"The Rakyat won't mind a politician making any kind of statement he likes for that is the way of a politician, but the Rakyat can't stand politicians who lie. If Anwar Ibrahim makes it his habit to lie and does it once too often, the people will not be fooled ever again. A politician who can talk but can't be trusted will, in the end, be abandoned by the voters."
Read the entire commentary h e r e.
|Chandra says Anwar is no Ghandi
The WSJ should know Anwar Ibrahim better by now. If Anwar pleads guilty and pays the fine as the WSJ suggests, he doesn't get maximum mileage. The Malaysian courts have become Anwar's most effective political stage.
The Sodomy 2 is a perfect example. He and his lawyers stretched the case for an eternity, subjecting the judges, the prosecutors and the government to his politics and to ridicule. Delay after delay after delay.
And now, Anwar's latest grand design: his cynical and deliberate violation of the Peaceful Assembly Act, from the moment he signaled the Dataran Merdeka breach to the moment when he knew he would face charges to the calculated hiring of the ex-solicitor-general who prosecuted him.
In Anwar's grand design, the government unwittingly plays his game. The motive is purely political, which also feeds into Anwar's slick demagoguery and realisation that his Siri Jelajah tours across the nation gets peanuts in crowd response (See Outsyed the Box report on Anwar's appeal in Pengerang) but a Federal court case will entail these reaction: huge adoring crowds to satisfy Anwar's narcissism, preening to media hogging, especially special interviews with foreign media, a rush in support from NGOs pitching democratic ideals and buying more face time with foreign backers and governments who would be wondering if Anwar was any more effective.
Anwar's strategy is simple: break the law in any way plausible yet maintain an air of so-called dignity, that he is being politically persecuted so that he can exploit the courts as the perfect political platform to push his single-minded obsession to become Prime Minister.
Anwar will tell you he does not have faith in the judiciary but at the same time he is usually the first to resort to legal action. The Sodomy 2 trial is a perfect example: he used lawyer Karpal Singh and all imaginable avenues provides by the system he said he didn't trust to prolong the case to the maximum of his advantage. It has become typical of him to put everyone else but himself on trial.
The WSJ editorial suggests that the editors found, perhaps by way of the video evidence and perhaps from reports on te ground, that Anwar is guilty as hell for inciting the particular incident during Bersih 3 for which he is being charged. We all saw the video clips. So why is Anwae pretending to be a victim of a "politically motivated" charge? I think the WSJ should stop pretending not to see why.
Even before the charge was read, Anwar had already thought of a way to maximise the mileage, by appointing the man who once prosecuted him to join his defence team! Now, that is the genius of Anwar Ibrahim that the writer of the WSj editorial had grossly underestimated. That is the way of Anwar Ibrahim. That is what our judiciary has been reduced to - a platform for an individual's non-stop political campaigning. The WSJ may not see it, but Malaysians are not as blind.
Read also Chandra Muzaffar's take on WSJ's article, Why It's No Civil Disobedience.