Anwar Ibrahim at University of Malaya (October 27, 2014)


October 28, 2014

Anwar Ibrahim at University of Malaya

Anwar at UM

Anwar Ibrahim spoke with passion to students at the University of Malaya last night (October 27, 2014). He asked his audience, why is the government in power is so scared of a simple human being like him that they won’t allow him to speak in the campus of his alma mater. Where is academic freedom, where is academic excellence and where is our dignity as a people? He spoke of racism and disunity, corruption and abuse of power. Listen to him.–Din Merican

Gutsy Students storm the Entrance Gate to greet University of Malaya Alumnus Anwar Ibrahim


October 27, 2014

Well Done, UM Student Leaders and The Student Body.

University of Malaya I wish to add to what what Sadiq said. The University of Malaya Vice-Chancellor has let the whole Alumni Body down displaying what I call intellectual cowardice by trying to prevent UM students from attending Anwar Ibrahim’s Cry for Freedom Speech tonight.

I am glad the students of the University of Malaya and public spirited Kuala Lumpurians braved the rain and defied the ban to listen to one of Malaysia’s charismatic politicians say his fond farewell to the University that had taught him to stand up for freedom, justice and democracy, the consequences be damned. We will soon know whether he will return to jail, or be a free man to pursue his dream of a united Malaysia. We must remain hopeful that justice, not politics will prevail on October 29, 2014.

To the brave student leaders and the general student body of my alma mater who defied the Vice Chancellor’s orders I say I am proud of you. You have showed me that you share the same ideals which drove students of my generation of the ’60s and ’70s to streets to protest injustice and arrogance of power.However, we then were more fortunate than you because we had Vice Chancellors who were beholden to none, least of all politicians, in their defence of academic freedom and campus sovereignty.

Tonight, my young brothers and sisters you have come of age. You haveKamsiah and Din shown us that you are not a bunch of kindergarten kids. You are mature and civic minded Malaysians who have self respect, decency and dignity to stand up for our right to freedom of speech and expression. My wife, Dr. Kamsiah Haider, who is also an alumnus of this University, and I salute you.–Din Merican (MU Class of 1963)

WHAT I THINK

by Jahabar Sadiq@www.themalaysianinsider.com

Published: 27 October, 2014

Citing power issues to send home staff and students, Universiti Malaya has just confirmed that authorities will do anything to keep Malaysians in the dark, quite literally. Also, UM is treating its undergraduates like kindergarten kids, who must only follow the official line, and not hear, discuss or debate anything that is not kosher by Putrajaya’s standards.

Is it any wonder that Malaysian varsities fail to make it to the top in international lists? Is it any wonder local graduates cannot speak or think? Malaysia needs universities where people can learn and think freely, even responsibly. Shutting their mind is darkening their future, like the locked-down, dim Universiti Malaya campus tonight.

Gutsy Students storm the Entrance Gate to greet University of Malaya Alumnus Anwar Ibrahim

By Anne Muhammad& Adrian Wong@www.malaysiakini.com

anwar_ibrahim2Fighting for Freedom to the End

More than a thousand students and activists stormed Universiti Malaya’s Kuala Lumpur gate to attend a talk by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim there. The students broke the gate, which was locked and chained by the university security personnel, while chanting “Buka, Buka” (Open, Open).

They then started marching to Dewan Tunku Canselor, where the talk that has been barred by UM is scheduled to be held. The students marched alongside Anwar, who arrived at 9.40pm on a four-wheel drive vehicle with his family.

UM Student Affairs Department had at 6pm today sent an email to students barring them from the talk titled ‘Anwar Ibrahim: 40 Years from UM to Prison‘ organised by the Student Council.

 

UM Student at the Entrance GateIt is like Storming the Bastille All over Again

Security had locked the gates and blocked entrance to the campus to all non-Universiti Malaya staff and students. As a result, students on campus are barred from joining the crowd outside. Spotted among the crowd is UM law lecturer Azmi Sharom, who said he is there as an observer.

The Malaysian Insider:

In one single swipe tonight, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim hit out at Putrajaya for having arrogant and corrupt leaders and ticked off the University Malaya administration for being too weak in standing up for academic freedom.

