Portraying herself as a 'Messiah', Ummi Hafilda Ali burst onto the stage with venom and vengeance.
The sudden arrival of a long-forgotten and unremarkable megalomaniac is part of Barisan Nasional’s arsenal of dirty tricks, which will be used to try to turn the public against Paktan Rakyat in the fight for votes in the next general election. Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has put on his David Copperfield act and has performed his “rabbit out of a hat” trick to produce Ummi.
Ummi Hafilda Ali, the star witness in Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy and abuse of power trials in 1999, has seen herself as Malaysia’s “Messiah”. She has vowed to sue Anwar and other opposition leaders to “save the country” from Anwar and PKR deputy president Azmin Ali, who happens to be her elder brother.
She said, “This is why I would like to expose the two. I know them well and I want to save the country and the next general election from them.”
Perhaps, if she feels so strongly about “saving the country”, she ought to put herself up for election.
Former British prime minister Tony Blair wanted to promote more women in his Cabinet and called the women ministers, “Blair’s Babes”. Even Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi had the audacity to call his “serving ladies” the aptly appropriate title of “ministers”. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi never went anywhere without his buxom bodyguards, who were on 24-hour duty. Perhaps Najib could call his team “Najib’s Nubiles”.
Failing that, Ummi can become the deputy first lady and stand in for the first lady when Rosmah Mansor is on an official visit overseas.
If Najib was critical of the timing of the rape allegation which implicated a minister in his Cabinet, then the opposition should rightly question the timing of Ummi’s presence.
Her press conference seemed an odd affair with a backdrop of a smart “kedai runcit” and what looked like bottles of soy sauce on the shelves behind her.
She did not come out as sincere but appeared big-headed and arrogant, with her claims that the opposition made gains in 2008, only because she was “not around”.
What is the point of raking over her family feud? What is the point of calling someone else’s daughter illegitimate? That must be the most despicable and shameful act – an aunt could do to her own niece – to denounce her publicly and wrongfully like that. Her niece deserves a public apology.
Far from projecting herself as the wronged “glamour-puss”, she has made herself look pathetic. Instead of making people think that she has waited patiently for 13 years to finally speak up, she looks like a vengeful and vindictive person.
Only the weak and insecure with low spiritual conviction will want to shout out their “holier than thou” credentials by swearing on the Quran. This is like the medieval kings of England who would say, that only those who survived after they plunged their arm into a cauldron of hot oil, was innocent of any crime – “trial by ordeal”.
Those who protest their innocence too loudly are the ones to watch out for. Those who claim they are honest, are the ones who are most insincere.
Najib appears to be bringing out the big guns to win this election, but his big guns are just old adversaries of Anwar whose sole strategy is to attack and besmirch the character of Anwar. His actions are reminiscent of terrorist sleeper cells which will be activated at an opportune time in the future; in Malaysia’s case, this is just before GE-13.
It seems that Najib is bankrupt of ideas for winning the people’s hearts and minds and can only resort to underhand and cynical methods.
Najib has all this dirt and sleaze. Poor Anwar. All he has to fight Najib and convince the people to vote for Pakatan Rakyat is his “10-point, 100-day reforms plan”. It is a positive and well thought-out plan to change the face of Malaysian politics and for the public apology of the country.
Anwar has vowed that if Pakatan were to form the next federal government, it would revamp critical institutions like the police, Election Commission, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and reward teachers with additional money.
Mariam Mokhtar is a petroleum chemist and also an environmental pollution-control scientist.