You're never truly free...


Written on 9/03/2004 06:28:00 pm by sikapitan

So our former Deputy Prime Minister and political golden-boy Datuk Seri Anwar has been freed after a 2-1 Federal Court decision allowing his appeal against the charge of sodomy. Without a doubt this has done wonders for our judiciary which has been accused of biasness and being politically motivated previously. His convictions have been criticized by many, especially in the legal community. There have been dissenting voices who argued that he was not afforded the fair trial that he deserved. I tend to agree.

However, politics is never as easy as 1 2 3 and certainly not as clear as black and white. There are grey areas to every political scenario that must be understood before one could safely assume or accuse. It must be noted that Anwar himself is a politician first and foremost. I have always been curious as to why he was so adamant that there’s abuse of power and corruption within the government AFTER he was removed from his post. Surely logic dictates that such allegations cannot surface overnight, and yet during his reign he was never one to speak out against corruption and money politics. His international profile must also be taken into consideration, especially his more than cordial relationship with the United States, a country noted for its constant interference with the affairs of other states, forever perceiving it as kingmakers and new-age colonist.

Yet, we cannot dispel the doubts surrounding his dismissal. Certainly the quick-fire manner he was removed cast reservations in the eyes of many. Could it be a knee-jerk reaction to a sudden political reality emerging? Did the PM know something that he cannot divulge? It was obvious, yet never stated, in the eyes of the public that the subsequent trial was irregular. The conviction for sodomy based only on one dubious witness brought more questions than answers. Unfortunately, such allegations made him the butt of jokes for many (heheh).

He was motivated by this sudden fall from grace, and the subsequent zeal in upholding “keadilan” broke the Malays into two quarters. Who was to gain from this episode? PAS, despite their perceived old-school charm, are politically astute enough to ensure that Anwar became their new struggle, clearly using him merely as political mileage. Subsequently, in the ’99 elections, they had one of their strongest showings in years, even gaining Terengganu. If it were not for the Chinese and Indian community, I seriously think more states would follow suit. Anwar became an enigma, a struggle for many dissatisfied at the time with rising unemployment, spiraling cost of living and economic uncertainty. He still is a political heavyweight. So why release him now?

Clearly Abdullah perceive that public opinion is on his side. The economy is growing, the nation is prospering. In the face of such optimism, perhaps he feels the time is right to rid of the old cloud hanging over the political scene. With Anwar a free man, he has rid himself of the last vestige of the Mahathir era, the deepest wound to the Malay community, the rallying cry for one political party. Keadilan is in shambles, simply because they were not politically strong enough to understand how things work. Their short-lived joy at being able to call upon PAS as their ally quickly turned sour as PAS shoved aside its allies to promote its own ideals. And with PAS also needing to take a hard look at themselves in light of the recent poor performance and dwindling support, Pak Lah can see that his next four years running smoothly just as planned. I can even see some sort of truce between Keadilan and UMNO, even the thought of them joining forces has crossed my mind.

But what is needed now is calmness and rational thinking. People must realize that the country, our country, is unlike the free democracy of US. Our government and economy is entwined, both needing each other. In the US, the economy is self-sustaining; such is their power of capitalism. Thus the prosperity and harmony of all must take precedent, at this moment and until we mature as a nation, before such idealistic notions like "justice", "equality", "free speech" etc. We cannot have the cake and eat it too. Just remember that politics is dirty enough to stain the whitest of cloths. Clorox just doesn’t work on this one. Au revoir

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