Joceline Tan: Swimming Against the Tide.

Anwar Ibrahim

DS Anwar Ibrahim Image via Wikipedia

 

The free Rolls Royce offer to any Anwar Ibrahim look-alike out there has gone unclaimed and US experts have verified the sex video to be authentic. What now for the leader of the Opposition?

NOBODY has claimed the Rolls Royce that is currently stretched out like a sexy lady on the porch of Zamil Ibrahim’s house.

The former PKR politician does not see anyone coming forward now that the country’s most talked-about sex video has been found to be authentic.

Zamil, who is now the Kedah chief of the new political party Kita, said he decided to put his prized wheels on the line because he became sick and tired of hearing claims that the man in the video was merely someone who looks like Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Posh car: No takers for the sleek and beautiful Rolls Royce which is still sitting on the porch of Zamil’s house in Kedah. Inset: Zamil who loves the Rolls Royce.

“I couldn’t take any more of the nonsense that it was an Anwar look-alike,” he said.

Zamil loves the beautiful vintage Rolls the way some Malay men love their second wives. Nevertheless, he was prepared to hand over the Rolls to the person whom Anwar’s supporters claimed had been the Anwar look-alike in the video. It was one of those droll manoeuvres loaded with political irony.

But deep down, Zamil is relieved the car will remain his. It is very similar to the Rolls Royce owned by no less than Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Taib Mahmud except that Zamil’s is in better condition. The engine purrs, the dashboard gleams with polish and the leather seats are in a plush taupe.

Just a fortnight ago, a Chinese friend borrowed the car for his son’s wedding. Zamil loaned the car plus his own driver because he did not want unfamiliar hands at the wheel.

Up against the wall: The sex video episode has reached a pivotal point and Pakatan parties are preparing to move on without Anwar who is seen here officiating at a new PKR branch in Kubang Pasu, Kedah.

There has been no love lost between Zamil and Anwar since the day Zamil claimed he was played out by Anwar over a position in PKR. Unfortunately for Anwar, Zamil does not take broken promises lightly and his quest for vengeance is far from over. A few days ago, Zamil lodged a police report on the police report that Anwar made to deny that he is the man in the video. Zamil’s contention is that Anwar had lodged a false police report.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge since the sex video scandal exploded back in March. The so-called Datuk Trio comprising Tan Sri Rahim Thamby Chik, Datuk Eskay Abdullah and Datuk Shuib Ismail has been charged and convicted. Expert opinion from the US is that the video is genuine and the man in it was reported to be “99.99% Anwar.”

End of story? Not quite – the end is still nowhere in sight for this controversial sex video.

“We have passed the climax but this thing has the look of an epic,” said film-maker and Umno blogger Syed Azidi Syed Aziz, who is better known by his blogging name Kickdefella.

Talk is rife of a few more videos in the wings, as well as an explosive photograph. The Datuk Trio is not the sort of people you would want to fool around with, as PKR politician and Sungai Petani MP Johari Abdul has learnt.

Johari, who was among the first people the Trio invited to view the video, recently found himself the collateral damage in the controversy. Johari has been going about denying that it is Anwar but last week, the PKR side released a video which featured Johari rubbishing the Trio and the sex video. His account was obviously timed to coincide with the Trio’s court conviction.

The Trio reacted by unleashing footage of Johari watching the sex video during which he appeared to acknowledge that it was Anwar. Johari did not come out very well from it and, if he knows better, this was just a warning from the Trio.

They obviously have more stuff than what has been seen to date given how cocksure they have been about their claims and actions as well as their willingness to swear on the Quran in the mosque.

But whether the Trio comes up with more of the same is not going to matter very much from now.

The sex video episode has reached a pivotal point with the conviction of the Trio and the authentication of the video. For months, Pakatan politicians had challenged the authorities to charge the Trio, and their conviction has taken the fire out of Pakatan’s artillery.

Pakatan politicians have generally ducked the issue of whether the video was authentic or fake. Only one DAP politician had called for the video to be authenticated. He was quietly asked to shut up and no other Pakatan figure has since made such demands.

Their standard line of defence has been that this is “politik lucah” or vulgar politics while PAS took the Islamic and diplomatic way out by insisting that such cases require four witnesses. Very few of them have put their reputation on the line to say that it is not Anwar. Johari is one of them.

But there are still people out there who do not want to accept that the video is authentic despite the tests and analyses by the academic institute in the US.

At the same time, not all of those who agree that the man is Anwar approve of the entrapment. They feel that political victory or defeat should take place via a political contest rather than through sex traps.

But it is increasingly difficult for Pakatan and especially PKR politicians to go on insisting that it is not Anwar.

