Swan song of the PM-in-waiting

Que sera sera? This is how it ends, said Anwar Ibrahim to CNBC in his latest media interview. Brave and accepting words indeed for someone whose major aspiration in life was to be the next prime minister of Malaysia.

The problem is just that: for over 20 years Anwar had wanted to be the prime minister of Malaysia, but why has he only now chosen to resign himself to what will be, will be?

Perhaps Anwar and his die-hard supporters had the mistaken belief that the post was Anwar’s inherent right. But was it?

Anwar’s most prominent support came in the form of Fahmi Fadzil the communications director of PKR and Lembah Pantai MP, who saw it fit to viral the claim that PH had the numbers to form the government after it collapsed.

Let us also not forget William Leong, the MP for Selayang, who called for “Plan B” to be put in effect. What Plan B? If there was, why was it not exercised at the most crucial stage of this uncertainty surrounding the country?

Anwar was pushed to the forefront from the very beginning. Who can forget the placards that said “Anwar, the 8th PM” even when the 7th prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohammad shared the same stage at a function and did not hold up such a placard?

The campaign to be the 8th prime minister was well under way from Day 1. To add punch to the whole episode, the Otai Reformis group became extremely vocal and called for Anwar to be installed as the 8th PM of the nation by demanding that Mahathir make way by stepping down in May 2020.

They even threatened to take to the streets if that did not happen.

What did Otai Reformis achieve in the end? They sheepishly concluded that their aims were achieved by getting Mahathir to step down, never mind the fact that in doing so, the reins of power fell into the hands of Umno and PAS with the help of some now dubious friends.

But you see the grandmaster had other plans in mind. He was 10 steps ahead of everyone else. But he strung along the PKR leadership to create a false sense of victory through some promises.

Perhaps the brilliant Nurul Izzah Anwar, MP for Permantang Pauh and the daughter of Anwar, had seen through this and decided that enough was enough. That would probably explain her silence about the current situation involving her father.

So the situation, as I see it, is that PKR, Amanah and the DAP will go it alone. They will be a tough opposition voice, that’s for sure.

However, if the former grandmaster of politics has thoughts about making peace with the leaders of the party he once led, and is counting on the support of what remains of PH in future, he would have to be daydreaming after Anwar’s disclosure to CNBC.

From the sounds of the interview, it would be a case of once bitten, twice shy.

Therefore this Perikatan Nasional government will see out this term although this is not the government the people voted for. It is at present a “talk down Government” that says that they had to do what they did in the interest of the nation. That is for an episode in “Ripley’s Believe It or Not”.

When you mull over where we are, it becomes pretty obvious that it was as easy as A,B,C to manipulate the ambitious Azmin Ali, then PKR deputy president, into believing he would be in with a shot at the premiership. That is what got the ball rolling. Then Azmin would have been just as happy to say that it was written in the stars, Que sera sera.

Clement Stanley is an FMT reader.

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