Does ABU equal to Anwar-for-PM?


We were not the only ones caught gasping by Anwar’s acquittal. PAS, too, could not accept Anwar as Prime Minister. But for them to renounce Anwar would have been ‘bad politics’. However, if Anwar were convicted for ‘Sodomy 2’, then the problem would solve itself. Due to Anwar’s conviction for ‘Sodomy 2’, he would be disqualified from becoming Prime Minister even if Pakatan Rakyat wins enough seats to form the next federal government.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

PAS wings’ support for Hadi as future PM continues to put Opposition partners in a spot

(The Star) – The PAS Ulama and Muslimat wings’ support for party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang to be made prime minister should Pakatan Rakyat come to power continues to put other Opposition coalition members in a spot.

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, widely seen as the premier-in-waiting, was evasive when reporters asked for his response.

“It’s okay. No problem. We will discuss in a nice manner”, he said as he walked briskly to his car after launching a convention on national education at Universiti Selangor (Unisel) in Shah Alam on Sunday.

He said he had to rush off to another function in Kuantan.

However, DAP was characteristically vocal.

Its deputy chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw said bluntly on Sunday that Anwar would be prime minister should Pakatan win the 13th general election and hudud law would not be implemented.

“All of us have agreed that Anwar will be the PM should we take over Putrajaya.”

“In a democracy, we, of course, allow for differing opinions, but the consensus in Pakatan that Anwar remains the PM-in-waiting is final, so even if the PAS Ulama and Muslimat wings say otherwise, it makes no difference,” he said.

He said that the Pakatan Rakyat leadership would only implement policies that have the consensus of all three-component parties, and reject those which have yet to obtain it.

At the same time, it was the lack of consensus that has stopped the implementation of hudud law from becoming part of Pakatan’s common framework policy.

“If there is consensus, we will enforce it. If not, we won’t. And the decision from the leadership is final,” he told reporters after a DAP ceramah in Kepong Baru on Sunday morning, reiterating the DAP’s position on the matter.

He also said that it was “pure politicking” by Barisan National to imply that the Islamic penal code could be so easily implemented.

He said that it required an amendment to the Federal Constitution to implement hudud and any amendment to the constitution required consent from two-thirds of the members of parliament.

At the 58th PAS muktamar in Kota Baru on Saturday Dewan Ulama representative Hairun Nizam had said Hadi was the best candidate for the job if the coalition took over Putrajaya, a sentiment echoed by PAS Muslimat on Sunday. When pressed for a reaction, Hadi had earlier dodged responding directly, saying instead, that he would rather be a “servant” to the people and country.

“Whoever becomes the prime minister needs the support of the party and people. I would rather be a khadam (servant) to the people,” he had said.

Meanwhile, in Ipoh, Umno treasurer Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said Sunday the Opposition’s inability to agree on a common platform and contest under a common flag in the upcoming general elections showed that they could not govern the country.

“PAS will definitely want to implement their Islamic ways if Pakatan comes into power and if it is not done, it will destroy the Opposition.”

“Intellectually, if they cannot even be united in contesting as a single party, then they are incapable of being united to rule the country,” he said in a press conference in Manjoi here on Sunday.

“As such, I do not see that they have any hope of winning in the upcoming elections,” he said.


The Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) was launched two years ago in London with a specific agenda in mind — to try to reform Malaysian politics and introduce what back in 1999 PKR (then PKN) called ‘Politik Baru’ or ‘New Politics’. This basically means to discard race/religion-based politics in favour of a more mature form of politics and to try to end ‘money politics’, or the practice of voting based on financial considerations.

It was certainly a tall order indeed and not a journey that we imagined we would achieve in our lifetime. Europe took two generations for the seed that was planted by Napoleon Bonaparte over 12 years from 1803 to finally germinate with the outbreak of the 1848 revolutions. Even then it took another 22/23 years (or one more generation) until 1870/1871 before real change finally came to Europe.

In short, Europe took 60-70 years for change to happen. And it only happened through an armed and bloody revolution, which proves what Mao Zedong said: power comes from the barrel of the gun. Hence, short of embarking upon a Chin Peng sort of armed insurgency, how long do you think it is going to take for change to come to Malaysia?

Those were the issues troubling us back in 2010. And those were the issues MCLM was supposed to address, or try to address. But many things would need to be done to even come close to what we were seeking. Amongst those many things would be to seek out at least 30 Malaysians suitable to be fielded as Member of Parliament candidates in the coming general election.

Haris Ibrahim (Sam) then began to approach a few likely candidates — some who had earlier been approached by the opposition back in 1999, 2004 and/or 2008 — to explore the possibility of them standing as candidates in the coming general election. Almost all said ‘no’. However, due to Sam’s power of persuasion, eventually five relented and said ‘yes’ while another two said they would seriously consider the proposal.

So we had five yeses and two tentatives. And then it stopped. We could not move beyond those seven. And we were not even close to the 30 that we had targeted.

The rut we found ourselves in was due to the hostile reaction from Pakatan Rakyat. While we made it clear we were seeking these candidates to offer them to Pakatan Rakyat, Pakatan Rakyat in turn said that MCLM itself was planning to contest the election to trigger three-corner contests. Hence we are going to jeopardise the opposition’s chances of forming the new federal government. Hence, also, we are Barisan Nasional’s ‘Trojan horse’ whose job is to sabotage Pakatan Rakyat.