When asked about this, a PKR official would only say: “Let the public decide whether they believe the 99.99% finding.”

Some people think Anwar is finished. Actually, he is far from finished but fewer people now think he is going to be the next Prime Minister – or even that he is Prime Minister material.

A serious matter

“Non-Muslims regard this as a private matter. But for us Muslims, it is a serious thing. I haven’t seen the video but my friends have seen it and they can decide for themselves,” said a top PAS figure.

Anwar’s problem is the growing element of doubt among the swing group, especially the Malay middle ground. The hardcore supporters on either side will remain where they are; it is the swing group that Pakatan has to be worried about.

Anwar probably feels it when he goes on the ceramah circuit. The crowds are there but he knows they are also checking out his belly, his chest and even his nose as they are listening to him. Fortunately, his stomach is quite flat now that he has lost so much weight and is looking rather gaunt.

The sex video, for one, has been a top topic at the ceramah series organised by the Pasir Salak division. Umno ceramah can be quite boring affairs but this one not only had the crowd’s attention but had them tickled too.

At one ceramah, the speaker said that given the sex-related incidents associated with the opposition leader, “the whole thing is beginning to look like a hobby.”

“Hobbies are okay, but people with this type of hobby, it’s better they don’t try to become the Prime Minister,” said the speaker.

Another speaker said: “Many of us have seen the video, the experts have said it is real, we know it’s him, what else is there to argue. Only the PAS leaders are still arguing as though they know everything, as if they were in the bedroom, under the bed.”

The ceramah series is the brainchild of Pasir Salak Umno politician Dr Faizal Tajuddin who wanted to counter and neutralise the string of ceramah by PAS, which has been parading its latest celebrity recruit, Bob Lokman, the Malay rocker who said he joined PAS because he wanted to go to heaven.

The main target is PAS but the sex video is one of the bullets being used by Dr Faizal’s team.

Many are also waiting to see whether Anwar’s wife and daughter, both politicians, will come forward to defend him again now that the video has been vetted as genuine. The family is said to have been in turmoil since the video surfaced in March but they have no choice but to keep up a united front.

It is quite clear by now that Anwar needs Pakatan more than Pakatan needs him. He was a superhero in the aftermath of March 2008 but Pakatan is now shouldering him through his personal problems.

Anwar’s nemesis, Kita president Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, put it quite bluntly when he said the opposition has been “utterly compromised” by Anwar and that the latter is “destroying the credibility of the opposition.”

Zaid was equally critical of the authority’s handling of the sex video, describing it as “foolish and clumsy”, all of which added up to what he described as “the tragedy of Malaysian politics.”

Pakatan leaders know it as well. Privately, they are already talking of a revived role for Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah in the near future. Dr Wan Azizah has been playing the role of dutiful wife rather than PKR president but Pakatan leaders are ready to accept her if Anwar is indisposed.

“Kak Wan will still lead. We can work with her even though she is not up to mark,” said the same PAS figure.

PKR deputy president Azmin Ali is experienced and capable but the Pakatan leaders are still uncomfortable with him. Rising star Nurul Izzah is ambitious but still very green and her haste to be noticed has seen her mired in embarrassing boo-boos such as claiming that the Malaysian submarine could not dive whereas it has dived to its maximum depth off the coast of Sabah with no less than the King onboard.

Recently, Anwar claimed he had the clout to call off the Bersih rally if he wanted to, implying he was still in charge. The rally’s figurehead leader Datuk S. Ambiga immediately shot back that the rally is on.

It was a slap in the face for Anwar. The Bersih rally is basically a PAS show and it is the clearest sign that Anwar’s centrestage placing in Pakatan politics has been hijacked by PAS.

Moreover, the new PAS battle cry is “PAS ganti Umno”, the implication being that PAS has the ability to replace Umno and that can only mean one thing – PAS is positioning itself to dominate in the general election and claim the Prime Ministership.

Pakatan parties are preparing to move on without Anwar. His role as an intermediary between PAS and DAP is quite redundant now that the Erdogans are in charge in PAS. The Erdogans speak the same political language as DAP leaders and they can sit at the same table with DAP.

There is even talk that if Anwar cannot defend Permatang Pauh in the next general election, Nurul Izzah will go there since the election law disqualifies Dr Wan Azizah from contesting a seat which she resigned from.

The days when Anwar could walk on water are over. He is swimming against the current. (Ecerpt from an article by Joceline Tan, the Sunday Star, 3 July 2011).

One Response “Joceline Tan: Swimming Against the Tide.” →
  1. Simply killing some in between class time on Digg and I discovered your article . Not usually what I want to read about, but it was completely worth my time. Thanks.

    Reply

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