Yesterday, the breaking news from Malaysiakini made me smile and hence the birth of this analysis. In an unprecedented move, Wan Azizah, vacated her Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat to pave way for Anwar to contest in a by-election. The self-professed prime minister-in-waiting, Anwar, has set a deadline on the symbolic Sept 16, 2008 for the loosely-formed Pakatan Rakyat to throw Barisan Nasional (BN) out of the throne; a throne reigns by the latter for the last 50 years.
Prior to Azizah’s move, Anwar has been confidently vocal in securing victory in either of the two parliamentary seats – Kulim and Bandar Tun Razak – both holds by Pakatan Rakyat post March 8, 2008 general election. He also claimed to have enough of the ruling coalition’s MPs to cross over to his side of the battle thus lending him the ticket to be prime minister, a dream he harbours for so long.
To either his credit or detriment, Anwar has been launching a psychological warfare against the widely-criticised BN even before the last general election to jolt himself forward in the country’s most-watched power struggle. However, skeptics condemn Anwar for choosing such a safe-seat for him to return to the political front. Permatang Pauh is, undoubtedly, Anwar’s strong fort even prior to his incarceration and him being unceremoniously kicked out of UMNO.
If you asked me, Anwar could win Permatang Pauh even with his eyes closed and half the required effort to win in any election. Voters of Permatang Pauh worship Anwar next to God. Even when BN almost made a clean sweep in 2004 general election, Permatang Pauh stayed true to Anwar’s ideology silhouetted in a form of the amiable-motherly-tender Azizah. Azizah is a wife all politicians dream of having. Undaunted, she torches Anwar’s darkest political path for the past ten years.
The SPR must now call for a by-election within 60 days as dictated by the law. Who would BN front as a sacrificial lamb in this hopeless fight against Anwar remains a mystery to many. Be that as it may, BN has the advantage of having a bottomless wallet in footing the by-election’s expenses. BN would typically bring its entire machinery and limitless resources to Permatang Pauh to ensure Anwar will never again set foot in the august house. Both sides have an uphill battle to fight in the next sixty days to come.
On the sideline, UMNO has been relentless in its bid to get into bed with PAS under the name of unity and islamic interest. Ironically – and if history bears any measure at all – both parties had been bickering to no end prior to March 8, general election. UMNO now sings a different tune altogether to lure PAS into yet another marriage of convenience. PAS has yet to make up its mind much to Pakatan Rakyat’s chagrin. Statesman, Tun Dr Mahathir calls the effort to marry off UMNO and PAS like trying to cross-breed cat and goat! Oh, he has wicked wits and sense of humor, still.
Statistic shows that Permatang Pauh is a constituency with 69.4% malay voters, 24.5% chinese voters and 6% indian voters. Needless to say, the voters never voted for any party’s manifesto for they have been voting for Anwar. Permatang Pauh to Anwar is like Gua Musang to Tengku Razaleigh. My late grandfather used to say, “kalau Ku Li pakai party cap beruk pun dia tetap akan menang di Gua Musang“. Translation: “if Ku Li is under ‘monkey’s party’ he would still win in Gua Musang”.
Still, Anwar must fend off the sodomy allegation lodged against him by Saiful Bakri. The allegation, to a certain extent, poses as a stumbling block in Pakatan Rakyat’s dream of ruling the country even if PAS and DAP have expressed their confidence that Anwar is, indeed, innocent. His refusal to swear his innocence on the Qur’an raises many eyebrows. How Anwar steer his political boat out of the storm will have an effect in the forthcoming by-election.
Abdullah – despite his lackluster performance in the last general election – rubbished off Anwar’s bid to take over as a bluff. Many UMNO ministers and supporters echo his statement. As we wait with bated breath for one of the hottest by-elections the country will see, BN and Pakatan Rakyat should heed the old proverb: “jangan jadi seperti Pak Pandir, menang sorak kampung tergadai“.
On a completely irrelevant afterthought, when is the government going to reduce the price of fuel considering the lower USD per barrel nowadays?
[Image stolen from Malaysiakini]