Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Why I was not too worried about Anwar being jailed

January 9th, the day when all eyes were on Malaysia. 

Somehow, I was not surprised by the verdict that Anwar has been acquitted. Before this, while Anwar and his team went on a nationwide campaign to rally for support, and when talks are high on the fate of Pakatan Rakyat assuming that Anwar is going to jail (and speculations on who should be the interim Prime Minister), I've shared with a few close friends to take a chill pill because I don't think Anwar is going to jail. 

Firstly, by charging Anwar, Najib (assuming the conspiracy theory that the BN government is behind all this) risk repeating the history of 1998 Reformasi when the former deputy Prime Minister were sacked and accused for the first time, or at the least - as some argued that the reputation of Anwar has suffered some tarnishes by the continuous attacks from his enemies and might not reciprocate the same public anger of 1998 - Najib might still risk giving away the middle ground votes to Pakatan Rakyat out of sympathy. There is a chance that he might go the hard way to finish him off, but he is not usually a high risk taker, and my case were proven. 

Secondly, if Anwar was charged, it will reinforces the claim by Pakatan Rakyat of the tyranny of BN and give them a moral boost that the fight goes on. Now that Anwar has been acquitted, Pakatan Rakyat and those who cried foul previously are caught in between by their own words. Does it mean you were right to say Anwar was innocent, or were you wrong to say the judiciary is not independant? Certainly, I personally do not think that a single verdict that is perceived as fair is substantial to justify the legitimacy of the entire judiciary system; for two reasons: 1) It could just be a game played by Barisan Nasional for the reasons I've just mentioned above, and 2) even within the worst system, there could be people with conscious that does a few right. 

Now that I'm doubly happy over the development, for 1) Anwar Ibrahim is finally released from the Sodomy case which is evidently a set-up to destroy him politically (and hopefully Malaysians will have less disturbing headlines about one's sex behaviour); and 2) that my prediction was proven right, I am curious to know if he and his counterparts in Pakatan Rakyat genuinely thought that he will be jailed, or if the campaigns and mobilizations of 901 (or 109, depending on how you read your calendar) rally is merely a political gimmick. That said, even if it's the latter, I personally see nothing unethical in it (it will only be to the advantage of Pakatan Rakyat because either way, it will be a show of political strength and one is better safe than sorry since anything can happen in politics) - I am just curious about their work mentality along the campaign trails and the goals they had in mind to achieve.   

What is interesting is, how will this development impact the winning chances of Pakatan Rakyat in the next General Election and shape the political landscape of this country? A friend comment, 'Anwar in jail is more dangerous than Anwar out of jail.' Perhaps, but I'm just happy that one less person need to suffer sentence unjustly, and the verdict has now killed a powerful political mileage of both sides - that Anwar is morally at fault and thus leadership questionable according to BN's propaganda, and for Pakatan Rakyat to harness sympathy votes by portraying Anwar as victim - and hopefully this will make the political contestation of the next general election focus more on the real policy issues and less on personalities. 

And while all the limelight is on the man now made free, I'm more interested and worried for the explosion incidents. What happened could have been worse! Who did that? and what message are they trying to bring forth? One can develop a thousand conspiracy theories, but let's just leave it as that as it will be too simplistic to point fingers at this juncture. Let's just bear in mind that there are still instigators in our midst who will not withhold their hands from using forces and fear to achieve their agenda, and that's exactly the force that we are fighting against.  


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