It was apparent that Pakatan Rakyat was not going to welcome these independent candidates. Pakatan Rakyat was only going to field party members and if MCLM’s independent candidates wanted to contest the elections then they would have to join one of the three parties first. Even then there was no guarantee they would be fielded as candidates.

With that very negative reaction from Pakatan Rakyat, the two tentative candidates backed off. From the balance five, another four also decided to withdraw, leaving only one still prepared to go the distance. However, this last candidate would have to contest the Kapar seat on the basis of a three-corner contest, which would defeat the whole purpose of the exercise.

MLCM is not a political party so it does not intend to contest the general election. It was seeking candidates on behalf of Pakatan Rakyat, not to contest against Pakatan Rakyat. And if Pakatan Rakyat does not want these candidates then the whole exercise would need to be aborted.

It was agreed that the candidates who wished to withdraw would say nothing for the time being. We had to first seek an exit strategy so that they can gracefully bail out without losing face. And that exit plan offered itself on 1st January this year when I did my second interview with the mainstream media. Because of that interview, the candidates were able to announce that they were distancing themselves from MCLM. Sam, too, was able to bail out gracefully by resigning from MCLM and embark upon his ABU agenda outside MCLM.

In the meeting we had in Chiengmai in late January this year, three weeks after my ‘explosive’ 1st January 2012 interview, it was agreed that I, too, would withdraw from MCLM and a new committee would take over. My continued involvement in MCLM would ‘taint’ the movement. Hence we would need to call for an AGM, which we did soon after, and I left the scene and the new committee took over. It was also agreed in that Chiengmai meeting that MCLM would now focus purely on matters involving civil liberties and it would no longer be involved in politics.

A month before that Chiengmai meeting, a meeting was held in Phuket to discuss many issues regarding not only MCLM but also about Malaysian politics in general. And one of the issues of concern was the information that Sam received from his contacts in Umno that Anwar Ibrahim would be acquitted from the ‘Sodomy 2’ charge. The information that Sam received was that Najib had made a deal with Anwar. However, it was not too clear what type of deal it was.

This was definitely troubling news indeed. Sam was convinced that the information was accurate because it came from ‘high-ups’ in Umno and they have never been wrong before. My response to that was we would have to wait another one and a half months or so to see if it was true that Anwar was going to be acquitted and if so, why.

Nevertheless, we would need to pre-empt this, in case, so one week later I did that interview with the mainstream media where I whacked Anwar. Basically, as what Sam and I discussed in Phuket, we needed to launch a ‘Get Anwar Campaign’, or GAC for short. We needed to neutralise Anwar in case he had turned Umno Trojan horse. And his acquittal would more or less confirm this.

We were not the only ones caught gasping by Anwar’s acquittal. PAS, too, could not accept Anwar as Prime Minister. But for them to renounce Anwar would have been ‘bad politics’. However, if Anwar were convicted for ‘Sodomy 2’, then the problem would solve itself. Due to Anwar’s conviction for ‘Sodomy 2’, he would be disqualified from becoming Prime Minister even if Pakatan Rakyat wins enough seats to form the next federal government.

In fact, Anwar’s conviction for ‘Sodomy 2’ would have been ‘good politics’. The sympathy factor would be high and Anwar could be ‘marketed’ as a martyr and a victim of injustice. Having Anwar in jail would benefit the opposition a great deal. Plus it would solve the additional problem of not having him as the Prime Minister in the event Pakatan Rakyat gets to form the federal government.

Maybe Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak realised this. Maybe he realised that acquitting Anwar works better for Barisan Nasional than putting him in jail. Najib, too, knew that PAS did not want Anwar as Prime Minister. Hence the Prime Minister would be doing PAS a favour by putting Anwar in jail. But if Anwar were to be acquitted, then PAS would face a dilemma. Do they keep quiet and accept Anwar as Prime Minister or do they openly declare that they cannot accept Anwar as Prime Minister?

Was Anwar’s acquittal an independent decision by the judge or was the judge’s decision to acquit Anwar a brilliant political move by Najib to drive a wedge between PAS and PKR (plus also now between PAS and DAP it seems)?

The issue here is, ABU or ‘anything but Umno’ is about rejecting Umno, which invariably means rejecting Barisan Nasional as well. However, as Sam and I discussed in Phuket, ABU does not translate to ‘Anwar for PM’. But then the judge (with or without Najib’s instructions) threw a spanner in the works by acquitting Anwar of the Sodomy 2 charge. So now ABU also means Anwar for PM.

And herein lies the problem for many people, those in PAS included.

Many in PAS are not convinced about Anwar’s innocence. They are convinced that Anwar is guilty. But they do not want to be the ones to say so. They want the court to say so by convicting Anwar. But when the court did not do that, PAS either has to accept that as an indication that Anwar is innocent or else they would have to come out and say that they do not want Anwar as Prime Minister — without explaining why and leaving it unsaid that the reason is because they think Anwar is guilty.

Anyway, Pakatan Rakyat needs to win at least 120 seats in Parliament (to be safe, although 112 seats gives it a simple majority with a two-seat margin) to form the federal government. PAS says it plans/hopes to win at least 60 seats. If it does, that would mean DAP and PKR combined would have won only 60 seats. And this would also mean PAS would become the Prime Minister.

Hence it is not impossible for Tok Guru Haji Abdul Hadi Awang to become the Prime Minister if PAS wins more seats that PKR and DAP — unless DAP wins the most number of seats and they nominate Anwar for Prime Minister.


The meeting in Phuket a year ago and one year after the birth of MCLM