Anwar Ibrahim: Phantom Voter Conduit or an Abettor of Crossovers??

August 15, 2012

Anwar Ibrahim : Phantom Voter Conduit or an Abettor of Crossovers ?

by Terence Netto@

COMMENT: Will Anwar Ibrahim be caught in the mesh of responsibility for the problem of illegal migrants being given citizenship and voting rights in Sabah?

This is a question that has arisen in the wake of the empowerment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry on the problem.

Speculation had begun to swirl about a possible Anwar role in the creation of the problem immediately after Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak announced last Saturday the names of members tapped for the RCI and its terms of reference.

Although Anwar had issued a disclaimer sometime ago – he contended that he was out of the loop – it did nothing to still the speculative mills.

These started churning partly because it was felt that Najib would not have taken an obviously UMNO-destructive step like setting in train an inquiry that is almost certain to call attention to the party’s role in the gerrymandering of constituencies in Sabah, grist for which came from the presence of illegal migrants with citizenship papers in the state.

The issue has become such a political hot potato that no party in Sabah can afford to be against the setting up of a RCI. And no politician in Malaysia can avoid the public’s odium if the RCI infers he or she was responsible for the presence of dubious voters on the electoral rolls.

Three massive rallies, each with a progressively larger and more multiracial turnout, staged by polls reform group Bersih in the last five years testify to the validity of the assertion that electoral sorcery is as appalling a crime in the eyes of an awakened electorate as stealing from the public till.

Najib yielded to the irresistible

Najib was merely yielding to the irresistible by setting up the RCI, and though the terms of reference do not require the commission to point fingers at who is culpable, it is inevitable that it will make inferences and that would be enough to arraign the implicated.

UMNO Central and UMNO Sabah are going to be hurt by this move of Najib’s, ostensibly taken to forestall more defections from the presently roiling BN coalition that rules Sabah.

Could a move that in the longer distance would damage UMNO provide short-order success to the party’s prime current priority – tarring its nemesis Anwar Ibrahim with every crime in the book and some out of it?

This effort would succeed, where other demolition jobs have abjectly failed, if it can be shown that Anwar had a role in the campaign to legalise the illegals in Sabah. The prospects for success of this effort are not auspicious.

Anwar played a role in the crossovers of PBS’s elected representatives after the Sabah state election of 1994. The crossovers to Sabah UMNO ended PBS rule of the state (1985-94).

Anwar was in cahoots with that carpetbagger S’ng Chee Hua–and still is– who arranged the wherewithal for the scuttling of the PBS government, thereby incurring the lasting aversion of Joseph Pairin Kitingan (left in Kadazan garb with Musa Aman), the then and current PBS leader and the Hogian Sou (paramount leader) of the KadazanDusunMurut community.

It is Pairin’s support for the government of Chief Minister Musa Aman that is credited for shoring up the tenuous control the Sabah UMNO chief exerts on the creaking state BN coalition he leads.

It was defections from that shaky coalition that forced Najib into a rearguard action that saw the empowering of the RCI, a move that is ultimately more menacing to former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad than it is to his one-time Deputy, Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar was a shoo-in for the post of Deputy President of UMNO after incumbent Ghafar Baba (right with Dr. Mahathir) withdrew from defending the post in December 1993.

Early the following year, Anwar was made Sabah UMNO liaison chief, a post that was Ghafar Baba’s prior to his withdrawal from the post of Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy President of UMNO days before his humiliation at the party’s elective triennial assembly in December 1993.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a prominent photo of Ghafar Baba in newspapers in Sabah, earlier in 1993, ought to help the Royal Commission of Inquiry in its scrutiny of dubiously obtained citizenships in the state.

The picture shows a broadly smiling Ghafar together with an Election Commission official while looking at a huge map of Sabah with the EC’s proposed redelineation of constituencies, an exercise that is undertaken early in each decade.

That exercise, completed in 1993 and scheduled to be tabled (and inevitably approved) by the Federal legislature in 1994, was prorogued by incumbent Chief Minister Pairin’s decision to call snap polls in Sabah in March 1994 to forestall the shamelessly redelineated constituencies from being used in the state election.

The gerrymandering had added 12 new constituencies, all Muslim-majority ones, to the then existing 48-seat state assembly. There was not one seat added to the total of 20 that had a KadazanDusunMurut majority and the five seats that had a Chinese majority. So much for the independence and impartiality of the Election Commission!

Only the Muslim majority seats were increased by the addition of 12 new seats composed of an electorate whose citizenship had been fast-tracked.The conspicuous smile on the late Ghafar Baba’s face as he gazed on the map of the proposed redelineated constituencies that appeared in practically every newspaper in Sabah in 1993 was telling about what was going on.

The smorgasbord of policies, events and actions that led to the legitimization of Sabah’s illegal migrants predated and then eddied around the emergence of Anwar Ibrahim as Sabah UMNO Chief in 1994, but it did not inveigle him into collaboration or connivance.

