I have no idea how Anwar Ibrahim will behave or perform when, or if, he becomes the prime minister. However, it is fair to say that no past prime ministers of Malaysia, including Dr Mahathir Mohamad (who has become the prime minister for the second time), have ever had to go through the ordeal and challenges like Anwar.
Other prime ministers, particularly the two recent ones before Mahathir, were more or less given the coveted post without much scrutiny and fanfare. The people were hardly critical of them when they were first appointed prime ministers. As it turned out, their performances were way below our expectations. In fact, we can only count on their collateral damage.
As for Anwar, it was an endless struggle 20 years in the making. But judging from the Whatsapp messages I received each day heaping insults and insinuations on him, I think his ordeal is far from over despite his resolve and tenacity.
Please don’t get me wrong, I am not a diehard supporter of Anwar. I am just musing over how we Malaysians in general look at issues, events and personalities.
All past PMs championed race and religion, but somehow we are particularly harsh on Anwar for his ultra “Malayness” and “Islamic tendency”. I wonder why.
I wonder why we are so doubtful of Anwar and love to attack him so much.
We criticise him for practising nepotism when his wife and daughter were reluctant politicians who only entered politics because of Anwar’s predicament. We label him ultra-conservative one minute and ultra-liberal the next.
We doubt his pardon by the Agong and even accuse him of lying on behalf of the Agong. Some lawyers are now saying Anwar is not qualified to stand as a candidate (in Port Dickson). Some politicians are saying Mahathir should serve his full term. I wonder what is next to get Anwar out of the way.
We never stop ridiculing him. Even his political comeback at the Port Dickson by-election is paved with absurd and weird contestants.
With Umno gracefully bowing out, we are now left with a party obsessed with caning women to challenge him.
And who is that former leader saddled with an endless chequered past to challenge Anwar?
Who is that accuser who had wasted enough time of this country and is now trying to recycle his antics hopefully to gather another round of attention?
And who are those independents probably hoping for a “Prabakaran” act?
At least getting the present Umno deputy president to challenge Anwar would have been more credible.
Are we grasping at the last straw to deny Anwar his rightful place?
TK Chua is an FMT reader.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.