Listen to Rafizi Ramli, the Strategist behind the Kajang Move


October 26.2014

Listen to Rafizi Ramli, the Strategist behind the Kajang Move

http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala/2014/10/21/crackdowns-and-economic-stagnancy-in-conversation-with-malaysian-mp-rafizi-ramli/

Mahathir-Vs-NajibMalaysian politics is on tenter hooks. On the international stage Prime Minister Najib has been widely praised for his commitment to a moderate and progressive form of Islam. But at home, this year alone, the ruling UMNO has agreed to cooperate with opposition Party Islam to introduce hudud law in Kelantan; Malaysia’s highest court has decreed that Malay-speaking Christians may not use the word Allah, even though they have done so for more than a century; a state Islamic department seized over 300 Malay-language editions of the bible then refused Attorney-General instructions to return them; and a senior minister declared that Malaysia was not a secular state.

On a related front, since May this year around twenty sedition charges have been laid or enquiries initiated, against opposition leaders, activists, university scholars, journalists and students – notwithstanding that in July 2012 the Prime Minister promised to repeal this catch-all act, describing it as belonging to a ‘bygone era’.

The economy, meanwhile, continues to grow at around five per cent per annum, but is not matching achievements before the Asian economic crisis of 1997-98. Economists warn of tougher times ahead, particularly with rising inflation and a higher cost of living. The allocation of large handouts to cushion these problems limits funds available for development.

Can the Opposition coalition, beset by its own internal and intra-party conflicts, helpRafizi turn this situation around? In this video, New Mandala co-founder Dr Nicholas Farrelly discusses the state of democracy and politics in Malaysia with People’s Justice Party Vice-President and Secretary General Mr Rafizi Ramli.

Rafizi Ramli, PRK’s Secretary-General and Vice-President, is a 37-year old politician who has gained prominence for a series of corruption exposes. He is currently under a sedition investigation for a book he has written on Anwar’s second sodomy case, and has also recently been charged under the Penal Code over a statement he made in February alleging political attempts to create racial and religious discord in Selangor.

 

A Difficult Question for PM Najib: To Convict Anwar Ibrahim or Not ?


October 25, 2014

A Difficult Question for PM Najib: To Convict Anwar Ibrahim or Not ?

by Kim Quek@www.malaysiakini.com

http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/278560

Support AnwarMassive Support for Anwar: A Factor?

Few would doubt that the outcome of the final appeal of Anwar Ibrahim on October 28 and 29 against his sodomy conviction will be decided by politics, not by law. More specifically, the court’s verdict will likely be determined by UMNO’s political considerations on the impact of such final judgment.

Two main factors will decide Anwar’s fate. The first is UMNO’s answer to this question: Will the jailing of Anwar be a net gain for UMNO’s political survival? The second is the outcome of the competitive influence on the Judiciary between Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and the conservative faction led by former Premier Mahathir Mohamad.

Imprisoning Anwar will save UMNO?

Will UMNO be safe after Anwar is put away to prison? It is the popular believe that once Anwar is jailed, the alliance of Pakatan Rakyat will disintegrate. Many in UMNO think that without the cementing factor of Anwar, DAP and PAS will part company due to their ideological differences over mainly religious issues. Such common notion is strengthened by the errant conduct of PAS in the recent Selangor crisis.

However, a closer look into that event will reveal that the trouble created by PAS was mainly caused by PAS President Hadi Awang and the conservative ulama, who seemed bent on going loggerheads with  PKR and DAP in the choice of MB for Selangor, despite being opposed by the party’s progressive and pro-Pakatan faction.

Though Hadi had managed to overrule the progressives in that episode, the latter were clearly in the majority in the central committee which is the party’s highest body for political decision making and implementation.

It is plain to all that Hadi’s (left)) extremist and reactionary stance on religion and politics, which has alienated both PKR and DAP and rejected by all non-Muslims and the moderate Muslims, is sheer political suicide for his party.  Unless Hadi changes his stance or is removed from power, PAS will be heading for obliteration in coming elections.

For this reason, I think even the conservatives will realise this unpalatable reality, given time and persuasion to chew over the fatal consequences of so decisively alienating such large and important sectors of the electorate; and the progressives who fervently believe and support the common cause of good governance and social justice of Pakatan Rakyat will surely prevail in the current power tussle and gain clear power by the next party election the latest.

When that happens, PAS will emerge stronger, so will Pakatan Rakyat, considering the excellent rapport existing between PAS’s progressive leaders and their counterparts in PKR and DAP.

The torch of Reformasi will be passed on

pakatan300Can PR hang together?

