The Bumiputera race torpedoed the Putrajaya race (UPDATED with Chinese Translation)

Many sceptics, especially from Umno, pooh-poohed Anwar’s ’16 September’ announcement. Many, even from the opposition, were puzzled as to why Anwar made such as announcement even if it were true. Would it not have been better to keep silent and make a surprise move instead of tipping off the other side and allow them to block the move?


Raja Petra Kamarudin

I have written many things in the past, some of which have been regarded as mere speculation because of the absence of tangible evidence. As usual, all we need to do is to wait for the evidence to surface by itself. And with the latest Wikileaks revelation published today, what was said back then begins to make sense today.

Regarding Anwar Ibrahim’s ‘failure’ to make good his ‘16 September’ promise, I emphasised that he could not get enough Bumiputera or Malay Members of Parliament to cross over.

This would of course mean MPs from Umno.

Note: In West Malaysia, the Umno MPs would be Malay-Muslims while in East Malaysia, they would not necessary be Malay-Muslims because non-Muslim ‘natives’ are also regarded as Bumiputeras over there.

Many sceptics, especially from Umno, pooh-poohed Anwar’s ’16 September’ announcement. Many, even from the opposition, were puzzled as to why Anwar made such as announcement even if it were true. Would it not have been better to keep silent and make a surprise move instead of tipping off the other side and allow them to block the move?

They thought that Anwar was bluffing. It was a sort of poker play to get the other side to panic. Then, if it didn’t happen, he could always blame the other side for blocking the move. At worse they will say Anwar made a mistake by announcing it too prematurely, thereby allowing the other side to block the move. 

The sceptics thought he was bluffing and the believers thought he was not bluffing but erred by announcing it too early.

Actually, Anwar did have the numbers — the 30 Barisan Nasional MPs he needed to form the federal government. But there was a problem in getting them to make the first move. Everyone wanted the others to make the first move and if it is proven Anwar had the numbers, and it appeared like the federal government was going to fall, then they would follow.

In short, no one wanted to be the first in case Anwar fell short of the 30 he promised and needed. If they made the first move and then Anwar failed, they would be left in the open to get killed.

It is like in an army charging the enemy through an open field. When you shout “charge!” and only a few respond you will get massacred. Everyone has to charge at the same time. So you play safe and watch who charges first. Only when everyone charges do you join the charge from the safety of the rear.

So those Barisan MPs from East Malaysia were waiting to see who from West Malaysia were going to jump and the Barisan MPs from West Malaysia were waiting to see who from East Malaysia were going to jump.

In the end no one jumped because all were waiting for the others to jump first. They should have done it like in the movie ‘Titanic’ when Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet made their deal — ‘you jump, I jump’.

In the end both did not jump anyway right until the time the ship sank.

If only Anwar could have arranged for all 30 to jump at the same time rather than ‘you jump first and I will follow’ then 16 September would have happened. No one wanted to be the first. All wanted to be in the ‘I will follow once enough people jump’ group.

That was the first obstacle Anwar faced.

The second obstacle was the racial composition because once the 30 Barisan MPs jumped, and added to the 82 already in Pakatan, the racial composition would be in favour of non-Malays or non-Muslims. In other words, the non-Malays-non-Muslims would outnumber the Malays-Muslims.

This was acceptable to PAS and DAP. Yes, even PAS had no problems if the new Pakatan federal government was a non-Malay-non-Muslim majority government and the Malays-Muslims were reduced to a minority. It was Anwar who feared that this may raise allegations that the Malays-Muslims have ‘lost’ political power to the non-Malays-non-Muslims.

In short, Anwar had cold feet. He wanted to make sure that the Malays-Muslims in the new government would remain the majority and not be reduced to a minority. Unless these 30 were Umno Malay-Muslim MPs, this was impossible.

So Anwar needed Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (Ku Li) to join the gang so that more Umno Malay-Muslims would cross over. Then the new Pakatan federal government would be a Malay-Muslim majority government. Ku Li, however, would only agree to join the gang if he could become the new Prime Minister.

That was virtually impossible as Anwar also wanted to become Prime Minister. However, Ku Li was prepared to hold the post of Prime Minister for just one term and then hand it over to Anwar.

Ironically, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (Pak Lah) also agreed along similar lines when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad handed him the baton. However, once Pak Lah became Prime Minister, he liked the job too much to hand it over after just one term. So Dr Mahathir had to kick him out in the end to get him to leave.

So, what was revealed in the Wikileaks cable today is very true. September 16 could have happened but it did not because of the factors discussed earlier. The question that remains is why did Anwar announce it too early when the loose ends had yet to be tied up?

Well, Anwar needed to give the 30 Barisan MPs confidence and assure them that it was going to happen. So he made that announcement in the hope that now they would feel confident enough to jump. But Barisan MPs are not the bravest people alive.

They were prepared to support the winner. They were prepared to jump, to cross over. But they would only do it if Anwar could kick out Barisan and take over the federal government.

This was a Catch 22 situation. The 30 Barisan MPs would join Pakatan if Pakatan could form the new federal government. But Anwar needed them to cross over first before BEFORE he could kick out Barisan and form a new Pakatan federal government. Consequently, nothing happened.

Even then, if they had all agreed to jump together, Anwar still needed to make sure that most of them were from Umno rather than from the non-Malay based parties. And that was another problem. Umno people don’t come cheap. You need to pay a lot of money to buy them over. And 30 MPs from Umno would have cost Anwar hundreds of millions of Ringgit.

Where would the money come from? He would have needed to get his hands on the RM500,000 submarine commission to be able to buy the 30 Umno MPs. And there was no way Razak Baginda was going to hand over the submarine commission to Anwar to enable him to buy the 30 Umno MPs.

And that was the saga of 16 September, the take-over of the federal government that never came to pass. It was a good plan but one with too many loose ends that required too much money. And Wikileaks today confirmed this.


Translated into Chinese at: