After Anwar Ibrahim, who?


June 9, 2012

http://www.malaysiakini.com

After Anwar Ibrahim, who?

“It was unanswerable because Pakatan is a work in progress. It would not be the going concern it is today without Anwar’s ability to weld Pakatan’s divergent components, theocratically-inclined PAS and secularism-steeped DAP, in a pact aimed at replacing BN at the seat of federal power. Absent Anwar, Pakatan would stutter from ideological incoherence and would likely stall because of the seemingly unbridgeable chasm that separates theocrat from secularist”.–Terence Netto

COMMENT by Terence Netto: At the Foreign Correspondents Club of Malaysia dinner for guest speaker Anwar Ibrahim the other day, the Opposition Leader was asked who would be his replacement as Pakatan Rakyat leader should anything happen to him.

The question was one of those good but complex ones that can stymie even the most nimble of politicians. The query had a sound basis because Anwar will be 65 soon. Though in good health, his longevity cannot be assumed.

anwar ibrahim foreign correspondents club of malaysia 2It was unanswerable because Pakatan is a work in progress. It would not be the going concern it is today without Anwar’s ability to weld Pakatan’s divergent components, theocratically-inclined PAS and secularism-steeped DAP, in a pact aimed at replacing BN at the seat of federal power.

Absent Anwar, Pakatan would stutter from ideological incoherence and would likely stall because of the seemingly unbridgeable chasm that separates theocrat from secularist.

With him at the helm, Pakatan’s trajectory towards Putrajaya is both compelling and believable enough to dispel legitimate doubts over the ideological cohesion of the opposition coalition.

The plain answer to the question about a successor which Anwar skirted is that there is not now an individual who could credibly replace him simply because there is not yet in the Pakatan cohort a leader of comparably adhesive qualities and with Anwar’s connection to a world-historical issue: Islam’s compatibility with democracy.

Few would contest the point that this issue is the early 21st century’s paramount political one, just as the battle between fascism and democracy, and then communism and democracy, were the pivotal issues of the early and later parts of the twentieth.

Religious pluralism

There is an indirect link between the question of who can replace Anwar as Pakatan supremo and the issue of whether a non-Malay could be prime minister of Malaysia, the latter concern thrusting up in the national consciousness by the scaremongering of Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the Malay right wing who paint the rise of Pakatan as perilous to Malay political dominance (Ketuanan Melayu).

It is not so much that Anwar is irreplaceable as Pakatan supremo; it’s just that there has yet to emerge within its ranks a leader with his gift – the special ability to diffuse around him the belief that the urgent needs of Malaysia’s democratic restoration must prevail against all obstacles of rationality posed by allies with divergent ideologies.

It is the nature of this gift that its fulfillment will foster emulation. Several would be the collateral benefits therefrom.

The most significant would be the point that Islam would be seen to be compatible with democracy. Islamist critics of Anwar have upbraided him for promoting religious pluralism.

His invariable response is to cite the maqasid al-syariah, a 12th century postulates of the jurist Al-Shatibi which hold that the preservation of life, protection of property, establishment of justice, and the maintenance of peace and harmony are the higher goals of Islamic law.

In the rhetorical formulations of Anwar before international and domestic forums in recent years, the maqasid al-syariah sounds like a precursor of the ideals of the Enlightenment, not the French variety that attacked religion but the English version that did not attack religion, promoted liberty and self-study, and valued common sense.

More significant and instructive about the political thinking of Anwar was his lauding, at the FCCM dinner, of the merits of ‘Democracy in America’, the classic work of the French diplomat and historian Alexis de Tocqueville, who wrote the book in 1835 after a nine-month tour of America during which he learned about democracy from the experience of ordinary people.

Anwar said he always recommended the book to the younger set of leaders in his party, PKR, for their edification. Tocqueville’s central point was that democracy would sweep the world, though it has taken nearly two centuries for that to happen to most countries of the world.

The reason the French noble said that democratic revolution would be inevitable in the world was the system’s conferment of equality on the people.

He said equality was preferred by people because it was immediately available; if people were equal – or could be made equal – then they would appreciate it immediately.

There are several other points Tocqueville made in his seminal book, but the one about the ordinary people’s preference for equality was, he observed, strongly held.

If Anwar’s and his followers’ understanding of Tocqueville’s emphasis on equality is well founded, it would follow that a non-Malay leader of requisite calibre can become PM of Malaysia.