Anwar’s departure to prison will not leave a vacuum, as the Reformasi ideals are already firmly implanted into the leadership of all the component parties of Pakatan Rakyat. Neither would Anwar’s PKR party suffer a leadership deficit, as its youthful leaders are already groomed to carry on the torch of reforms without Anwar’s physical presence.

If there is any difference, Anwar in prison will only inspire and strengthen their political conviction that, come what come may, they must save the country from the seemingly unending crutches of an evil regime.

To those UMNO hardliners gleefully looking forward to what they think is the political annihilation of Anwar, I advise them to take a trip down memory lane. The last time Anwar was jailed on such sodomy charge in 1998, it caused such a torrential backlash that UMNO, for the only time in history, lost the support of the majority of Malays.  And Barisan Nasional (BN) would have been defeated in that 1999 elections, if not for the massive and unprecedented swing of Chinese support to BN.

That swing was a result of BN’s campaign of deception through a blitzkrieg on street violence against Chinese in Jakarta in the aftermath of the toppling of dictator Suharto, Mahathir’s constant warning of a May 13 style racial riot and the concocted imminence of an Islamic state under PAS.

Fifteen years on, the political scenario has much changed.  The sound and fury of the Malay masses that greeted the previous sodomy trial of Anwar is no more found in the current trial.  But, equally if not more important, is the virtual permanent alienation of Chinese electoral support for BN.

Taking the 2013 election as benchmark, where Pakatan’s 52 percent share of the popular votes is estimated to comprise 40 percent of Malays and 75-80 percent Chinese, and there were dozens of seats lost to BN on thin margins, BN can ill afford to lose even a small swath of Malay votes, keeping in mind that the massive swing of Chinese support to Pakatan in the last two general elections in 2013 and 2008 is virtually irreversible.

Is UMNO so sure that the second-time jailing of Anwar on sodomy will not incur a backlash among Malays, though understandably less sweeping than the previous occasion? The rapid advance of the social media has made our people much better informed now. If UMNO couldn’t hide the injustice against Anwar fifteen years ago, it is even less able to do the same this time.

Take it that the majority know what is going on, and it is certainly not to the credit of Najib’s leadership and government to so savagely maul Anwar yet again, with a trial which is manifestly void of merits in fact and in law. Keeping silent does not mean ignorance or approval. Beneath the calm on the surface, hazardous undercurrents could be running that may cause fatal consequences to the perpetrators of such injustice.  UMNO is hence advised to look before it leaps.

Mahathir vs Najib

Mahathir-Vs-NajibThe Games They Play

The other main factor that may impact the court verdict is the current power tussle between Najib and Mahathir. For Mahathir, it is a relatively simple decision.  Eliminate what is to him UMNO’s enemy No1 would safeguard UMNO’s hegemony, as well as dodging the day of reckoning for him personally if Anwar were to become the prime minister.

Besides, with Anwar removed from the scene, Mahathir would feel free to unleash his fury to unseat Najib without the worry of the dreaded Anwar to take advantage of UMNO’s open rift. However, Najib may have quite a different view.  Knowing that Mahathir sees Anwar as his most-feared enemy, the continued presence of Anwar in the political arena may serve as a counterweight to Mahathir’s reactionary influence to restrain him from all-out attacks against Najib’s premiership.

Another important consideration for Najib is his concern for his international image. For years, he has been painstakingly cultivating his image as a moderate leader in the international stage (at great costs to the public of course) and even launched his pet Global Movement of Moderates to buttress such credentials.

Now, what will the world make of Najib, if an internationally respected leader like Anwar is sent to prison in a notorious trial that has already been universally condemned as a great travesty of justice, transgression of human rights and democracy?  Where would Najib and his wife Rosmah (more so the latter) hide their faces at distinguished international gatherings during their frequent overseas trips?

Hence, it is not entirely impossible that Najib would prefer to see Anwar freed, or perhaps, as a compromise to UMNO’s hardliners, penalised with a fine that would bar him from election or appointment to party post for many years to come.

To sum up, Anwar’s fate at his final appeal hinges on the outcome of cross currents of UMNO’s party interests and conflicting personal interests of feuding leaders.

Will the Federal Court rule according to law?

The Federal Court--PutrajayaThe Federal Court-Putrajaya

Perhaps at this point, questions may be asked about our judges, whether they may exercise their judicial judgment strictly according to law and constitution, free of political influences. This is unlikely to happen, as the record of recent years has shown that the Federal Court has ruled in favour of the powers that be in every case where vital interest of  the latter is at stake, irrespective of whether the judgment is in conformity with the constitution and law. Such pattern of judgment was most glaringly demonstrated in the series of Federal Court decisions where the constitution was thrown to the wind to ensure BN succeeded in it’s power grab in Perak.

Having said that, miracles do happen.  Who knows the majority of judges may at the end decide to allow their judicial conscience to overrule their personal political loyalty or political bidding of others.

READ THIS:

http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/10/26/Uncertain-future-for-Pakatan-Anwars-final-sodomy-appeal-could-be-a-game-changer-and-his-biggest-chal/

Malaysia’s Growing Climate of Repression Gets Ignored


October 24, 2014

Malaysia’s Growing Climate of Repression gets Ignored

by Joshua Kurlantzick

http://blogs.cfr.org/asia/author/jkurlantzick/

malaysia lawyer protest march

Malaysian lawyers march during a protest calling for the repeal of the Sedition Act in Kuala Lumpur on October 16, 2014. The Sedition Act has been used to arrest at least 30 people since last March, local media reported (Olivia Harris/Courtesy: Reuters).

Amidst the gushing over the inauguration of new Indonesian President Joko Widodo, the first outsider, non-elite President in Indonesia’s democratic era, there is a significant void of international interest in neighboring Malaysia, where the climate for freedom of expression and assembly has deteriorated badly in the past year. Over the past year, the government of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, which in Najib’s first term had promised to improve the climate for civil liberties and abolish long-hated laws that allowed detention without trial, has shifted course. The government has pursued a sodomy case against opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim that, next week, almost surely will end with Anwar being sentenced to jail, though the case was a comedy of ridiculous “evidence” and coached witnesses. (To be clear—I don’t think sodomy should be a crime, but it is in Malaysia; even so, there was no verifiable evidence Anwar actually engaged in this “crime.”)

In addition, over the past year the Malaysian government has investigated and/or charged at least thirty people with sedition, under an archaic law it had promised to eliminate, according to the Malaysian Bar Council. Most of those investigated and charged have been journalists, opposition politicians, and prominent civil society activists. The situation has gotten so dangerous for Malaysian civil society that last week hundreds of Malaysian lawyers, who normally are relatively passive in the political arena, marched through the capital to protest the government’s use of sedition laws to stifle dissent.

Why has this crackdown occurred? Najib has had to satisfy hard-line voices within his ruling coalition, and to fend off increasingly public criticism from former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. To satisfy hard-liners and Mahathir supporters—often the same people within the ruling coalition—Najib apparently has acceded to this harder-line policy against civil society and opposition politicians, whether or not he actually supports the crackdown.

In many ways, Najib seems increasingly divorced from the business of governing at all, taking long overseas trips while the country stagnates economically, state carrier Malaysian Airlines faces severe trouble, and the political environment becomes increasingly partisan and dangerous.

Although the Obama administration made improving relations with Malaysia aanwar-ibrahim-recent policy priority, it has mostly ignored the deteriorating climate for human rights and democracy in the country. When President Obama visited Malaysia earlier this year, he declined to meet with opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim (right) and held a brief grip-and-grin with a few Malaysian civil society activists. Other than that, Obama spent most of his time praising the Najib government. The White House has released just a perfunctory statement about Anwar’s trial and likely sentencing next week.

Ignoring the crackdown in Malaysia will eventually have long-term repercussions for the United States. Young Malaysians overwhelmingly support Anwar’s opposition PKR coalition, which won the popular vote in national parliamentary elections in 2013 but did not take control of parliament due to fraud and massive gerrymandering. They also tend to voice support for the civil society activists and journalists who have recently been targeted by the government in Kuala Lumpur.

Many reform-minded young Malaysians have been mystified when the United States, which a decade ago had been so vocal about democracy in Southeast Asia, and which still has significant influence in the region, has said almost nothing about the regression from freedom in Malaysia. In previous eras, American rhetorical support for democracy, American pressure against authoritarian leaders, and American linkage of aid and investment to political change had played a critical role in fostering democratization in East Asia.

