Poster Olek Skilgannon shares with us two commentaries that focus on Anwar Ibrahim and Pakatan, 100 days after the March 8th general election:
Two interesting commentaries on political developments in Malaysia in the Singapore Straits Times today:
- "Anwar's teasers cloud credibility" by Cheong Suk-Wai
- "No running away from the Malay agenda" by Karim Raslan
Some excerpts from Ms Cheong's commentary:
".....Many among the Malay ground, especially in the heartland, are also doubtful of Mr Anwar. Where was he, some ask, when his wife, Keadilan president Wan Azizah Ismail, declared last Friday that Kelantan was the only opposition stronghold that would be made an Islamic state, if at all?
"And why was he silent when Mr Lim Kit Siang, leader of the Democratic Action Party, a PR component, questioned the Sultan of Perak over his appointment of a Malay (albeit one with a Chinese mother), instead of a Chinese, as the state's first opposition chief minister?
"Some Keadilan leaders have said that Mr Anwar's ketuanan rakyat (people's rule) is compatible with the pursuit of a Malay agenda. But his erstwhile right-hand man Mohammad Ezam Mohammad Nor told popular Malaysian political rag Siasah in April that he decided to return to Umno because ketuanan rakyat would bury ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy) and threaten Malay interests.
"Ketuanan rakyat plays well among minorities and urban Malays but not in the Malay
heartland. Thus the constant (and perhaps necessary) trimming of sails, with Keadilan leaders suggesting that ketuanan rakyat is compatible with a Malay agenda after all. Such calibrations may give Mr Anwar and his party the reputation of being trimmers....."
And from Karim Raslan's commentary:
".....Keadilan is walking a tightrope. On the one hand, it advocates a shimmering multiracial future. On the other, it slips - discreetly - a Malay agenda into that all-encompassing feel-good vision.
"As the economy slows and competition for government resources mounts, it will be interesting to see how it manages this elegant equation.
"When I talked with Keadilan leader Saifuddin Nasution last month, he was frank: "There is no Malay-majority party that doesn't explicitly make a commitment to the Malay agenda. It would be suicidal not to do so.""