Anwar should take the Bersih rally as his first warning

The people who attended the Bersih rally all come from his support base. Just look at their picture. These are not PN supporters, these are all PH supporters.

Nehru Sathiamoorthy

The Bersih rally today ( Feb 27) is an indication that Anwar better start doing something about the economy, or he is going to face a mutiny in his base of support.

The people who attended the Bersih rally all come from his support base. Just look at their picture. These are not PN supporters, these are all PH supporters.

That this Bersih rally only managed to get a small number of crowds doesn’t really matter. To know the real strength of the Bersih rally, Anwar should go and check on the comment section of news reports about the Bersih rally in pro-PH social media sites. He should count how many are still stating their support for him by criticising the Bersih rally.

I am sure he will find the silence deafening.

Nobody really cares about why Bersih is demonstrating against the government. All we know is that a message needs to be sent to Anwar to show that his support base is dissatisfied with him, and that message has been sent not only through the Bersih rally itself, but by the refusal of Anwar’s support base at large to condemn the Bersih rally in social media.

The reason that Pakatan’s support base is dissatisfied with Anwar and the Madani government is simple. It is because Anwar keeps conflating his interest with our interest and does whatever he pleases.

First he said it is in our interest that we accept Zahid Hamidi as the DPM, and although we really didn’t see how it was in our self-interest, we took his words for it, and believed him.

Then he said that it is our interest again that Zahid Hamidi be given not one, or two, but 47 DNAA’s, when again, we really didn’t see how this was in our self-interest.

Later,  he said that it is in our self-interest that the parliament is debased by having opposition lawmakers support the government, but whatever he was seeing, we didn’t see it.

Last month, he said that Daim’s tower being seized or Mahathir’s children investigated by the authorities are all moves in our self-interest, but last week, he called Taib Mahmud a “respected statesman” whose service and dedication will always be remembered. It now looks to us that whatever he is doing is really more about him than us.

This Bersih should be taken by Anwar to remind himself that we voted him for our sake, not his sake.

We voted him in power because we had a problem and he said he knew how to fix it. We didn’t vote him in power so that he can act like a Tamil movie, take his vengeance on all of his enemies and feel good about himself.

We need him to understand that we are the centre and we expect him to revolve around us.

It is because he is acting like he is the centre and all of us must revolve around, that he should take this Bersih rally as a warning. This is the people’s way of telling him to stop behaving like he is our only choice and we have to support him because we have no one else to support other than him. That sort of behaviour is infuriating.

We need Anwar to know that we need to get what we want first, because he will get what he wants.

If we get what we want, then he can have his vengeance, be hailed as the hero-saviour of Malaysia, be bestowed the title Bapa Reformasi Malaysia and maybe even emerge as the first Malaysian to win the Nobel Prize someday.

But if thinks that he can keep telling us that what he wants is what we want, things like this Bersih rally will continue, until his enemies understand that his support base have abandoned him.

Anwar is riding the tiger now. Losing your support base when you are going after powerful enemies is akin to dismounting from a tiger when the tiger has yet to be fed. He is doing it at his own peril.

As for what the people want, the answer is simple. We want the economy to work. We want for the economy to work so well that we will be able to mind our own business because we have a business worth minding.

That the ringgit has hit a 26 year low is not a sign that our economy is one that will allow us to have a business worth minding.

If we can mind our own business by having a business worth minding, then he can be rest assured that we will have no problem with him doing whatever he wants to his enemies and his hardcore supporters can crown him to be a Father of Malaysia, and not only won’t we not mind it, we might even support it.

If not, we will like to remind him of just what will happen to him if his government is toppled.

Najib went to jail after he was toppled. After Muhyiddin and Mahathir were unseated, not only they, but their family as well, are facing all sort of trouble with the law.

Anwar must not think that just because he is 76 years of age, he can afford to lose power, because his enemies are going to respect his age and not desire to to cause him trouble.

Malaysia has become a country that is quite antagonistic to old men. Ask Najib, Daim, Mahathir or Muhyiddin.

If I could offer one piece of advice to Anwar, it would be to “Save the economy, save Malaysia, save himself,” in that order. If he does that, I am sure all will be well for him.

If he doesn’t, he should remember what he himself said recently.

“My room in Sungai Buloh is still empty,” Anwar said recently in a speech.

If he toppled because his support base has withered, who does he think his enemies are going to fill up that room with?

Nehru Sathiamoorthy is the author of “While Waiting for the World to end”. He was a columnist at FMT and a frequent contributor to the South China Morning Post, The Star, Malaysia-Today, MalaysiaNow, MalaysiaKini and Focus Malaysia.