In the 1980s, concerted American pressure on the governments of the Philippines and South Korea—after years of American tolerance of Ferdinand Marcos and a series of South Korean dictators—was a major reason why democracy prevailed in Manila and Seoul. A decade after Marcos gave way to the original “People Power” movement, sustained foreign pressure on governments in Cambodia and Indonesia and Thailand, in addition to many other domestic factors within these countries, helped precipitate political reform in these nations. Unfortunately, that type of pressure is absent today.

The Games Anwar Plays


October 14, 2014

The Games Anwar Plays

Azmin AliMy friend Netto has shed some light on recent developments in Parti KeADIlan Rakyat (PKR), especially Anwar’s destructive ways. The incumbent Ketua Umum is clearly not interested in bringing all factions together after years of internal feuding. In stead with the prospect of his return to Sungei Buloh getting brighter by the day, he is more concerned about ensuring that he remains dominant in its affairs.

By appointing his loyal supporters (Rafizi, Saifuddin Nasution, Sivarasa and his daughter Nurul Izzah) to key positions in PKR, he believes he can dictate by remote control what PKR can and cannot do. If he ends up in jail, Anwar wants to be able to revive the Free Anwar Campaign and rekindle the spirit of Reformasi which propelled Pakatan Rakyat into prominence in 2008 and in 2013, when the political opposition received some 50 odd percent of the popular vote.

I believe he is sadly mistaken. Times have changed. His credibility as leader of  Pakatan Rakyat has been called to question. His poor handling of the Selangor Menteri Besar crisis was actually his political Waterloo. It showed us that he can no longer command the support of PAS and keep the coalition intact. Even Lim Kit Siang doubts that Pakatan Rakyat can hold together for GE-14.

The Azmin Ali factor in PKR cannot be discounted. The new Menteri Besar of Selangor is a very astute politician who knows Anwar’s strengths and weaknesses well, but he has yet to show us what he can do to frustrate Anwar’s moves to control the party. At this point in time, Azmin is busy with the Budget 2015 for Selangor and rebuilding relations with PAS and DAP.

Obviously, Azmin has to consolidate his position in Selangor with a clear agenda for the benefit of Selangorians in terms of good governance and socio-conomic development. So far, he has been able to garner competent PKR advisers and strategists, some of whom are already working with him  as members of his State Ex-Co. He also has the resources at his disposal and the political stamina to wage a successful campaign against forces within his party who are bent on unseating him.

The fact that Azmin has maintained his silence while Anwar reorganises PKR is a sign that he is  neither helpless nor hopeless. I believe that he can count on PAS and DAP to back him when it came to a crunch. This is because he did not antagonize them during the Selangor Menteri Besar crisis where he showed himself be very loyal to his party and Pakatan Rakyat.

As a realist and a seasoned political infighter, Azmin is well aware that his strength in the final analysis is heavily dependent on his ability to  strengthen his party and bring the contending factions together.Only a strong, united and credible PKR can gain the respect of its coalition partners and voters. 

At some point, he must emerge from the shadow of Anwar Ibrahim, his former political mentor who, like Brutus, is now stabbing him in the back with his latest political plays.–Din Merican

Rise of a new “Ketua Umum” in PKR

by Terence Netto@www.malaysiakini.com

 COMMENT: PKR declined the opportunity to bridge the gulf between its factions ahead of a possible jailing of party supremo Anwar Ibrahim, whose Sodomy II appeal is set for hearing at the apex court on October 28.

anwar-ibrahim-recentInstead of choosing to unite the party after an embarrassingly disheveled and long drawn-out internal election process, PKR on Sunday opted to deepen the cleavages within by appointing partisan leaders to key positions. This myopia would be the more debilitating should Anwar lose his appeal in the Federal Court against his conviction for sodomy at the Court of Appeal last March.

PKR has to be a unified and solidified force in the event that Anwar winds up in jail, the better it can parlay his incarceration into support for the party and the cause of comprehensive political reform of the country. By appointing partisans rather than neutrals to key posts, the party chose navel gazing rather than scanning the horizon as preparation for challenges it must face en route to the next general election.

The myopia behind this choice is in stark contrast to the inclusive nature of the decisions made by the candidate it declined to propose but was ultimately appointed to the post of Selangor Menteri Besar.

Menteri Besar Azmin Ali , the party’s No 2 by an emphatic margin in the internal polls in which much was done to prevent his victory, had moved in the initial weeks of his appointment as MB to bring together not only contending forces within PKR but also within the Pakatan Rakyat coalition that dominates the state legislature.

That collaborative spirit is unrequited within PKR, judging from who the party chose to appoint to key positions after meetings of its political bureau and its central leadership council two days ago.

