Thursday, August 21, 2008

The torment and impatience of Anwar Ibrahim

Yesterday when I posted UMNO Omertà code to be broken in Permatang Pauh? I quoted Malaysiakini journalist Athi Veeranggan’s comments in his news article 'Najib, remember Port Dickson?' where he described Anwar Ibrahim as the ‘the slim and bespectacled de facto leader of the Pakatan Rakyat opposition alliance’.

I notice that Anwar Ibrahim has grown gaunt rather than slim – perhaps he’s more careful about his diet as he is already in his 60’s, or perhaps the campaign (since pre-March 2008) has taken a terrible toll on him.

Anwar Ibrahim has driven himself incessantly, frenetically and obsessively towards what he hope will be his political crowning glory, the premiership of Malaysia.

Leaving aside his conceit, love of power and disdain for those he sees as his intellectual inferiors in the current UMNO hierarchy, his unrelenting push to become the PM of Malaysia, by hook or by crook, has been due to one tormenting factor …

… which has been the loss of his place in Malaysian political leadership history as the 5th PM of our nation, just on the eve of his expected ascendancy as Dr Mahathir’s anointed heir.

His ascendancy would have fulfilled even the legend of UMNO’s Da Vinci code(s), for surely in R-A-H-M-A-N, the letter ‘A’ would have come after ‘M’.

aiyah, sayang saje, Anwar's photo could have occupied the lower right hand side


Yet, as they say, ‘There’s many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip’, and Anwar found that to his invincible distress.

I believe it has been this narrow miss at the highest political office, just by a hair’s breath, that has made the man super-geram, a frustrated anger beyond normal boundaries, even sending him into unbridled rage.

It has been an experience that has tormented him since.

Anwar Ibrahim is a talented man, blessed with the gift of the gab and a quick witted mind, though whether he has the ability to govern with vision, competency and effectiveness hasn’t been proven, no, even when he was in several ministerial positions including the DPM and Finance Minister in the BN government for almost two decades – au contraire, as I have come to believe.

I love Greek mythology, so if I could, I would equate Anwar Ibrahim as Achilles, the most ferocious and flamboyant star of the Greek contingent to the Trojan War.

Achilles cruelly dragging Hector's body around the walls of Ilium
in revenge for his lover Patroclus' death

Prince Hector was the greatest Trojan warrior, noted for his nobility, courtliness,

peace-loving qualities and thoughfulness and a good son, husband and father

Professor James Redfield of Chicago University's Classic Department wrote of
him as a "martyr to loyalties, a witness to the things of this world,
a hero ready to die for the precious imperfections of ordinary life." 

Achilles was courageous, strong and skillful but arrogant, hubristic and disdainful of his compatriots. When offered a choice by the gods, he preferred and sought glory rather than a long life. It was in his pre-ordained meteoric destiny to be impatient.

And when we talk about Achilles, we mustn't forget invincible Achilles had one vulnerable spot, his heel. Well, Anwar’s Achilles heel has been and is his impatience.

Achilles struck mortally in the heel by the arrow of Paris

When he joined UMNO, there was no doubt that he fast tracked himself up the party leadership echelon by being more ethno-nationalistic and Islamic-centric than other UMNO wannabes.

His meaningless, useless and divisive change of the term Bahasa Malaysia to Bahasa Melayu reflected evidence of the former, whilst his Islamisation drive as Education Minister demonstrated the latter to the anger of many non-Muslim parents.

T’was his impatience to reach the top – and he earned the enmity, anger and fears of some Chinese and Indians and most of all, many of his UMNO party colleagues.

Then, he had ruthlessly shoved Gaafar Baba aside to become the deputy president of UMNO even when the grand old man, a revered member of the Angkatan 46, was about to resign in a mere 6 months.

T’was his impatience to reach the top – and he earned the fears and suspicions of many in UMNO by his lack of respect for Gaafar Baba, making the poor old man lose irreparable face.

hanya lagi 6 bulan saje, ta'boleh kah?
no face liao lah!

Unbelievably, he next attempted to expedite Dr Mahathir’s departure from the No 1 political position when he could have waited just a wee while longer. But alas his faction launched the campaign to associate Dr M with cronyism and nepotism - a move which Dr Mahathir saw as unforgivable act of treachery by a man he had loved and anointed as his successor.

