Wrong of Khalid Samad to spill the beans


I was caught by surprise with the revelation by Khalid Samad, who claimed that Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had pledged the support of 30 Umno MPs for PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.

The Amanah communications director said that Zahid had communicated as such in a letter, which was handed to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong recently.

In Khalid’s own words in an interview with Jom Channel that was widely reported: “I am made to understand, other than letters from (Amanah president) Mohamad Sabu, (DAP secretary-general) Lim Guan Eng, Anwar also presented a letter by Zahid, which stated that 30 MPs from Umno, if I’m not mistaken, supported Anwar”.

My questions: Why did Khalid make the claim/revelation when even Anwar has been reluctant to do so? Did Khalid inform his party president before doing so?

The more important question is: Was it Khalid’s place to spill the beans? My answer: I don’t think so.

Khalid is from Amanah, Pakatan Harapan’s smallest ally with only 11 MPs. I think it isn’t right for Khalid, or anyone, to reveal anything about Anwar’s “best-kept secrets of the moment”.

If Anwar had any intention to make any public pronouncements of what he has been keeping close to his chest for the past months, he would have done so himself and at the appropriate time.

If not, it would rightly have come from a senior PKR leader, like the party’s secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution, and certainly not from Amanah’s Khalid.

It is not wrong to say that this is PKR’s and Anwar’s show, not Amanah’s or Khalid’s, allies aside.

I liken this to a case of Khalid attempting to get into the limelight when it isn’t his showtime but Anwar’s.

In politics, it is also important to be disciplined and not steal the thunder from others. In this case, it is obvious that Anwar has worked tirelessly, perhaps single-handedly, to reach this stage, not anyone else in Harapan.

Over the past months, I was quite taken aback when DAP and Amanah were in two minds about even supporting Anwar for prime minister.

We can clearly recall what DAP and Amanah leaders had stated – only if Anwar is able to get the numbers. If not, Warisan president Shafie Apdal should be given a chance to stake a claim for PM.

If I were Anwar, (I wish he is not that desperate to move into Seri Perdana) I would have ticked off the DAP and Amanah guys for their less-than steadfast support.

Why must it be left to Anwar alone to work on getting the numbers? Shouldn’t DAP and Amanah be helping out too to get the necessary MPs to be on their side? Are they not together on the same side in Harapan?

If Anwar succeeds, wouldn’t they all be making a scramble to be in Anwar’s cabinet? Isn’t this a case of enjoying the fruits of the labour of others? Seriously, with friends like these, who needs enemies?

On this, let me say “shame on DAP and Amanah” for their indecisiveness and lack of faith and trust in the man they had chosen as the leader of their coalition.

So Khalid had revealed the purported letter from Zahid that he has a group of 30 MPs backing Anwar.

I wonder whether it has ever crossed Khalid’s mind as to why Anwar had declined to name names or be specific about his support during his Oct 13 presser.

Anwar is a political veteran and a great strategist. He could have made some wrong moves in the past, but I believe it was his strategy last Tuesday to reveal what was necessary for now.

While it is known to all that Umno MPs are backing Anwar en-route to Putrajaya, the exact numbers and names are his closely guarded secrets.

A good chess player would be able to anticipate his opponent’s next move. Likewise, it would be foolish for a poker player to show his hand before he is declared the winner. A misstep is fatal.

In case Khalid is that naïve, the stakes are high here.

Khalid should have taken Anwar’s words for it and allowed the Harapan leader to handle this most important task of his whole political career his way.

Anwar had said what must be said. The rest is left to the wisdom and decision of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Let us be patient and wait for the king to do what he knows best.

Meantime, I hope Khalid and others in Harapan would not be the spoilers of what is possibly Anwar’s last chance to be prime minister.

To Amanah and DAP people, if you need to air your views on this matter publicly, I suggest you stick to your own party’s affairs and stand. Leave Anwar alone for now. Let him handle this at his own space and time.

This is Anwar’s showtime.