Fact No. 1: Abim is not a political party. Therefore there was no hopping involved. Furthermore Anwar was invited by Dr Mahathir to join Umno!
Fact No. 2: Anwar did not leave Umno, he was sacked by Dr M and the Umno Supreme Council.
Fact No. 3: He did not jump into PKR, he formed it!
Today, most people understand a “coup d’etat” to signify unelected officials, almost always from a country’s and/or intelligence institutions, seizing power from an existing government. Unlike a revolution, the “people” play little if any role in this process, although, as to happened in Malaysia , they are often bought into a revolutionary discourse after the fact retroactively to legitimise the new state of affairs.Of course, while UMNO political scientists, philosophers and political and theSpeacial branch like to talk about the “state” precisely as if it is an independent organism whose preservation transcends any other concerns (certainly Mahathir want to describe itself as the protector and even saviour of both the state and the nation), the reality is that the state is much more the effect of innumerable discourses, relationships and networks created by those who have access to political and economic power, and to means of violence necessary to maintain the balance of forces within a society.
Near dictatorial power
Some of the country’s most well-known activists seem to be of the second opinion, even as they hope the first is in fact what is happening.
“our revolutionaries are more deserving of a safe exit” than the seniorUMNO leadership.
“Our battle now is the Constitution,” (ma’arakatuna al’an hiya ad-dustur) she tweeted, echoing the sentiments of most revolutionary activists who, however happy they may be to see NAJIB near dictatorial power to act as both legislator and executor. That is – as has happened so many times in the past – the president has the power to become precisely the leader whose system he came to power to dismantle.
Another possibility is that ANWAR is being set up to fail by UMNO and the larger power elite it represents: that, by allowing ANWAR to retire mahathir, assume full control of the legislative and executive functions of an interim government, and even take direct responsibility for launching what is being reported as an extremely violentpolice assault on BERSIH,najib is being given full responsibility for the consequences of actions that he does not have enough power to carry out successfully.
In the end, the most important player in this drama is neither Mahathir nor UMNO, it’s theMALAYSIAN people more broadly. Only the people, coming together as a “public” to demand a full transition to democracy and a fair economic system, will succeed in dismantling structures of power, wealth and violence that have had more than half a century to enmesh themselves in the fabric of society. In a sense, the MALALAYSIAN people are in the first steps of a long-term process of national recreation.
anwar ibrahim may or may not turn out to be a major player in this drama, but by his actions he has at least moved the revolution out of its doldrums and into a new and pivotal phase, where the laws and institutions of a potentially new state will be written with less domination by the umno than most people would have imagined only a few days ago.
Fact No. 4: Nazri’s political journey has made him an idiot!
Observers of historical ironies would find plenty to relish in the one that seems to be coming up on the back of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s decision to empower a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) on the issue of illegal migrants given citizenship in Sabah.
This irony has to do with hypothetical developments, which if they eventuate, may well prove Tunku Abdul Rahman, founding Prime Minister of Malaysia and, more importantly, resuscitator of UMNO in 1951 after the shock of party founder Onn Jaafar’s resignation, as a seer on the issue of UMNO’s entry into Sabah.
By the same token, the same developments could prove Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the Tunku’s nemesis and incubator of a mutant UMNO (‘UMNO Baru’ was its assumed name) as guilty of destructive myopia.
The Tunku had before he died in December 1990 warned UMNO not to spread its wings to Sabah. He said that from what he had seen and heard from his friend from USNO, Mustapha Harun, the latter always had problems controlling political factions in Sabah.
Despite going through so much, the Muslim leaders seem to have learnt nothing. Why have we become defeatists just because Malay daily Utusan Malaysia’s editor-in-chief agreed in court today that the newspaper did not give balanced coverage to reports between the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition