaysians will not lose their respect for him, unlike in the case of Dr Mahathir.
All the highly publicized accusations against him only serves to lend him more credibility, more sympathy, more respect and more fame. It is doing wonders to his bloated superhero image. Faith and hope on this man, is at an all time high. Even if he is convicted, most will not believe that he is guilty. Most people already know that Anwar will be convicted, by hook or by crook.
Most Malaysians are really not bothered if he’s guilty or not. He has not committed any serious crime worthy of conviction. Convicting him will only anger the people, and it will lead to more sympathy for the Pakatan Rakyat cause that he represents.
Either way, he has won the bet. He happens to be more believable than any of the BN leaders put together. So it will be folly to ask Malaysians to choose.