Suharto’s downfall

It is democracy’s emphasis on the equality of all that would militate against traditions which promote class, ethnic, religious or gender superiority.

suhartoOne recalls that in the waning years of dictator Suharto’s rule in Indonesia, there was wide speculation on who would succeed him.

It was suggested that a successor would have to be Javanese and Muslim, thereby ruling out able presidential presumptives like Benny Murdani, who was Javanese but not Muslim.

Fourteen years on from the liberalisations that began with Suharto’s downfall in 1998 and are continuing under current President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the prospects of a contender, Jusuf Kalla, becoming president are not discounted on the grounds that he is not Javanese. Jusuf is Bugis. Or for that matter, Golkar’s Aburizal Bakrie whose comes from a respected and successful Sumatran family.

With time and adequate experience of emollient democratic rule, restrictions of race, religion, and gender, unless embedded in the constitution (and if so, these won’t last), would wither in the face of democracy’s inexorable egalitarian ethos.

That is why the Pakatan goal of Malaysia’s democratic restoration, marshaled by Anwar, is vital to the country’s well-being.

33 thoughts on “After Anwar Ibrahim, who?

  1. I am unashamedly a Malay who believes that while it is possible for a non-Malay to be a Prime Minister of our country, I think it will not happen for a long long time. Maybe, it can never happen. At least, that is my hope.

    The reality of Malaysian politics is that the Malays representing 60 per cent of the population will not give up political power, and when it comes to the crunch, they will unite in common cause. UMNO and PAS and other Malay-led parties will come together when Malay survival is threatened. So you liberals out there in cyber space take note.

    PAS and UMNO share common aspirations with regard to Malay unity, Islam and Malay culture. For PAS, the partnership with DAP is only a stop gap measure since UMNO has yet to come up with a political deal that respects PAS as an equal partner.Furthermore, there is nothing wrong with Malay leadership per se of this country. It has to do with the quality of present Malay leaders who are corrupt, inept and self serving. Malaysia need Malay leaders of impeccable character and integrity.

    To me, Anwar only serves as the gel between the theocratic PAS and the secularist DAP, albeit an increasingly weak one given the scandals that cast doubts on the Opposition leader’s character and splinters with Parti KeADILan Rakyat. It is also known that Anwar will do anything to be Prime Minister and that is why he make promises that he cannot in truth deliver. The question is whether the chauvinistic DAP really trusts Anwar.

    I hope we can debate this sensibly since I anticipate some uncouth reactions from people like Frank and other liberals like him who are frequent interlocutors on Dato’ Din’s blog.

  2. I kinda expect this kind of article from Terence Netto. He is always spinning using high flown, almost poetic English. His writings make an interesting read and that is it. A spin is a spin and may not have anything to do with reality.

    Truth be told, the Anwar magic is fading. After his failure to deliver his famous September 16, 2008 pledge to take over Putrajaya, he can no longer be trusted with his words. The question we should address is whether he has the character to be a Prime Minister. He has the oratorical skills no doubt, but can he govern given the fact he has not been able to form a Shadow Cabinet since March, 2008 when Pakatan Rakyat emerged as a strong opposition in Parliament. I am told that his Pakatan partners too have doubts about his leadership.

  3. Malay fanaticism is the curse of the country that is holding back the country progressing into an egalitarian society where the country is governed free of raciial and religious intolerance.

    The country is at a critical stage of near collapse due to the abuse of power by UMNOMelayus over 50 years, one would shudder at the outcome of continuous dominance by UMNOMelyus.

    God save the country from incompetent racial bigots.

  4. I am Malay and I think this country can do without the likes of ‘Hidup Melayu’. He is a floating piece of shit. And like all floating pieces of shit we have to let it float by undisturbed.

  5. he had the ‘character’ to be DPM!
    someone who asked for 1€bil commission, and probably involved in a murder, sale of navy secret papers and one who prefers the backdoor spiel, has also the ‘character’!
    actually it depends on umno, if it says a steaming pile of shit is fit to be PM then it has to be that pile of shit.

    ”Malaysia need Malay leaders of impeccable character and integrity”. – Hidup Melayu
    you are saying this after 55 years of help, crutches and nannies and you could only find NNAAJJIIBB? miserable result, don’t you think?
    isn’t it time for you to wonder why there are no malay leaders of quality?

    the answer to that question is: there are enough ‘melayu’ leaders but they are not wanted by the majority of the stunted (by the umno regime) melayus.

    ”I hope we can debate this sensibly since I anticipate some uncouth reactions from people like Frank and other liberals like him who are frequent interlocutors on Dato’ Din’s blog”.

    if you want us to reciprocate with sensible debate you should also make some sensible comments. watch out Frank can bite!

    one malay of impeccable character and integrity is……Dato’ Din Merican.
    yes man, open your eyes! open your heart and you’ll find good people everywhere.

    to Ahmadi Hussein,
    if I were Anwar I wouldn’t even disclose who is going to be my peon because the umno goons might try to buy him! kapito?

  6. “To me, Anwar only serves as the gel between the theocratic PAS and the secularist DAP, albeit an increasingly weak one given the scandals that cast doubts on the Opposition leader’s character and splinters with Parti KeADILan Rakyat.” — hidup melayu

    Who gave you the right to speak on my behalf??

    A new generation of Malays has emerged, eager to discard the culture of entitlement, able and willing to compete on a level playing field and ready to jettison ideas which may at one time have served a purpose but are today impediments to their advancement as human beings. They are no longer prepared to be hoodwinked into believing that what is good for a regime that charters its course based on the monopoly of political power, leaving in its path as casualites, old fashioned concepts of liberty, equality and social justice is also good for the country.

    ‘Hidup Melayu’ is apparently one of those Malays, feeding into the culture of instant gratification, beneficiary of UMNO’s morally reprehensible racist policies willing to trade their children’s future for the comfort of their leaders and their own. To these Malays my only request is that they look at their faces in the mirror each morning and ask what lessons and what values are they teaching their children. Values are what guide us through life.

  7. Why is Terence talking about who next after Anwar? Anwar hasn’t even got a toe into Putrajaya yet.

    Perhaps it is a good thing too that there is no one in Pakatan that is easily identifiable as one comparable to Anwar’s capability to lead; otherwise they would be, as reeperbahn said, be bought by umno. And just because there aren’t any highly visible ones now does not mean that Pakatan lacks people with good leadership qualities. Perhaps, what Terence meant was not there isn’t anyone else in PR, apart from Anwar, who has strong charisma?

    But leaders do not need charisma to lead effectively. What we need is a leader of good character, strong enough to lead effectively and one who actually walks the talk. As the five Pakatan states have been able to bring the their states out of debt in so short a period of time, surely there must be some people with potential to lead. Although we may not be aware of their names, nevertheless, it is with some relief that, at least, we may not be short of potential leaders in the new alliance. And time will only identify them to us.

  8. Correction: Perhaps, what Terence meant was that there isn’t anyone else in PR, apart from Anwar, what strong charisma?

  9. “Anwar will do anything to be Prime Minister and that is why he make promises that he cannot in truth deliver.” – Hidup Melayu

    As if Najib and Muhyiddin aren’t doing the same thing. To debate sensibly, you have to say something sensible. This is not sensible. I suppose it’s difficult to see with those tainted glasses on. I just don’t get these people’s argument that “Anwar wants to become PM” or “Anwar will do anything to become PM”. Is it wrong to have an ambition? So I suppose Najib never wanted to become the PM? Don’t see scandals clouding Najib giving problems to Hidup Melayu. Not only you are a hypocrite, you are blind too.

  10. ”I kinda expect this kind of article from Terence Netto. He is always spinning using high flown, almost poetic English. His writings make an interesting read and that is it. A spin is a spin and may not have anything to do with reality” – -Ahmadi Hussein.

    that sounds like jealousy lah Ahmadi. a typical reaction. if he was a malay and muslim then……………………………..!!!? what you call a spin is fact for us and vice versa – you don’t seem to have realised that, pity.
    you should be proud of the fact that a malaysian can write like that without all the help from NEP and whatever not.

  11. ” To these Malays my only request is that they look at their faces in the mirror each morning and ask what lessons and what values are they teaching their children . Values is what guides us through life “. – Scarlet.

    Scarlet , just based on this statement above , i would nominate you as Anwar’s replacement . But if you decline , then i think Baru Bian from Sarawak should replace Anwar , should something untoward happen to our Prime Minister in waiting – Anwar Ibrahim.

  12. Well if there is no replacement for Anwar, you only have to look closely at the past 54 years to understand why. We all know the answers don’t we? It never even crossed our minds that we needed to replace the government until now when shit hits the fan. So that’s why there is a void. Void of critical thinking politicians, showing the leadership & statesmanship that we badly need. That is also because, no one has ever entered politics on merit. Everyone one was chosen. Their mindset to carry on the dynasty. Now our institutions are in trouble.

    Actually at the rate we are going , its “Mati Melayu”. And it is of our own doing. Unless the newly emerged generation of Malays are allowed to voice out and show the government and the others that they are not afraid.

    But these new generations are not allowed to speak . The religion stops them and now the laws are passed to stop them from expressing critical thinking. Yet so many Malays I know are so acutely aware that they are fourth class citizens in their own country.

  13. Mooyudin says Malaysia’s future depends on Malay unity. I fail to understand this Man! Actually Malaysia’s future depends on Malaysian unity – definitely not Malay unity alone.
    ______________
    Basically, he is rallying for Malay support. UMNO needs that badly since the Chinese and Indians have moved to Pakatan Rakyat.–Din Merican

  14. I have been following these exchanges with great interest. That is healthy. I respect Hidup Melayu’s point of view. Reaction to his position has been unnecessarily harsh. I expect a more enlightened response to his position. In stead what I got from you guys is something I would expect from UMNO and PERKASA and Tun Dr.Mahathir.

    Let me state my position as clearly as I can as follows:

    1. Anwar Ibrahim has charisma and excellent oratorical skills. It was amazing to me watching him at close range that he has been able to create a coalition of theocratic PAS, multiracial Parti KeADILan Rakyat, and secularist DAP into People’s Coalition (Pakatan Rakyat), which put up a strong showing in the 12th GE. It is an achievement not to be scoffed at.As a result, the ruling UMNO-BN was denied 2/3rd majority in Parliament and Badawi lost his job. Now we have Najib. What Najib’s fate will be is a matter of conjecture.

    Anwar is no doubt the gell and will remain so for a while yet. That explains why UMNO-BN strategists are trying hard to destroy his character and integrity and break up PKR. But they will not succeed because Anwar is made of sterner stuff and PKR is very focused and strong with some very intelligent and committed young leaders.

    It is time well spent if UMNO-BN can concentrate on its own weaknesses, and come up with some fresh political initiatives to reimage itself and regain public confidence and trust. Right now, the Malaysian Middle class sees UMNO-BN as a party of incompetent and corrupt politicians who put self before the nation, and act with impunity.

    2. Why did Pakatan Rakyat (Peoples’ coalition) succeed? I think this is because of the strength of the concept of a coalition which is people centered (ketuanan rakyat). It champions good governance, justice and national unity. Its economic policies are market driven but with emphasis on fiscal discipline, equity and meritocracy. Read PR’s Buku Jingga.

    3 There is nothing with Malay leadership of our country. But that leadership must be enlightened, competent, fair, and honest. The current Malay leadership must be replaced by peaceful and democratic means. It is wrong in my view to assume that leadership of our country is the birthright of the Malays, just because they constitute 60 per cent of the population. Voters in a free and fair elections will choose their leaders, MPs and state assemblymen.

    This is why BERSIH had the support of Malaysians.It is, therefore, possible for a non-Malay to be a Prime Minister. That can happen if Malay leadership continues to be inept and corrupt.

    4. We must have a two party system. March 8, 2008 was a defining time. Over the last 4 years we have seen this operation. But the quality of political discourse must improve. Democratic politics is adversarial, but right row, ours is infantile and comical (e.g. the antics of Bung Mokhtar and others including Opposition MPs in Parliament. The august House of Legislature is today a zoo with monkeys yelling at one another).

    5. We need a government that is competent, honest, responsive and accountable. We also need an equally competent and effective Opposition that can act as a check and balance mechanism to prevent abuses of power.The two party system must be further strengthened and supported by all of us.

    6. We need to end racism and religious bigotry and opt for an open society (based on the Rukunegara and the respect for our constitution). We have models of this in Indonesia and Thailand. We cannot be a nation of bigots and racists as that would lead us to disaster.

    Your comments are welcome. CLF and Semper Fi, what is your take?–Din Merican

  15. Have most Malaysians from Perlis to Johor to Sabah and Sarawak heard of a person named Khalid Ibrahim prior to 2008. It was an extremely remote much less close to the vicinity of propping up the question ” who would be the mentri besar of selangor if Pakatan won ” Look what the man in almost obscurity ( from political standpoint ) named Khalid Ibrahim has done to Selangor. And now we are discussing succession?

