In honour of Opposition leader and PKR president Anwar Ibrahim

By Hassan Abdul Karim

Editor’s Note: This is an opinion expressed by Pasir Gudang Member of Parliament (MP) on the latest developments surrounding Opposition leader and Port Dickson MP Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim


DID Anwar act on his own and held an unofficial negotiation with UMNO leaders?

This assumption is not true. In fact, Anwar got the mandate from the Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) president Mohamad Sabu and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng to negotiate with any party to return back the people’s mandate to Pakatan Harapan (PH), just like how he did in the last General Election (GE14).

Is Anwar obsessed with becoming Prime Minister of Malaysia?

This kind of accusation is not right and very insulting. Anwar performed his duty as the PH chairman, according to mandate given by other PH leaders. Are other PH leaders having a cold feet right now and want to deny this fact?

Does Anwar prefer to approach UMNO leaders rather than other Opposition leaders such as those from Warisan, Pejuang and MUDA?

This kind of assumption is not right. Based on records, Anwar has met Warisan president Datuk Seri Shafie Afdal at the latter’s house several times to discuss on national affairs as well as PH’s cooperation with other opposition parties.

As the official PH chairman and Opposition leader in Parliament, Anwar was humble enough to personally go to Shafie’s house not only once but twice for the discussions. Does anyone still want to comment that Anwar ignores the opposition parties?

Anwar cannot wait to take over the Government from Perikatan Nasional (PN)? Why not wait until GE15?

It’s not right to accuse Anwar of being impatient. Like Martin Luther King, Jr said: “The time is always right to do what is right”.

There’s a difference in facing GE15 if PH is the Government compared to Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s PN Government. The leaders in the Opposition bloc who criticised Anwar certainly are not naive in this question.

Is it true that Anwar has no principles when in negotiations with UMNO leaders?

It is not right to simply make assumptions. So far, there hasn’t been any cooperation agreement with UMNO, just unofficial discussions and Anwar admitted this.

In the past, Anwar could have negotiated with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who was accused of dictatorship, destroying the institutions of national democracy and governing the country despotism as well as practicing cronyism, but why is Anwar the one being looked upon negatively when he talks to UMNO leaders?

Did Anwar discuss and negotiate with the UMNO leaders in a lackadaisical manner?

If there is such an assumption, please correct it. Anwar has obtained a mandate from his own party to bring the reform agenda to centre stage when negotiating with UMNO leaders such as the issue of good governance, judicial freedom, restoring the economy and drive economic growth.

It needs to be emphasised again that there shouldn’t be any intervention in the court affairs involving high profile cases or reforms of essential agencies such as the Royal Malaysian Police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

As the Opposition leader, Anwar has championed the agenda for the Malaysian Parliament to be saved. Is Anwar not allowed to discuss matters as important as this with UMNO leaders?

What is Anwar’s track record of establishing political cooperation from diverse quarters, interests and ideologies for the betterment of the people and country?

The fact is that there are four. Firstly, while he was still in prison, Anwar has successfully formed the Alternative Front – created the coalition which consist of the National Justice Party (PKN), PAS, DAP and Malaysian People’s Party (PRM) – against Mahathir and UMNO/Barisan Nasional (BN) in 1999.

Secondly, when he was still from the prison, Anwar successfully brought the PRM to join PKN to form a new multi-racial political entity called the People’s Justice Party (PKR) whose logo was shared in GE14 and was instrumental to bring down Datuk Seri Najib Razak-led BN Government.

Thirdly, in 2008 when Anwar was out of jail, he managed to form Pakatan Rakyat which consists of PKR, PAS and DAP which went to win big in GE12 which also saw five UMNO/BN leaders fell.

Fourthly, when Anwar was again jailed, Pakatan Rakyat became divided. PAS left Pakatan Rakyat and Amanah emerged. From inside his prison cell, Anwar rebuilt a new three-party coalition called PH consisting of PKR, DAP and Amanah, where Anwar was appointed as the leader.

When Dr Mahathir met Anwar several times at the Kuala Lumpur High Court, they both shook hands and agreed to cooperate. Anwar was then willing to forgive and join Dr Mahathir in his fight against Najib and his BN Government in GE14.

Anwar agreed that Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) which had yet to get its registration approved by the Registrar of Society (ROS) should be the fourth component of PH. Anwar who was still in jail at that time was the real architect behind PH’s success in GE-14.

From then onwards, Anwar has been very careful in his negotiation to prevent allegations that he is obsessed with becoming the Prime Minister.

There is no need to brag that what Anwar did was for the well-being of the country and to save its people. This is and has been his determination all along and he faces such challenge with resilience and persistence, unafraid to face any obstacles that may come his way. Also, because of his stance, he went to jail.

If anyone is willing to do better than Anwar, then the writer says: “Please go ahead ….” – March 19, 2021


Hassan Abdul Karim is Pasir Gudang’s Member of Parliament (MP).

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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