Don’t blame Anwar for the by-election

Some activists have been vocal in their opinions since the announcement that Anwar Ibrahim will contest the Port Dickson seat in a by-election. Most are against Anwar for causing another by-election. Some within his own PKR party have also asked him to explain the move.

Sometimes, I feel like the elitist forces in the country are afraid of Anwar moving closer to becoming the next prime minister.

Why ask him to explain the move? Isn’t it obvious that he is the prime minister-in-waiting, and that to become prime minister he must first become an MP? Why ask silly questions pretending to be democratic and rational?

We accuse Anwar of causing too many by-elections. Fair enough – but did the past by-elections achieve the desired results? Instead of Anwar becoming the Selangor menteri besar, the Kajang Move in 2014 caused him to become a resident of Sungai Buloh for the next five years. The subsequent by-election in Permatang Pauh in 2015 was due to his conviction and was not of his own doing.

I can only think of one by-election which was truly because of him: the by-election in 2008 when his wife gave up her seat for him to re-enter Parliament. The coming Port Dickson by-election is to pave the way for him to become the prime minister.

Why blame Anwar for causing all this when his entire life has been a roller-coaster? Why are we suddenly denying his pivotal roles in Pakatan Rakyat and Pakatan Harapan (PH), even when he was behind bars? Why can’t he be given another shot at prime-ministership, which was agreed on earlier among PH component parties?

Some ask why a new MP resigned and made the sacrifice for him instead of his own wife or daughter. I believe there are strategic reasons for this. His daughter is a vice-president of his party. As for Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, I don’t think she can resign pending Anwar’s election as an MP. What would happen in between if some untoward event were to occur?

Ultimately, we must appreciate that there are at least some MPs willing to make the sacrifice for him. Did we see the Port Dickson MP being coerced or forced to resign? Is this not a manifestation of Anwar’s leadership, at least on the surface?

I don’t think Anwar and his family are trying to dominate the party and the government. I don’t think the by-election is unnecessary and an inconvenience for the people. If there are any concerns, it should be Anwar’s fear of not being able to succeed Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Sometimes, politics can be a lot of opinions and few facts. I am guilty of this as well.

I support the present PH government under Mahathir’s leadership. But Mahathir is one person, and everyone on earth is finite.

TK Chua is an FMT reader.

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.