By: Iskandar Mohamad
How much do you know about the background of Anwar Ibrahim? Are you one of those who have taken umbrage to the recent judgement of Sodomy 2? Do not be deceived by a sophisticated media and propaganda campaign that masks the real chameleon known as Anwar Ibrahim.
Anwar was ahead of his time. Decades ago, he admired and sympathised with extremists such as Abul Ala Maududi and Sayyid Qutb – the radicals who founded Jamaat-e- Islami in Pakistan and inspired al Qaeda, respectively.
This is the Anwar whom many never knew existed for he embraced men who would call for violent revolution to overthrow the existing social and political order to be replaced with a world of syariah law.
As a teenager who hated radiacalism, Anwar Ibrahim was pretty ordinary until he went to Universiti Malaya. From a quiet, calm, and easy-going young man, he became a religious fanatic and things came to a head when he became President of “Persatuan Kebangsaan Pelajar Islam Malaysia”, a radical Muslim student organisation.
The May 13 riots in 1969 radicalized him and he spoke of how far-left revolutionaries inspired him including his heroes such as Herbert Marcuse, Frantz Fanon, Ho Chi Minh, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara from whom he learnt that the old social order must be overthrown, even if via violence. Undoubtedly, he made no apologies that he was the rebel with a cause.
Power changes everything.
In 1982, Mahathir convinced Anwar to join Umno thus betraying the cause of Abim.
Contrary to what many believe, Anwar does not “fight for the country”. Top priority is elevating himself and pursuing his lifelong ambition to be PM.
During the 16 years that Anwar was rising up the Umno ranks, he made no positive changes but promoted the culture of patronage and money politics. In fact, his family members benefited from NEP nepotism.
Anwar’s ‘notable’ achievements include how he:
* popularized the use of tudung litup in university campuses via Yayasan Anda dakwah undergraduates
*downgraded the use of English
*renamed the national language Bahasa Melayu.
*precipitated a crisis by sending non-Mandarin speakers as senior assistants to the SRJK (C).
He made no attempt to repeal the ISA, OSA, Emergency Ordinance or Sedition Act when he was in the Cabinet. He also did not roll back the restrictions imposed by the Societies Act and the UUCA.
In his capacity as Education Minister and Finance Minister, he left behind no achievement as a legacy.
Malaysians have been duped into think Anwar is the political saviour. Anwar seems to be jinxed with two ironies.
The man who brought him into UMNO and helped him rise to the number two position in Cabinet, is also the man who triggered his downfall – Tun Dr. Mahathir. Many failed to realise something has to be seriously wrong with Anwar for Tun Dr. Mahathir to despise him so much till he stripped him of his position in the Cabinet and the rest is history. Both of them had forged such a close friendship that Anwar was give the privilege of previewing ‘The Malay Dilemma’ manuscript.
Karpal Singh, who denounced in Parliament the homosexual activities of Anwar (see Hansard Oct 22 and Dec 18, 1997) was also the one who defended him till his untimely demise.
Despite his dogged determination and drive, Anwar never really made it. He plotted, schemed, planned but never moved out from the shadows of TDM and DS Najib. The most damning fact is that it is entirely Anwar’s fault.
Time and again when the occasion arose, his lapdogs (such as PKR and Bersih or his foreign allies such as Paul Wolfowitz and John Mallot) would come to his aid but made little difference except in CNN mileage.
Anwar’s sorry tale has spanned decades of Malaysian intrigue, and politics, and ultimately, of reform – real, imagined or accidental? Malaysians should know by now.