So, if you have participated in a discourse on philosophical or spiritual issues in the day, had a heated discussion on the state of the nation, or stood vigil in the sun while Anwar suffered, you feel you have done your bit and are a worthwhile cog in the wheel of life. Some others may get the same feeling after reading a good book or watching a movie that leaves them with some worthwhile thoughts and questions. Still others find solace in helping others — be it with words of advice, food, money, education, work or shelter. Yet others find
their worth in attempting to influence social, political, economic or environmental changes.The choices are many and dictated by the personal urges and aspirations of different people. But if each of us were to locate our personal trigger for feeling worthy, it would have a positive impact on not just our own lives but that of communities and the countries as well. How can you figure out what is worthwhile to you in particular?
Do you know the purpose of your life and are you actively contributing to it?
What is the most worthwhile thing in your life? How do you feel about the way you spend each day? What tangible or intangible difference do you make to people and the world? Do you feel worthy and important to those around you?
These are crucial questions that a lot of people are beginning to ask themselves.
Time was when leading a normal life in an honest and upright manner, imparting good values to your children and generally being a good human being was enough. Not anymore. Today people realize the importance of leading a worthwhile life that rises above the mundane concerns of living, eating, working and procreating.
The heavy breathing on 901 the judiciary’s release of Mr. Anwar has awaken a sleeping Lion Sensible political leader like Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak either go to war or negotiate peace; they don’t sulk. So it is sensible for Najib and Anwar to resume talks at a formal level. The tricky part is to discover what kind of talk makes sense. War is always much easier to start than peace. You need only a trumpet to launch hostilities. Peace requires a rather more complicated orchestra; there will be discordant notes from some insistent trombone; the bass could be playing a military march; all musicians might not read from the same sheet; and there is always the likelihood of liberal violins airing strains more relevant to heaven than to realists who live on earth. If the maestro-conductor tears his hair occasionally, you can understand why.Is there anything new to say or hear? Are we going to talk for the sake of talks? That may be better than not talking at all, but it would be useful to place a marker along the way to the conference hall. This is about civilians pretending to be civil, not about finding solutions. There is no solution apart from the status quo, and if the status quo were acceptable to we would have had warmth and cooperation after 2012 — and, by now, dozens of blogger trying to make money out of Najib, after all, has a nicer ring to it , and it makes a more dramatic story than analysis of frosty friends secretly delighted that Mahathir’s Sodomy separate them.
Ketua UMNO Bahagian Titiwangsa Johari Abdul Ghani says an earthquake measuring 8.888 is coming the judiciary’s release of Mr. Anwar has awaken a sleeping Lion
(Wall Street Journal) – “You can have all the polling numbers but you must have the sense that this is the right time. I hope it will be the right time soon enough, but we still have to deliver on our promises and it’s important for people to have the feeling that the reforms we have promised will actually benefit them,” he said.
Malaysian leader Najib Razak pointed to the acquittal this week of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim as evidence he’s serious about political reforms, even inviting an election battle that could propel him out of power.
Eager to paint himself as a leader of the Malaysia’s most sweeping political reforms since independence, Mr. Najib appears to be betting that the judiciary’s release of Mr. Anwar would help rather than hurt him politically.
Three days after Malaysia’s High Court acquitted Mr. Anwar on sodomy charges this week, Mr. Najib said in an interview Thursday that both the government and opposition camps will step up their race to claim the center-ground of Malaysian politics in the coming months—but that this will only strengthen the predominantly Muslim country and provide a fresh example that democracy and Islam can coexist.
Once the verdict was released, “all of the tension surrounding the trial suddenly fell away and people suddenly realized there are more important things than just the Anwar issue,” such as economic growth, Mr. Najib said in the interview in his office in Malaysia’s administrative capital, carved out of the palm-oil plantations and jungle surrounding the commercial hub of Kuala Lumpur.
“What is important now is that we move forward,” he said, ticking off new measures to make elections more transparent ahead of the next vote, which is due by March 2013, but could be called as early as a month or two from now, and laying out plans to roll back press censorship and limit the government’s powers to hold suspects without charge. Malaysia’s parliament has already repealed several laws that allow for warrantless detention, and is working on other steps.
Many Malaysians continue to doubt the sincerity of Mr. Najib’s push to court the political middle in Malaysia, an important U.S. trading partner. Some activists say they fear the next elections won’t be free and fair, which the government denies, and many of Mr. Najib’s reforms over the past several years—including liberalization of the country’s economy–have fallen well short of investors’ hopes.
Mr. Najib, though, is trying to position his administration among a growing number of others across Asia that have given their citizens more political freedoms in recent months, even if it means stripping the ruling United Malays National Organization of some of the advantages it has enjoyed in past elections.
Thailand’s army—which has often intervened in politics in the past—stood aside to let the populist Puea Thai, or For Thais, Party sweep to power in a landslide election win last July. Myanmar’s leaders have launched a closely-watched effort to reform that country’s politics and reverse its reputation as an oppressive police state, while Singapore has taken steps to expand the political space for its opposition leaders.
Mr. Najib says Malayisa’s changes could provide the U.S. with a new partner in promoting democratic politics and free trade across Asia and the Islamic Middle East, Mr. Najib says.
“America considers Malaysia a moderate, progressive Muslim country, so in terms of their engagement with the Muslim world it is important that we are perceived as a democratic country,” said Mr. Najib, the 58-year-old British-educated son of a former prime minister.
Once famed as the country that rose from a colonial backwater to build the cloud-scraping Petronas Twin Towers, Malaysia has suffered a series of black eyes in recent years, including the trials of Mr. Anwar, the opposition leader.
A one-time deputy prime minister, Mr. Anwar was sacked from the government in 1998 after challenging the leadership of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and was accused of sodomizing a speechwriter and a chauffeur. Anwar denied the charges, saying they were part of a government plot to silence dissent. He spent six years in jail before his conviction was overturned in 2004, the year after Dr. Mahathir stepped down. Dr. Mahathir denies conspiring against Mr. Anwar.
Then, after leading a new multiethnic opposition alliance to its best election performance in years during 2008′s national polls, Mr. Anwar was again arrested after a male aide accused the 64-year-old opposition leader of sodomizing him in a Kuala Lumpur condominium. Again, Mr. Anwar said the accusations were a government plot—a claim which Mr. Najib denies.
Last July, meanwhile, foreign governments criticized the way riot police used water cannons and tear gas to break a mass demonstration in support of cleaner, fairer elections.
Mr. Najib responded with a series of political reforms. He said Thursday that Mr. Anwar’s acquittal underscores the depth of the reform process.
“It shows that as chief executive of the country, I don’t interfere in the judiciary,” he said.
Some analysts say Mr. Najib may have concluded it is better to have Mr. Anwar out of jail than behind bars. Johan Saravanamuttu at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore said that Mr. Anwar is a known quantity outside prison.
“Inside, the sympathy factor would be great in an impending election,” he said.
Nor will the election fight likely be entirely clean. Both government and opposition camps have lobbed sexual accusations against each other.
Some of Mr. Anwar’s foes last year presented a videotape to the media which they say portrayed Mr. Anwar having sex with a prostitute, which Mr. Anwar denied. Prosecutors may also still appeal his recent acquittal in the sodomy case.
Some opposition activists, meanwhile, have tried to link Mr. Najib and his wife to the murder of a Mongolian model who once had an affair with one of Mr. Najib’s closest advisers. Mr. Najib denies having anything to do with 2006 death of Altantuya Shaariibuu, whose body was destroyed with plastic explosives.
Both sides, though, seem to sense that the outcome of the vote depends on whether they can capture mainstream voters who are more interested in the economy than scandals.
Mr. Anwar told The Wall Street Journal earlier this week that he is now reconfiguring the opposition alliance to tackle a gamut of issues in the upcoming vote, from ensuring greater economic freedoms to tackling poverty and stamping out corruption.
