Thursday, 12 March 2015

Enough of Anwar Ibrahim, move on!

Of late, the antics and demands of the left-wing party, in particular the Parti Keadilan Rakyat have grown a tad too dramatic and inappropriate, if I may say.

By now almost anyone familiar with the country's political landscape knows the Anwar's supporters tale: one that revolves around their demand for the jailed leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to be granted permission to attend Parliament sessions and the rallies of #KitaLawan, organised in solidarity of the Permatang Pauh MP. At one glance, these strategies are seen merely to inform the world what an unjust and corrupted country Malaysia is.

They had also complained that Anwar's sleep is affected by mosquitoes, poor quality mattress and squat toilets at the Sungai Buloh prison, where Anwar is serving his five-year sentence for sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Azlan Bukhari.

What did you expect, PKR?

The street demonstrations for Anwar, whom they claim was wrongfully judged is one thing but expecting special preferences to be given to him, is another matter altogether.

KitaLawan rally

The #KitaLawan rally held on March 7, 2015

Worse, they also want Anwar to be allowed to attend the Parliament sitting from March 9 to Apr 9 as he is still a lawmaker.

Section 31(1)(a) of the Prisons Act 1995 provides for the commissioner-general to order, in writing, a prisoner to be taken to any place in Malaysia, after being satisfied that there are reasonable grounds requiring the presence of the prisoner at that place.

Why don’t you guys ask for Anwar to be allowed to return home for special days like Hari Raya and his birthday while you are at it?

Before anyone accuse me of being a BN supporter or anti-Anwar, let me be clear here. This has nothing to do with political allegiance. Most Malaysians are to some extent, sympathetic towards what has transpired over the years to Anwar Ibrahim’s family, ever since he was removed as the deputy Prime Minister in 1998.

We do understand the pain and suffering of his wife and children, knowing that their father is not well and being behind bars when the 67-year-old should be with his family, enjoying his days with his grandchildren.

And also the shame that came with his conviction that he committed sodomy, a serious offence under the Islamic laws.

No doubt, Anwar’s conviction came under severe criticism from various organisations, both locally and from abroad and his supporters talk about political conspiracy to kill Anwar’s career.

Anwar was sent to prison on Feb 10, after a seven-year trial. Nightly vigil outside the Sungai Buloh prison were held and later the Opposition began its street demonstrations and demands for better facilities for him.

Instead of focusing solely on one man – Anwar Ibrahim and his needs, can the Opposition pact start acting and behaving like a proper coalition?

The sympathy towards one man is not enough to swing the votes.

Instead of harping on Anwar and his woes, perhaps the PKR-DAP-PAS coalition can start talking about economic reforms, improving livelihoods, exposing corruption and corrupt practices. It can also tell the people what it can do to bring the country to greater heights.

Anwar Ibrahim may be seen as a Nelson Mandela to many young and new voters but let’s not forget the older generation of voters who generally do not vote based on emotions alone.

To the Opposition pact, you have made your point. Now let’s move on.

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