WHENEVER you criticise Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PMX), the most common defence that his supporters will provide is “(i) it is too early to judge him la. He has been in power for just a year. Rome is not built in a day” or “(ii) if not Anwar, who else?”
The latest person to entertain this line of thinking is Prof Dr Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi who after cancelling out every potential replacement of Anwar, concluded that Anwar is as good as it gets.
Whenever I hear these sorts of arguments, I will become suspicious whether the God King concept is still lurking in the hearts of Malaysians today.
In ancient times, the Southeast Asian region was rife with God Kings. These God Kings were called Dewa Raja. Under this Dewa Raja concept, the masses will have supernatural awe for an individual who they will hail as their king, worship as an infallible god and vest this individual with the abilities to do superhuman feats.
The way some people speak of Anwar makes me wonder whether to their mind, Anwar is some sort of modern-day God King of Malaysia who will single-handedly save Malaysia and bring about a golden age.
Personally, I don’t see the concept of governance in this light at all. As a matter of fact, I think it is this very line of thinking that is the cause of much of our problem today.
Rather than place our faith in any individual and vest them with God King-like awe, I am quite sure that the right place to place our faith is on time-tested values that have been hailed by humanity and civilisations from time immemorial.
Right values, trustworthiness
Rather than trust Anwar or whoever else under the premise that they will be able to act like a Superhero God King who will defeat evil, save the day and bring about a golden age, I think the better thing to do is to trust such values as being truthful or being consistent or keeping things simple, to keep us safe, happy and prosperous.
When we constructively criticise Anwar or anyone else, I don’t think it is necessary that we have to do it with the intention to topple or replace anybody.
I think we can just do it with the intention of arousing sincerity, truthfulness, consistency, clarity and simplicity in our society while dissuading dis-ingenuity, lies, inconsistency, bewilderment and abstruseness to become the norm.
When we promote good values and decry bad ones, we will transform ourselves into becoming a better people and a better nation – and it is when we become a better people and a better nation that we will be able to find a good leader.
A dragon might be a noble and fine creature but the leader of a rat will be another rat, not a dragon. That is the law of nature. We deserve the leaders that we get. If we want better leaders, we have to be better people. It is as simple as that.
So, to answer the question if not Anwar who else, my answer is that it doesn’t matter who else replaces Anwar as long as the person is ashamed of telling a lies, like keepings things simple, is consistent in practicing his values and principles, and have a simplicity in his ideas and expressions.
And above all else, the said individual must be able to elude clarity and confidence and possess a touch of genius.
Until then, it doesn’t matter whether it is Anwar, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Tan Sri Hadi Awang or whoever else becomes our PM for nothing is going to change. – Nov 27, 2023
Nehru Sathiamoorthy is a roving tutor who loves politics, philosophy and psychology.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.
Pics credit: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Facebook