Mr. Najib is countering by pointing to the way he has already rolled back parts of the country’s decades old-affirmative action policies, which were designed to boost the country’s majority Muslim Malay population but which are hugely unpopular among Malaysia’s large ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities.
On Thursday, he told members at a local sports club that they face a choice between an administration pushing economic development “or a man who talks of ‘toppling governments’ and ‘overthrowing’ elected officials,” in reference to Mr. Anwar.
Mr. Najib also gets to choose the date of the election in Malaysia’s parliamentary system, a significant advantage.
In his interview Thursday, Mr. Najib said he hopes the vote will be “soon” but added that his government still has to show that its economic reforms are producing real results before he is ready to go to the ballot box amid mounting speculation the worsening global economy might push him to call a vote sooner rather than later.
“Essentially, it’s a call you have to make on the basis of a feel-good factor, and that’s when you press the button,” he said.
“Essentially, it’s a call you have to make on the basis of a feel-good factor, and that’s when you press the button. But of course at the end of the day it’s a rather intuitive decision,” Mr. Najib told The Wall Street Journal in an interview at his offices in Malaysia’s administrative capital, Putrajaya.
“You can have all the polling numbers but you must have the sense that this is the right time. I hope it will be the right time soon enough, but we still have to deliver on our promises and it’s important for people to have the feeling that the reforms we have promised will actually benefit them,” he said.
Mr. Najib has to call an election by March 2013.
He acknowledged that the deteriorating global economic environment, especially the persistent debt crisis in Europe, could complicate his decision about when to call a vote. A worsening outlook could encourage him to call an election sooner than planned. “But so far we are still quite comfortable because our exposure to the EU in terms of total trade is only about 9%, so we are less vulnerable,” he said. “But a euro-zone collapse or some other catastrophe there will affect the whole world.”
Turning to the Anwar verdict, Mr. Najib said it was unclear whether prosecutors would opt to appeal the High Court decision, saying it was a matter for the attorney general, although he added that the acquittal would likely help to convince critics that the government doesn’t interfere in politically charged judicial cases.
Mr. Anwar has accused Mr. Najib’s government of orchestrating the case against him after a former male aide accused the opposition leader of sodomizing him in 2008. Mr. Najib denies having anything to do with the case.
Former US ambassador to Malaysia John Malott said he does not think Prime Minister Najib Razak would wish to appeal the court’s recent acquittal of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim on clearly trumped-up sodomhy charges. But the former diplomat fears a “very weak” Najib may cave in to hardliners in his Umno party, which has ruled Malaysia for the past 5 decades.
“Personally, I think that Najib does not want to appeal. But Najib has always been a very weak leader. He talks a good game, but as the saying goes, he doesn’t walk the talk,” Malott told Malaysia Chronicle in an e-mail interview.
“He is under a lot of pressure. So he might just remain silent and let it happen, saying that the decision is up to the prosecution. There have been other times like this, like when he said “it is up to the police” whether a demonstration can go forward. Are you in charge of your own government or not?”
Hardliners afraid of opposition coming to power
Malaysia’s corruption-tainted judiciary, often accused of bowing to pressure from top Umno leaders to “fix” the outcome of key cases, had shocked the nation and the world when High Court Judge Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah ruled that Anwar was “not guilty” of sodomizing his aide in June 2008.
Anwar, who had denied the charges, had accused Najib and wife Rosmah Mansor of hatching the conspiracy against him together with the complainant, Saiful Bukhari Azlan, for the sake of derailing his political comeback.
In the immediate aftermath of the acquittal, which was celebrated across the nation and praised by governments around the globe, Najib and his supporters claimed credit by using the unexpected verdict to vindicate themselves and to bolster their claim that the Malaysian courts were free and independent.
But in the past few days, there has been a noticeable clamor growing slowly amongst the Umno hardliners. such as former premier Mahathir Mohamad, deputy premier Muhyiddin Yassin and even Najib’s cousin Hishammuddin Hussein for the government to appeal the acquittal decision and force Anwar back to the courts.