In naming Rafizi Ramli to the Secretary-General’s post, PKR has preferred a lighting rod to aRafizi neutral in a position that is possibly the most sensitive in an overall scheme, if that be the intention, to unite the party after a prolonged bout of internecine feuding that preceded the party polls, wore it down as it proceeded apace and dogged the simultaneous struggle to replace Khalid Ibrahim as Selangor MB.

After an experience that tumultuous, one would think the last person to appoint, after the dust has begun to settle, to the position of party secretary-general would be Rafizi, who had been the stormiest petrel in the entire boondoggle.

The former Deputy Chief Minister of Penang and current MP for Nibong Tebal, Mansor Othman (right), was widely touted as the likeliest to replace the incumbent Sec-Gen Saifuddin Nasution, an out-and-out Anwar flunkey. Colourless and self-effacing, Mansor is the sort of operative more suited to the tasks of the backroom rather than the frontal positions that his past as Deputy Chief Minister and Penang PKR chief had thrust upon him. Mansor is also known to enjoy good ties to all the factions in the party.

Polarising figure

This is unlike Rafizi who has become a polarising figure in the party. He was previously not so, or chose not to be divisive until shortly after last year’s general election.

This was a smart choice because Rafizi, having had no past in UMNO from which several of the key PKR players had emerged and are thereby tainted, found it wise to stay above the partisan fray within the party, keeping his sights on the financial and economic issues that plague the country, a field of concern at which he is adept.

But after observing the seeming indifference of Azmin at a post-mortem of PKR’s performance in the 2013 general election held in Penang in August last year, Rafizi shed his customary cool and plunged into the partisan fray.

A few months later, when suspicion within the party mounted over Khalid Ibrahim’s deals withKhalid Ibrahim3 the federal government over ownership and management of Selangor’s water assets and related questions over new tolled highways and seized Bibles, Rafizi went full throttle in his assumed role as saviour of the party.

He saw Khalid and Azmin as leaders to be got rid off and proceeded to hurl himself into the task. A more nuanced survey of the situation – the personalities involved and their track records – would have yielded the view that Khalid was the more insidious threat to PKR’s vision and ideals.

Instead Rafizi opted to tar both with the same brush and strategised in the party polls to get Saifuddin elected in a three-cornered fight – the other contestants were incumbent Azmin and Khalid – for the Deputy President’s post. This caused the election exercise to degenerate into block voting, a recipe for mediocre selection.

Rafizi nearly became a casualty of the process; in the final rounds of the staggered vote, he homed in on one of the four elected vice-presidential slots. Had he stood alone, untethered to any camp, he may have nailed one of the four veep positions with ease and another of the ‘stand alone’ candidates, N Surendran, may have come thorough had there been no block voting.

Inherited aura

In the event, Azmin retained his No 2 post with ease, to the distress of his opponents in the party whose devotion to democratic ideals is limited by whether it conforms with their preferences.

Nurul IzzahBesides the post of Secretary-General, PKR has opted to appoint individuals opposed to Azmin to other critical positions: the new election directors are Dato’ Saifuddin Nasution Ismail and Nurul Izzah Anwar, who owes her lofty position in the party hierarchy to nothing more substantive than the aura she inherits from his father.

In the selection of co-directors of a position that will impact the selection of candidates for the next general election, the party did not see fit to appoint at least one person from among the Azmin faction. Latheefa Koya , the lawyer who virtually built up the party’s legal and human rights bureau and who topped the vote for the central leadership council, has been replaced by R Sivarasa.

Latheefa has had her run-ins with Rafizi who in the event that Anwar winds up in Sungai Buloh will be the new de facto ‘Ketua Umum’ of  the party.

A political party saddled with improvisatory titles will find ways to retool them for its rising parvenus. As for its stauncher adherents, like the new MB of Selangor, they will have to rely on the cunning of history, or if you may, the cunning of reason to see them through, as it has in Selangor where the Palace was constitutionally wrong but politically right in appointing Azmin as the MB.

PKR’s ‘Ketua Umum’, Anwar Ibrahim, is fond of quoting Mahatma Gandhi to the effect that what is morally right cannot be politically wrong and what is politically right must also be morally right. The problem is he’s rather better at preaching than he is at practice. The pity of it is that that’s being found out about him just when he is at the receiving end of a load of ghastly practices.