He played a role very like what he’s doing now – an abettor of crossovers, but not an illicit conduit for parliamentary sorcery based on shameless gerrymandering.

15 thoughts on “Anwar Ibrahim: Phantom Voter Conduit or an Abettor of Crossovers??

  1. Anwar Ibrahim is a man of many political dimensions, but always a fixer consumed by ambition to be Prime Minister, whatever that takes. To me, he is the enfant terrible or Iago of Malaysian politics.This big talker just cannot be trusted. Sorry, Mr. Netto, you can’t spin to make Anwar look good. The man’s character is suspect.

    Let us hope the RCI will highlight his role in this affair. He and his one time political mentor, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad should be held responsible for the election fraud in Sabah in 1993-1994.

    The late Tun Ghafar Baba was not involved in this kind of scheming because at that time he was on the way out of big time UMNO political games. Ask Bendover who knows Anwar very well. Main belakang dah.

  2. Terence Netto has kindly decided to lower his command of English so that people like anak rakyat who has only a Form-Three English can understand the article.

    Anakrakyat, say a word of thanks to the writer.

    It is not easy for Terence to do what he did…It is like asking Mr Bean to write on constitutional law for kindergarteners to understand.

  3. Guru,

    I can’t trust this character from Cherok Tok Kun. He even misled the wily Mahathir Mohamad. Mahathir thought his anointed successor could do no wrong, only to find out that Anwar was plotting his downfall while doing his mentor’s bidding. How can you trust PKR with a leader like that. Maybe, you could be in the tongue in cheek mode (to borrow the word from Ampu King, Rais Yatim), Frank!

  4. The late Tun Ghafar Baba was not involved in this kind of scheming- Gurubachan Singh

    …. And that is why he was never a Prime Minister and became the longest deputy PM under different prime ministers since Tun Razak days.

    You got to have ambition for the highest office in the land if you are in politics, otherwise go and jaga lembu.

    In the US, it is instilled in little kids that they one day CAN become the President of USA.

    I find absolutely NOTHING wrong if Anwar wants Najib’s job badly. In fact I congratulate him for that.

    To despise a man for aiming for the highest office in the land is being stupid with a lembu-brain. It stinks of personal hate and small-mindedness and sets a poor example for small kids.

  5. I agree with you, Frank. But how come Machiavelli never became top honcho of Florence, despite being a brilliant political schemer? What is lacking on both sides of our political divide is effective leadership. We are in a leadership crisis of sorts.–Din Merican

  6. There is no doubt that Terrence Netto is in love with the sound of his own voice.- Mr Bean

    Everybody does it. That why KARAOKE is very popular especially in Malaysia.

    The yanks love their own voice… You know an American tourist anywhere… They talk loud and they are the loud mouths of the world.

  7. Malaysia has long been made a cash cow by corrupt UMNO leaders especially those schooled in the Mahathir School of Management. They milked the cow dry and still do. It will be in the interest of the cow to roll over and play dead.

  8. Thank you Terence for using simple language. My English has its origin in a Malaysian village and polished at Lancing College and Oxford.

  9. so much talk about cows. there are not many jaga lembus in malaysia after the founding of the NFC. today the jaga-kereta job is much sought after as there are more cars than lembus.

    why are you mocking Netto’s command of English but keeping silent on the atrocious language of some commentators who don’t even bother to do a spell-check on their comments? as they say, straighten out your backyard first before complaining about your neighbours.

    the americans are loud because the US of A is such a huge and spacious country that you have to shout and holler at the top of your voice to be heard! right, WHY shouldn’t Anwar have the ambition to become PM if people like Najib can become PM?

  10. It is unbecoming of commentators to “menfitnahkan” someone as “main belakang” just to demonstrate his dislike for a certain person.

    Anyway, Malaysians appreciate someone who aspired for a top job in the country to be able to bring the country out of the doldrums than someone who is gurgitates slogan after slogan with no follow ups or monitoring their effectiveness and daily ditching out money to the people come election time.

  11. It will be interesting to see how Anwar intends to get himself off this loop.
    It is just too convenient for him to account his role in the Sabah debacle as a mere act of compliance to the instruction from his boss.

    In the general scheme, the SOP, within any power hierarchy not unlike that in the Triads, the Taikortai merely gives the order to kowtim a particular problem leaving it to the taikor assigned the responsibility, to use his imagination to get the job done.

    And of course, Anwar being the Devil’s apprentice, did his level best to impress his master and the rest, as they said, is history….

    If Anwar was in the Yakuza, and worth his salt,he would be without a little finger tip by now. But then again, he was neither.

    The writing is on the wall. It is time for PR to look for another candidate to be the next PM, IF, they win the next GE.

    It appears most likely that Najib (Patail) will bring to charge both Anwar and Mahathir just before he announces the date for GE13. With the rakyat braying for their blood, both will be found guilty. Anwar will be neutralized and Najib will smell like roses and go on to win GE13 and Mahathir will receive a royal pardon soon afterwards.

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