Anwar’s struggle not a ‘true cause’

Pakatan Rakyat’s struggle is a marriage of Anwar Ibrahim’s personal objectives and that of DAP and PAS’ ‘consistent’ causes.

The Anwar-Mahathir political crisis which culminated in the 1998 showdown was essentially a power struggle for the Umno presidency and the premiership.

Awang Abdillah, Free Malaysia Today

In any true political struggle there must be a cause and the cause must have an objective. Both these “aims” must remain consistent till the end.

A true political fighter is committed to his struggle and objectives such as issues involving religion, country, government, people, democracy, justice, ideals, independence, tyranny, and abuse of power.

Hence a struggle is either for the betterment of the people, country or mankind, or to remove the different forms of evilness that plague them.

But in the case of a man who struggles for personal objective, there is no true cause involved.

Such kind of pursuit is more marked by desperate and hasty moves rather than a calculative and well-planned strategy .

In other words, his actions are driven by changes that provide opportunities and openings for him to act fast ,rather than long-term preparation and planning to make an event happen in the future.

Hence a person with a personal agenda does not have a cause to fight for.

Anwar Ibrahim’s struggle does not fit in the category that is related to a true cause but rather that of a personal agenda.

The 1997-98 economic crisis that hit Malaysia’s financial market and which saw both the ringgit and stocks crash shattered the mighty Dr Mahathir Mohamad (former premier) to the core .

He could not believe what happened.

His leadership credibility was at stake and his earlier positive performance was neutralised.

Unethical Mahathir

Mahathir then had to embark on a massive bailout plan to rescue his family and cronies’ business empire from collapsing by injecting billions of ringgit in public funds into their business entities .

Mahathir’s unethical and corrupt acts provided the right opportunity and justification for the Anwar faction in Umno and the government to make their move to oust Mahathir from power.

Anwar was at that time the deputy prime minister.

While Anwar flexed his muscles, Mahathir pressed all sorts of power buttons at his disposal.

Mahathir had gone through a number of challenges before that had rattled him.

But Anwar was the biggest challenge in his political career. So Mahathir had to take an extreme measure to save himself and his interests.

He chose to press the megawatt button that would paralyse his adversary.

Now Najib Tun Razak, who was then the defence minister, had his own gameplan.

He chose Mahathir over Anwar because Mahathir was getting old and sooner or later he would have to step down while Anwar was younger and if he had won, would have become the prime minister for a long time.

Najib placed his bets well.

Najib’s psy-war

True to his analysis, this master of psychlogical war let the two fight it out, with Mahathir emerging the victor.

However, by 2003 Mahathir had to bow out due to intense pressure.

The Anwar-Mahathir political crisis which culminated in the 1998 showdown was essentially a power struggle for the Umno presidency and the premiership.

At that time, though Mahathir was shattered by the financial crisis, he still held so much economic and political power which he had acquired through the undemocratic-dictatorial rule involving unethical practices and abuses of power.

No dictator who had grabbed so much power like Mahathir was willing to surrender it easily to any one. Whoever was the No 2 man had to wait.

Opportunities to grab power and holding on to power itself are two different things.

With supreme authority in his hands, Mahathir easily checkmated Anwar’s coup d’etat attempt.

When Anwar failed in his personal objective to topple Mahathir – and instead was himself toppled – he lost everything.

He looked to the opposition leaders to achieve his goal.

Naturally when Anwar teamed up with the opposition parties, his struggle would broaden to include their causes and they reciprocated by accepting his personal agenda plan.

So in the case of Anwar’s struggle it is the personal objective first rather than the cause.

Hence from the beginning Anwar’s struggle was not on the right track.