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Saturday, March 12, 2016

"Save Malaysia?" For Anwar? Or for Mahathir?

Be it “Save Malaysia” alliance or the Citizens' Declaration, the all-powerful implications of “country” and “citizens” have been applied. But the weird thing is, there are a lot of other things getting messed up inside this grand design in the likes of vendetta, frustration, opportunism, powerplay, interest, ...anything but “country” or “citizens.”

The only real thing has come out from the mouth of Kak Wan: “To free Anwar,” which has now become the primary agenda of the so-called “Save Malaysia” campaign.

I have to be honest with myself that Kak Wan is indeed a marvellous wife that often deserves a lot of respect for her loyalty and undying spirit. Everything she has done she does it for her husband, from joining politics to running for elections, becoming an elected MP, state assemblywoman, the opposition leader, party president to the endless struggle to get her dear husband released.

All these constitute a hefty load on her shoulders that is slowly eating up her life, but she never calls it quits. Despite all this, her input may not be rewarding, as politics is a whole lot larger than a housewife's kitchen.

If the campaign has been drawn up to get Anwar freed, then it shouldn't have anything to do with “country” or “citizens” in the first place.

While many were compassionate with Anwar's imprisonment, that was part and parcel of the Malaysian judiciary that proceeded from the initial prosecution to defence, trials, passing of judgment to come to this outcome.

And that case wasn't even political in nature. It was a lawsuit targeting an individual's personal behavior which unfortunately was not permitted under the country's laws.

Kak Wan's determination to save her husband should gain the public's sympathy, but that warrants some better reasons.

The response from a series of actions taken by Kak Wan or her PKR in the past could best be depicted as “lukewarm,” detesting to the fact that Malaysians generally know how to tell national and family affairs apart.

As such, it would seem inappropriate to once again peg Anwar's imprisonment to “country” and “citizens,” especially when the other protagonist is Dr Mahathir.

In 1998, Anwar was treated brutally by Mahathir, taken away by force from his shocked family and thrown into a lock-up cell with a bruised eye followed.

The sympathy and support Anwar received when he came out of jail were a powerful backlash on Mahathir, and this gave Anwar one after another opportunity to convert such a force into one that would propel the nation forward but which he unfortunately missed and abused to sell his personal agenda.

Almost two decades now, and his family and supporters are now asking the public to save Anwar.

As for Mahathir, his agenda is for himself, his family and the interest group which he presides over. These motives have now been crudely packaged into a national and civic affair but how many will still believe in him?

Are we still going to allow Mahathir's and Anwar's agendas to continue dictating the fate of this country?

 — Sin Chew Daily (Opinion byTay Tian Yan)

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