As RPK said, Anwar’s impatience and perhaps arrogance must have blinded him to the hard fact that Dr M was no Gaafar Baba. Here was a master of political manoeuvring, not one to be trifled with – see my story about martial arts written two years ago, The Master & The Disciple, which may have some similarities.

don't f**k around with me
I've taken more salt that you have taken rice

& I learnt this saying from a Chinapek


Anwar made the biggest baddest bodoh-est mistake in his life.

T’was his impatience to reach the top - and he suffered such a humongous loss that he has never quite emotionally recovered from that fall …

… which may explain his obsessive need to reclaim what he thought was his, ought to be his, and shall be his, again.

… by hook or by crook …

… by reformasi or deformasi (frogs) …

Not satisfied with the Pakatan achieving a tsunamic victory (alas, there was nothing for him personally because UMNO continued to snub him, as he had otherwise hoped for but alas not expected), he sought to destabilize a democratically elected government.

In the 6-months long process of snapping at AAB's heels and attempting to crush Najib's wayward balls, he has pushed himself and unfortunately Pakatan also into a blind alley, where he now cannot extricate himself if he doesn't become PM by 16 September 2008.

Reformasi? Democracy?

Or Deformasi?

What he should have done, but failed to, was to consolidate the Pakatan’s new power, formed a shadow cabinet to train his colleagues on ministerial functions, and developed the 5 Pakatan held States into models of democracy, freedom and free speech, non-corruptibility, good governance with full transparency and public accountability, and race-less equality and opportunity.

And he would have easily become PM in 2012 …

… but alas no ..

T’was again his impatience to reach the top – and he now suffers all sorts of allegation like the alleged sodomy charge, and even accusations of him ‘making a move’ on the wife of Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Hamzah Zainuddin as reported by Malaysiakini in Say sorry for 'Anwar kacau my wife' remark.

T’was Achilles’ impatience to revenge the death of his dearest friend and lover Patroclus that led to his pre-destined demise at the hands of a useless womanizer like Paris.

Achilles looking sadly at the corpse of his lover Patroclus

O Impatience! The folly of many a great man and wannabes, wakakaka.


  1. Is that you KJ writing a blog? C'mon, you also won by "undi pos".

    Keep dreaming.

  2. anon: why? nothing else to say than to bring up KJ issit? coz what ktemoc saying is the truth issit? come on, are you still too blind to see?

  3. ktemoc, wow, pièce de résistance ... Like Aisehman, you are getting better and better analytically.

    The last part is an overkill though. Stop at "And he would have easily become PM in 2012 … " and it will be a good closure.

    You've written one of the best pieces I have read for a long, long time. The other is Aisehman's piece on stupid politicians.

  4. Wow ! What a long winded BN campaign poster.

  5. this posting is similar to:



    and several others.

    was there a concerted effort or instructions from the top to smear his reputation? :)

    curious jack

  6. Open your mind and heart and you can see some truth in the piece the writer..good analysis and SPOT ON!!

    aiyoh..nowadays people can't even criticise/comments/analyse on Anwar and gang lest they will be called BN campaign/barua..

    undeniably, anwar is good at speech, charismatic but for me he has no substance to work towards better Malaysia..can someone list his contributions and how he is outstanding in the eyes of Malaysian!!!..we don't want another tin kosong

  7. I would recommend you visit Dr. Hsu's blog, particularly this post.

    He has so eloquently expressed exactly what I think about Anwar Ibrahim.

    Like Dr. Hsu, I was a long time card-carrying BN member. I think BN was good for the country, years ago...not any more.

  8. one word for yer analysis - biased
    please admit it, u have infatuation to critic anwar..

  9. Hey, Paris a useless womanizer? Dude, if Helen left Menelaus for him, surely he must've been handy in the bedroom :)

  10. Saya baca segala akbar2 yang saya faham. Ingin mencari kepastian, saya buka segala blogs yang anti dan pro AI juga, tapi dengan perasaan hati ini yang sendiri mengatakan there is something not right about AI. He is a great talker but not a great doer. He would do just about anything to be PM. Bukan nak cakap orang2 BN tu bagus sangat, pon sickening juga tapi AI ni worst. Belom lagi jadi PM, dah jadi, entah apa yang beliau akan lakukan. Na'uzubillah. Semoga hari baik bulan baik ni, AI sepatut adalah sedikit rasa rendah diri, bahasa beliau sepatutnya mengajak mana yang muslim pergi bersolat terawih dan mencari keberkatan Allah. Langsong tiada keluar mengenai ugama langsong dari mulut dia pada bulan ramadhan ni. Apa punya manusia dia ni?