Mahathir can’t accuse Anwar of being wrong, as long as he insists that he himself is right
Considering how little he needed to go after Anwar, he shouldn’t at all be surprised by how little Anwar needs to go after him. Compared to what Mahathir had against Anwar, Anwar definitely has much more against him and his family.
Mahathir is upset over the fact that Anwar is accusing him of having billions and going after his son. Mirzan, without having any proof.
Actually, by Mahathir’s standard, Anwar has proof.
Anwar’s proof is his suspicion. He suspects that Mahathir and his son are corrupt and by Mahathir standard, that should be enough.
It is enough, because once upon a time ago in 1998, that was all the proof that Mahathir had before he went after Anwar.
When Mahathir went after Anwar 1998, the only thing he had was his suspicion. He suspected that Anwar was engaged in sexual misconduct, and based on this suspicion, he acted mercilessly against Anwar.
Anwar was not caught red handed in the act, nobody lodged a complaint against Anwar and there was nothing concrete like a video recording to prove that Anwar had done what Mahathir accused him of doing.
All Mahathir had were suspicions, rumours and gossip. At best, he had a book, called “50 dalil Mengapa Anwar tak boleh Mejadi PM” that levelled all sorts of allegations against Anwar, without substantiating it with any whatsoever proof. The allegation laid out in the book was so flimsy, that Anwar would even go on to win a defamation suit against the writer of the book Khalid Jafri, in the year 2005.
Yet Mahathir went after Anwar like it was absolutely clear to him that Anwar was guilty. He was so convinced that Anwar was guilty, that even as the case was going on, he went on TV to declare to the entire nation that Anwar is guilty even before the judge had come out with a verdict.
Considering how little he needed to go after Anwar, he shouldn’t at all be surprised by how little Anwar needs to go after him.
Compared to what Mahathir had against Anwar, Anwar definitely has much more against him and his family.
In 1998, if there were rumours and gossip about Anwar, it must have only been known to a few people in KL. Neither I nor anyone in my entire town had any idea that Anwar was involved in the activities that Mahathir alleged him to be involved in. All of us were so unaware of what he was alleged to have done, that when the papers came out with the word “liwat” to inform us as to the reason why Anwar had to be fired from the cabinet, expelled from Umno and charged in court, none of us even knew what the word meant.
Comparatively, the rumours and gossip about the extraordinary wealth of Mahathir’s family is well known. From royalty to commoners, everybody is aware of it. There is probably no one in Malaysia who has not heard rumours about the incredible riches of Mahathir and his family.
If Mahathir assumed he had enough proof to throw everything and the kitchen sink at Anwar just because he and a few people suspected Anwar of something, by his standards, he cannot blame Anwar for bringing down the hammer on his family and him, when not only Anwar, but the entire country suspects him of something.
If he thought he was right to presume that Anwar is guilty and then only find the witnesses and collect the evidence to prove Anwar’s guilt, then he has no right to accuse Anwar of being wrong, when Anwar is doing the exact same thing.
I am not saying that Anwar is right, but I will certainly say that of all people, Mahathir absolutely has no right to say that Anwar is wrong.
Anwar is just following his example. As long as he stubbornly insists that he was absolutely right to do what he did to Anwar in 1998, then by his own laws, he will have to accept that what Anwar is doing to him is right too.
Over 2000 years ago, when the city of Melos protested against the threat of invasion by the more powerful city of Athens, the Athenians replied “the strong do what they can, the weak suffer what they must.”
In 1998, Mahathir treated Anwar the way that the Athenians treated the Melians.
Today, the tables have turned. Today, it is Anwar who is strong, and Mahathir who is weak.
By his own laws, Mahathir must abide Anwar doing what he can, and like the Melians, suffer what he must.
There is no point for someone like Mahathir to appeal to justice and reason today, when it is power and might, not justice and reason, that he had put his faith on in the past.
If Mahathir can no longer muster the power and strength to protect himself and his family, rather than seek refuge in reason and justice, he should seek his salvation in humility and magnanimity.
If he can humble himself to admit that he was wrong in acting so viciously and recklessly against Anwar in 1998, maybe he can persuade the rakyat to urge Anwar to be magnanimous towards him.
Anwar has the right of vengeance. None of us can stop him from pursuing his rights unless Mahathir humbles himself and admits his mistakes. If we urge Anwar to stop before Mahathir admits his mistakes, it would be we who will be in the wrong.
If Mahathir can’t humble himself, if he insists that he would rather be ruined as a great man than be redeemed by the grace of humility, that is his choice.