The Economist is shocked that Anwar is PM

IT is not surprising that The Economist is still in a state of shock over the hazy event in Malaysia given how many foreign media outlets had similarly expressed their shock and disbelief when Pakatan Harapan leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim took his oath  of office as the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia.

The online version of the magazine, in an opinion piece, said that it thought that there were many versions (four to be exact) of Anwar and is still confused about which one will rule Malaysia.

In contrast, Anwar Ibrahim has only ever been known to the people of Malaysia in the form that we saw him in when he assumed office, humbled by the joy of his supporters and appreciative of his coalition partners for giving him the position that has eluded him for years.

He is not a chameleon as the magazine seems to suggest amid its confusion.

“Mr Anwar’s struggle is inspiring. But it is not an entirely reassuring springboard for government. A martyr’s vanity helped him endure. So did a chameleon’s ability to match his message to whatever his audience wanted to hear,” says the magazine.

Perhaps the editors got even more confused thinking it was former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak that they are talking about.

Fair enough, The Economist had published a rant on the new Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, whom it reminded us has 47 corruption charges against him.

Readers will become more perplexed as the story progresses, which is possibly the editorial’s goal. That serves to mislead people about Malaysia and Anwar while facts are twisted to disparage them and the reality of the political situation in Malaysia is simply ignored.

Nevertheless, The Economist says though Anwar is presiding over a largely secular coalition incorporating Malaysia’s ethnic-Chinese and Indian minorities, he is already throwing sops to the increasingly Islamicised Malay majority, such as cutting back the state lottery. To what end is he making such compromises?

It says Anwar’s fans are all too used to disappointment, “but at least credit him for understanding that the election, as Bridget Welsh of the University of Nottingham Malaysia puts it, has done more to illustrate Malaysia’s deep problems than to resolve them.”

But since when did the opposition  want to replace the country’s Westminster-style government with an Islamic state? That is untrue as it has never been PAS’ agenda.

“The opposition Malaysian Islamic Party, which wants to replace the country’s Westminster-style government with an Islamic state, is now the biggest party in Parliament,” says the portal.

Its unexpected surge has deepened a divide between conservative Muslim Malays and an alarmed alliance of urban middle-class Malays and minorities, it adds, but then, this is how Malaysia voted. – Dec 12, 2022

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE