ONE could almost hear the chuckles and the mirth of PAS MPs upon hearing claims by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PMX) that he had been threatened by “western parliamentarians” over his support for Palestinians in their conflict with Israel.
In the past, supporters of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s unity government would mock PAS members for holding mock war games, asking who exactly they were fighting against in their cardboard armour costumes.
Many have chided PAS for being obsessed by women’s attire instead of offering solid guidelines for governance, both domestic and international, portraying the Islamist party as out-of-touch and incapable.
Now, the mocking is very much on PMX and it is very much his own doing. By making such a claim without providing further explanation or evidence, the entire episode just smacks of political grandstanding.
For those who haven’t been following the news, Anwar had claimed at the ‘Malaysia Stands with Palestine’ rally at Bukit Jalil on Tuesday (Oct 24) that he had been threatened by “western parliamentarians” over his unyielding support for the Palestinian cause.
PAS secretary-general Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan is spot on when he labelled PMX’s statement as an alarmist remark which he said was both strange and amusing.
As he rightly pointed out, Malaysia’s stance on the issue has never wavered and previous prime ministers had also displayed solidarity with Palestine but none have claimed they were under any sort of external threat.
“If the ‘threat’ in question indeed exists and occurs, shouldn’t it be the reasonable step to be taken by the PM as the head of the government to summon the ambassador or representative of the relevant country to convey Malaysia’s objection to it rather than making open statements without an explanation?” Takiyuddin pointed out in a statement yesterday (Oct 26).
Anwar’s vague remarks certainly smack of political grandstanding in trying to make him look like a global statesman whose assertions could shape or influence policies in the Middle East. The fact that the police reportedly increased Anwar’s security detail in response to these supposed threats also screams ‘drama’.
Perhaps like the infamous black eye he suffered at the hands of ex-IGP Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Mohd Noor, Anwar sought to milk political mileage from the current Israel-Palestine conflict, thus placing him at the forefront of international politics.
The barely concealed disbelief and mirth among many Malaysians – not just among PAS supporters – suggest that he may have miscalculated his move on this one.
It is suggested that PMX focus on more pressing domestic issues such as the free-falling ringgit or the spiralling high cost of living instead of having delusions of grandeur. – Oct 27, 2023
Pics credit: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Facebook