    Any organisation be it political or otherwise formed with a solid foundation for justice, equality, fairness and freedom will produce leaders of exemplary qualities from its ranks. It is a natural progression in a society that nurtures the ideals of true democracy. Known or unknown a good leader will emerge.

  16. 4. We must have a two party system – Din

    Sorry Din, I disagree.

    If BN had been free of corruption, had practised good governance, racial equality and national unity in the last 54 years, I think her citizens would have been happy to let her rule for another 54 years – unopposed.

  17. I echo Ai Tze. Yet this is their dismal failure to see beyond. They failed to see and understand that their citiznes needed to feell a sense of belonging no matter who. They failed to see that it was justice that the people wanted and would have trusted them. The people did trust them , they let the people down. Ai Tze is right. Umno doesnt see that they are their own worst enemy. Not us. The people want fairness, equality, justice no matter who or which political party is leading the way.

    You see hidup melayu, it is these values the people crave for . We see beyond colour, when are you going to?

  18. hidup melayu, values that are beyond race will endure and survive. These were taught by all the Prophets who came and went. What do you think the teachings are about? The preservation of race or the preservation of humanity through good and high values. Anwar knows this. Umno is not so enlightened are they. They are still operationg on a fear level and therefore will never be effective as leaders. You endorse such low value system that can only bring about destrcution . This is declared in the Koran. All else will be destroyed only Allah endures and what repersents Allah? The Greatest Good , high value systems. Living our best life and manifesting our Highest Good. For all this is from Allah. Anything lower is wretched and unsustainable.

  19. I believe Din’s comment that we must have a two party system is in the context of time? We have reached a point where we now need a two party system. When greed takes over, nothing remains in status quo. Ai Tze’s comment would have been true IF we lived in an ideal world.

  20. Aiya all the talk about Melayu only PM is quite meaningless as many Malaysians are mixed breeds. Tengku our first PM is half Thai, Tun razak a Bugis, Tun Hussein has Turkish lineage, Mahathir a mamak from Kerala,Pak Lah with his Arab, Chinese infusion, Najib his Bugis and Turko touch from his mothers side. The sultans of Johore,half orang puteh, next sultan Selanggor also half orang puteh . The Malays originally from Taiwan or Yunan , just like later pendatangs. So what’s the big deal about race, when what the country needs is a PM that can galvanize the country to achieve its best for all !! Fat hopes, perhaps !!!~

  21. If you need a Malay to take over as PM, let me know. I personally know about 6 Malays within my circle who are intelligent, responsible, smart, loving family man, good managers and businessmen, religious and open-minded… And am sure apart from these 6 friends of mine, there are thousands more that you guys know…

    And they are not UMNO or PAS people, they are God-fearing good Muslim men who go on with their everyday lives tending for themselves and their families…

  22. if you have a one party system for an extended period of time then it will automatically become an autocratic and kleptocratic system. there is a german saying ‘Vertrauens ist gut aber Kontrolle ist besser’! which means ”Trust is a good thing, but control is a better one.”

    ”what I got from you guys is something I would expect from UMNO and PERKASA and Tun Dr.Mahathir”. – Dato

    in my opinion that’s a bit far fetched, at least we didn’t yell for Malay blood and wave the keris and promised to dip it in Chinese blood! ‘Die Kirche im Dorf lassen’ mein Herr 🙂
    _____________
    Nein, ich bin nicht weit hergeholt zu machen meine Kommentare zu den Antworten, die ich gelesen über Hidup Melayu Aussicht.–Din Merican

  23. “Scarlet , just based on this statement above , i would nominate you as Anwar’s replacement . But if you decline , then i think Baru Bian from Sarawak should replace Anwar , should something untoward happen to our Prime Minister in waiting, Anwar Ibrahim” — perseus

    I see myself as an Independent liberal. I don’t care if Anwar gets to become PM or not. That is his problem. What I do care is to see the begining of the end to the politics of race and religion, and the abuse and the corruption that has permeated all levels of public life that comes with it and because of it, and a community that has largely turned its back on values of decency, of liberty, equality and social justice.

    Anwar Ibrahim as early as in his student days used religion as a platform and chose the same trajectory that has catapulted others before him into public office, and there to carve a political career for himself that exploits the primordial instinct for self-preservation based on fear. That is what is wrong with our politicians today.

    Politicians of whatever political affiliations be they UMNO ass lickers, PAS holier than thou religious bigots, and free loaders from MCA and MIC and free riders from PKR might as well cut off their penises, put them in a bottle and pray to them, be like eunuchs from another time, free to roam the chamber of China’s Empress Dowager only because they had neither the tool nor the means for sexual gratification.

    Kapish??

  24. There is nothing with Malay leadership of our country. But that leadership must be enlightened, competent, fair, and honest. — Din Merican

    Nothing wrong? Everything is wrong when couched in those terms. Leadership is leadership whether it is Chinese, Indian or Malay or others. You guys gotta rise above the politics of race (and religion).

    Hegel’s dialectic should serve to convince us that every system has the seeds of its own destruction sowed into it. In Malaysia’s case, the sowing of those seeds went as far back as the ’50s. Today they are firmly rooted in the country’s Constitution.

  25. As a Malaysian, I don’t care what race the Prime Minister belongs to as long as he is a capable, fair, incorruptible and an effective prime minister who is willing to serve the people and the country.

  26. “Ai Tze’s comment would have been true IF we lived in an ideal world.” – zeus

    No zeus, in an ideal world, a two party system would be the favoured formula in a Parliamentary democracy.

    Dato is right in calling for a two party system but how can it be a must if the electorate favours only one party? One cannot legislate that the electorates’ votes will be split equally between the two main parties.

    Only in an ideal world can that possibly happen.

  27. The problem with a charismatic style of leadership is that it doen’t survive the person. The loose electoral coalition has none of the cohesion expected post-election to govern nationally. The whole has to be greater than the sum of its parts. In this case it isn’t. With Anwar gone, the component parts can be expected to fall away, implode under its own weight.

    Tok Cik will go back to humping the first anak mami that comes his way. Tean would go into currency trading opening an office across the railway line, a front for the house of ill repute he manages with Maria Ozawa and another across the river into Golok. Pak Semper will open his upmarket stall selling ‘teloq torpedo’ with Pak Din being his first customer.

    Life goes on folks!

  28. A charismatic style combined with a sacrificial lamb attitude is the most dangerous form of human virtue. Add that to a ‘resurrection’ myth and you have the most compelling religion known to Mankind. That formed the antithesis of the scape-goat mechanism, that all human folly depends on.

    Leaders come and go, but the idea of justice, liberty, altruism and individuality will always survive the vitriol of mass hypnosis.

  29. Well guys thank for a lively debate but in a nut shell we need someone to make the changes that are urgently required and I agreed with some here that the nearest choice we having now is Anwar under Pakatan. We can never expect a saint in politics. Sorry, a saint will not be a saint once the saint joins politics, especially in Boleh Malaysia.

    My point is, if no one can replace BN/UMNO than we might as well turn Malaysia into a communist country, right. Malaysian must decide the future of this country or continued to live in abasement by the establishment. If we can change BN/UMNO we can change anyone who take us, Malaysian for granted.

    Now, we have an establishment shitting all over us thinking that we owed them a living. It is a blessing that Malaysian has not resolve our demises following Arab Spring style of change. Malaysian are moderate and wish only to live in peace with all. BERSIH has proven that. Malaysian have matured to stand up to be countered.

    The danger is corruptions. The establishment of the day is all out giving goodies. These goodies when you rightly put it are corruptions. An inducement to solicit your votes. Also can be explained as selling your rights for goodies. To reduce such practices. Right minded Malaysian must educate fellow Malaysian to resist such temptations. Well, the Chinese being Chinese would advise that you take the goodies and vote against them.

    So fellow Malaysian, it’s time to make the move to kick out those shitting on you. If you are able to take this first step future elections may not be rigged with corruption. And most important we are telling the establishment that we can kick their asses when they don’t performance or lording over us.

  30. Clearly a healthy debate. Yes capable leaders are to be groomed and found amongst the young and from all genders. Ability to act as a cohesive force trumps all. Malaysians should start searching soon and bring forward contenders.

  31. Please go read Outsyed the box blogger. He has trashed your article completely.

    ——

    The Pakatan folks are crowing about  their  tokong  again. This time around their hero gave a speech at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club (FCC) and they are all salivating, Pavlovian style of course.  

    You can read it here (its another one of their ‘let me kiss your b@tt’ Blogs).

    There is also a  “COMMENT by Terence Netto” about their tokong’s speech at the Foreign Correspondents Club.  Terence Netto says :
    More significant and instructive about the political thinking of Anwar was his lauding, at the FCCM dinner, of the merits of ‘Democracy in America’, the classic work of the French diplomat and historian Alexis de Tocqueville, who wrote the book in 1835 after a nine-month tour of America during which he learned about democracy from the experience of ordinary people.
    Anwar said he always recommended the book to the younger set of leaders in his party, PKR, for their edification.  Tocqueville’s central point was that democracy would sweep the world, though it has taken nearly two centuries for that to happen to most countries of the world.
    The reason the French noble said that democratic revolution would be inevitable in the world was the system’s conferment of equality on the people.
    There are several other points Tocqueville made in his seminal book, but the one about the ordinary people’s preference for equality was, he (Anwar) observed, strongly held.

    Is that so Terence? Then Terence Netto espouses the wet dream of many frustrated and racially challenged folks :   

    “If Anwar’s and his followers’ understanding of Tocqueville’s emphasis on equality is well founded, it would follow that a non-Malay leader of requisite calibre can become PM of Malaysia.”

    Aiyyo Terence yennadey.   Since you will be among the racially challenged crowd which crows that all Malays come from Indonesia, then you will note that in Bali, the Malays there are predominantly Hindus.  In Bali there are Malay Hindu brahmins as well. And only Malay Hindu brahmins are allowed to become the priests in the temples in Bali.  Why is that? 

    Terence, do you think they understand  “Tocqueville’s emphasis on equality”  in Bali? I know I am side tracking but I just thought you may need some focus.

    Before I go further,  your tokong is well known for quoting books and authors that he has not read or which he has not understood.  I think the same applies for his un-understanding of Alexis de Tocqueville.

    Your tokong once wrote that he recommended for Dr Mahathir to read a seminal book on Islam by Said Ramadan or someone. It turned out that the book he recommended  was current at the Islamic University when your tokong was almost in power.  What a coincidence?

    The thin book (about 100 pages)  was a basic introduction to Islam for 1st year students and sold for about RM7/=.  To him it was a ‘seminal’ work as well. Why? I think it was because the book was thin enough for him to read.

    But saddest of all is the story of Mohamed – a short, fat and balding guy (whom I met at the Finance Ministry in 1997). Mohd’s table was always full of books, left open here and there. It was Mohd’s job to use colour highlighters to mark phrases and quips that his tokong would then include in his speeches – to make it appear that he was a book reading intellectual. 

    That was why during those Budget speeches no one could understand what he was trying to say, including poor Mohd who highlighted the passages. 

    After he was released from prison (where he was jailed for six years for the corrupt abuse of power of  ordering the Police to arrest and torture a young woman) your tokong told his admirers that he had read Shakespeare almost seven times. Of course the type of people who admire him may pronounce it as seks-spear. 

    Shakespeare wrote over 40 plays, poems and over 150 sonnets. Easily more than 2000 pages of writing. Hamlet alone, Shakespeare’s longest play, has over 4042 lines (that’s about 250 pages?)  Your tokong expects us to believe that he read all these  almost seven times? Terence do you believe him? I bet he cannot tell you what is a sonnet?

    So when you say :  “Anwar said he always recommended (Tocqueville’s) book to the younger set of leaders in his party, PKR, for their edification”  it does make me laugh.

    Firstly I think he is just making these things up. I don’t think he said any such thing. Secondly even the foreign journalists at the Foreign Correspondents Club wont know who the hell was Alexis de Tocqueville.  

    Imagine YB Bagel, Loh Go Burn or whoever going to Borders and asking the girl ‘You got Alexis Tokawil or not?’

    Anyway here is some comment about Alexis de Tocqueville including about his “seminal” book “Democracy in America”.    This one here is by one  Jennifer Pitts, Department of Government, Harvard University  titled  “Liberalism and empire: Tocqueville on Algeria”  

    (Wow, even I – who cannot be impressed – am still not impressed).  

    First of all Jennifer Pitts quotes Tocqueville :  “I have no doubt that we can raise on the coast of Africa a great monument to the glory of our country” –  Alexis de Tocqueville, Second letter on Algeria (1837)

    Then the Harvard scholar continues :

    Tocqueville’s turn to Algerian colonization as a kind of solution for France’s domestic political crisis—a solution he clung to with sometimes desperate hope in spite of its clear moral and practical flaws—demonstrates his sense of crisis during the 1840s.   It also illustrates certain ill-known contours of his liberalism:

    i.       its susceptibility to the notion of national glory as a substitute for political virtue;

    ii.    its willing exclusion of unfamiliar peoples from moral consideration for the sake of national consolidation.

    iii. Tocqueville’s commitment to the colonial project was typical of the period and was shared across an astonishingly broad political spectrum.