This development has not gone unnoticed by seasoned political watchers, including Malott. Now based in Washington and a prominent Malaysia analyst whose views and knowledge of the country are frequently sought, Malott warns of a “strong” reaction should the Umno hardliners try to brazen their way through.
“I think there will be a lot of pressure on Najib to appeal, coming from the hardliners in UMNO, who are afraid of what will happen if the opposition comes to power. Gani Patail and the prosecutors also have lost face, so they might be inclined to want to appeal. Some people might think that they can find a more compliant judge the next time. But the reaction not just from inside Malaysia but also from overseas will be strong if the government appeals and puts Anwar and his family through this again,” said Malott.
Anwar is still Umno’s Public Enemy No. 1
Other analysts have agreed with Malott that a move back to square one would surely have enormous repercussions on Malaysia’s credibility and attractiveness, as a country with consistent policies where one could safely and reliably invest in. It would also surely frazzle whatever is left of Najib’s already low-stock in the international community. But to the Umno hardliners, Anwar is still their Public Enemy No. 1.
A former Umno deputy president and prime minister in waiting, the 64-year Anwar is the only Malay leader with sufficient nationwide grassroots appeal to pose a challenge to them. For example, Mahathir want his son Mukhriz to become prime minister soon and is said to be already brokering deals with state divisions to support Mukhriz’s candidacy for a party vice-presidency.
Muhyiddin Yassin, a former Anwar loyalist, is hoping to take over from Najib both as prime minister and Umno president by 2013. To position himself, Muhyiddin has chosen to adopt an ultra-Malay stance promulgating policies that are accused of being racist and at the expense of the non-Malays in the country. Despite their former friendship, the Anwar acquittal is a setback for Muhyiddin and he has already publicly made it clear that the prosecution should be allowed to decide whether or not to appeal, without interference from the Najib camp.
“(The response from) Saiful’s father is a normal reaction of a parent. Those of us in the executive powers should not have to say anything more apart from the call (to appeal) lies with the prosecution team,” Star reported Muhyiddin as saying on Thursday.
The same goes for Hisham, whose grandfather was one of Umno’s founding fathers. Given his illustrious ancestry, Hisham is unlikely to let go of the chance to take over from his cousin, Najib, to whom he is close to.
But sadly for Hisham, the situation has boiled out of control and there is little Najib and Rosmah can do to openly help him without compromising themselves. If the first couple had pushed for an Anwar conviction – which would entail giving the green light to hardline and perhaps even violent measures including a brutal crackdown and curfew – they would end up destroying their own legacy and make monsters of themselves for posterity to remember them by.
Reflection of the cynicism towards Najib and Umno
Malott admits he was shocked when the judge delivered a “not guilty” verdict.
Indeed, the surprise that greeted the acquittal actually underscores the poor perception that the Najib administration and Umno commands from within and outside the country. Few Malaysians and foreigners think well of the existing legal and political system, and instead believe the worst of it – a situation that perhaps can only be changed by a change in federal government.
Meanwhile, Malott believes there was enormous pressure on the judge in the earlier part of the trial to not throw out the case despite the flimsy evidence.
“I don’t have a clue why the judge ruled the way he did. It really was surprising. There are so many well-documented reports of political interference and misuse of the judicial system. For example, not just Anwar but also the case of Ramli Yusoff and the failure to seriously investigate and prosecute the deaths that occurred at MACC,” Malott said.
“Earlier in the trial, this judge reversed his own decision on whether the DNA taken from the comb and towel that Anwar used in jail was admissible, and it seems clear there was pressure on him to do so. Otherwise, why would he reverse himself? But now he ruled in Anwar’s favor. It was a shock. As I said in my op-ed, the government might have decided that Anwar was a bigger threat to them in jail because he would be a rallying point for the opposition. We can all speculate, but only the judge knows why he did what he did.”