Thank you, Anwar

RK Anand | May 8, 2013
He has now accomplished so much more than what he could have as just another Umno president and default prime minister.

Fifteen years ago, Anwar Ibrahim came within a few feet of becoming the prime minister. Then it all fell apart. But unlike others who had their political ambitions decimated by Dr Mahathir Mohamad, this man refused to fade.
He has now accomplished so much more than what he could have as just another Umno president and default prime minister. He would have just been another photograph on the PWTC wall.
What unravelled in 1998 was a bane for him but a boon for Malaysia.
It is because of Anwar, the fortress called Barisan Nasional suffered its biggest crack and it was he who showed Malaysians that change was possible.
When he formed PKR from behind prison walls, he started the ball rolling for a true multi-racial political platform.
While Umno still struggles to court PAS, Anwar managed to convince the Islamic party and secular DAP to sit at the same table to form Pakatan Rakyat.
The emergence of a powerful opposition also amplified the voice of the civil society, which began to play a more instrumental role in checking the powers-that-be and exposing wrongdoings.
And the 13th general election showed that the majority of voters had cast their ballots in favour of Pakatan to govern this nation and for Anwar to become prime minister.
Wherelse Najib Tun Razak had assumed the post not because of popular support but rather due to the first-past-the-post system.
In their hearts, BN leaders know that the coalition had lost the polls.
And one wonders if not for their choke-hold on the media, police, Election Commission, what would have been the real percentage of support? Not to mention if the allegations of a tainted electoral roll, vote-buying and foreigners casting their ballots hold water as well.
So Anwar failed to capture Putrajaya but he managed to secure something more significant, the people’s mandate to become prime minister. If this was the presidential elections, Najib would have been vanquished.
The powers-that-be threw everything at him except the kitchen sink but he conquered the odds. A lesser man would have relented.
And the wave of change which Anwar started had grown larger than him and Malaysians must thank him for providing us with an alternative.

A bitter pill for Mahathir

The election result had been a bitter pill for Mahathir to swallow because it was also a rejection of his legacy. And as expected the octogenarian spewed an endless stream of gibberish.
First, he accused Chinese voters of not accepting the Malay hand of friendship, which was another glaring example of the delusion which Umno suffers from, thinking that it represents all Malays.
The fact is, Chinese voters rejected the courtship of Umno, preferring to embrace PAS and the Malays in DAP and PKR instead, who unlike Mahathir, never questioned their citizenship.
The Malays in PAS, PKR and DAP are not the patrons of movements that call for the torching of Bibles and Pakatan did not field a candidate who labelled them as illegal immigrants.
The Malays in Pakatan do not run a newspaper that constantly stokes racial and religious tension.
In actual fact, the so-called “Chinese tsunami” was an urban wave that witnessed voters of all races rejecting BN in the polls. Number crunching would show that a significant number of Malays also voted for the opposition.
Mahathir described the Malays who voted for DAP as the “educated and sophisticated” ones. Going by his logic, one must ask what kind of people voted for Umno, BN as well as for his son then?
Mahathir also remarked that he never expected Najib to perform even worse than Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, completely ignoring his role in both the 2008 and 2013 election debacles for BN.
The former premier could be considered as one of the coalition’s greatest liabilities. His so-called project IC was the main reason that Sabahans are fuming.
Mahathir’s successors are struggling to contain the damage done during his 22-year reign and he has the audacity to question their leadership capabilities.
The more this man speaks, the more it becomes evident that his century-old mind is a stumbling block and threat to this nation.
The former Umno president also predicted that Najib would face internal resistance in Umno, and similar signs are emerging in MCA and MIC as well.
But changing the leadership is not going to make a difference. The people voted for change! So the end is nigh. Goodnight BN.

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