    To both the Brader and Terence Netto, what the Harvard woman is saying was that Alexis Tocqueville was a raving colonialist. Don’t believe me?  Here, you can repeat this famous quote by Alexis de Tocqueville :

    “I have no doubt that we can raise on the coast of Africa a great monument to the glory of our country –  Alexis de Tocqueville, Second letter on Algeria (1837)”

    Tocqueville was writing about the need for the French butchering, murdering, slaughtering and pillaging Algeria. Someone should tell the Brader (as well as Terence Netto) that Alexis de Tocqueville was France’s biggest expert on Algeria at exactly the same period in history when the French decided to butcher the Arabs in Algeria.

    Here is that Harvard University scholar on Tocqueville again :

    After his election to the Chamber of Deputies, Tocqueville came to be seen as the parliament’s greatest expert on the colony. 
    In 1841, the same year that the French began the total conquest and deliberate colonization of Algeria, he made the first of his two visits to the country, for he considered direct observation crucial for an understanding of the colonial project.
    The essay he wrote in 1841 upon returning from his first journey shows Tocqueville at his most ruthless.
    After defending the general goal of French domination of Algeria, Tocqueville defended the most violent means as well:
    ‘I have often heard men whom I respect, but with whom I do not agree, find it wrong that we burn harvests, that we empty silos, and finally that we seize unarmed men, women, and children’, he wrote.  
    ‘These, in my view, are unfortunate necessities, but ones to which any people who want to wage war on the Arabs are obliged to submit’.
    His visit had convinced him of the impossibility of racial integration; 
    he now believed that French relations with indigenous Algerians would consist largely of violence, 
    and he began to focus his energies on the legislation for, and administration of, the European colony.

    Aiyyo Terence – what Tocqueville is saying is that it is better that only Malay Hindu brahmins become the priests at the temples in Bali. Orang lain semua tak boleh. And if you cannot accept that, then you can consider yourself “racially challenged”.  (I just coined this phrase lah – its past midnite and I just slept thru Tom Hanks ‘Angels & Demons’. It’s the sleep therapy.)

    The Brader says he rcommends Tocqueville’s book “Democracy in America”  for ‘the younger set of leaders in his party, PKR, for their edification’.

    Here is another website  which quotes from Tocqueville’s book ‘Democracy in America”. 

    Tocqueville visited America when slavery was still being practiced in the South. The North had abolished slavery. This was Tocqueville’s observation about slavery :

    “In the South the master is not afraid to raise his slave to his own standing, because he knows that he can in a moment reduce him to the dust at pleasure. In the North the white no longer distinctly perceives the barrier that separates him from the degraded race, and he shuns the Negro with the more pertinacity since he fears lest they should some day be confounded together.”

    Such kindly and loving language – “..not afraid to raise his slave to his own standing, because he knows that he can in a moment reduce him to the dust at pleasure”

    Tocqueville was raising the racist Southerners to the same level as the anti-slavery Northeners.  Putting it another way Tocqueville was lowering the anti-slavery Northeners to the level of the racist Southerners.

    There is more about Tocqueville’s racially challenged attitudes. Just search Google for ‘Alexis de Tocqueville’s racism’. See what pops up. Here is another  example :

    Writing in 1841, Tocqueville promoted the suspension of all religious and political freedoms for native Algerians. 

    Of such acts he wrote:  
    In France I have often heard people deplore [the army] burning harvests, emptying granaries and seizing unarmed men, women and children. 
    As I see it, these are unfortunate necessities that any people wishing to make war on the Arabs must accept… 
    I believe the laws of war entitle us to ravage the country and that we must do this, 
    either by destroying crops at harvest time, or all the time by making rapid incursions, known as raids, 
    the aim of which is to carry off men and flocks.

    For Tocqueville, democracy was for the white man only.  Just like in Bali only the Malay Hindu brahmin can become priest of the temple.  I think this is very suitable reading for the Pakatan people. 

    Remember what I have said many times, if the Pakatan comes to power, democracy will die in this country.   

    _____

    This is an example a writing of a sycophant of an UMNO who cannot avoid personal attack and an uncouth language– Din Merican

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