Dr. M Bakri Musa-Make Way for Anwar Ibrahim

April 1, 2019

Dr. M Bakri Musa–Make Way for Anwar Ibrahim

Soon after his coalition’s stunning victory in the 14thGeneral Election of May 8, 2018, Prime Minister Mahathir admitted that he had not expected it, thus the “thick manifesto with all kinds of promises.” Today nearly a year later and at 93, Mahathir, aware that he is getting “very old, and very soon I will weaken and I will die,” is a man in a hurry.

Mahathir does not need to confess, apologize, or lament. His dislodging the Najib Administration was a monumental achievement in itself. Mahathir’s victory, expected or not, saved Malaysia. Having achieved that, it is time for him now to exit. Delaying would only risk tarnishing that singular achievement.

Mahathir should not wait to be asked as no one would. That is not our culture. By the time we want our leaders to go, rest assured that the message then would not be polite, much less subtle. Mahathir does not need any reminding on that.

Mahathir has nothing more to prove or achieve. Besides, if he could not accomplish his goals back then when he ruled Malaysia unchallenged for over 22 years, and when he still had his vigor and wits, the probability that he would achieve them now is nil. Time to declare victory and exit stage left.

There is little need for him to pit his debating prowess against bright young Oxford undergraduates, preach to Africans on beating corruption, or be bestowed the Highest Imperial Honor from the King of Konga.

Were he to linger, there is a real danger that old bad habits and repressive patterns, Mahathir Version-1 as it were, might reemerge. That would not be good for him or Malaysia. Already many of his utterances of late, especially his resorting to stereotyping, are verbatim quotes from his 1970 book, The Malay Dilemma.

Delaying would risk having to do it in a chaotic or precipitous manner. Malaysia cannot afford a leadership crisis. After the disasters of Abdullah Badawi and Najib Razak, that would not be a worthy legacy.

Image result for badawi and najib

Mahathir produced two dud leaders in Abdullah and Najib; with Najib– an insatiably corrupt one too. Mahathir thus should not pick or be given the choice to pick his third successor.

Hand over power to Anwar Ibrahim, and do it now. That was the consensus before the election among the coalition partners even though not stated in their manifesto. That was also the expectation of voters. Mahathir validated that by seeking Anwar’s immediate post-election royal pardon and his subsequent entry into Parliament via the Port Dickson by-election.

No one in Mahathir’s current cabinet is capable or worthy of leading Malaysia. I had high hopes in the beginning for Wan Azizah. She has the smarts. However, her performance has been underwhelming. Perhaps her heart is not in it, believing that she is merely warming the chair for her husband. Or perhaps (intuiting from her displays of piety) she believes that a community led by a woman is doomed for failure, as a prophetic tradition would have it.

Muhyiddin Yassin too, like Mahathir, is on borrowed time. He should be spending the remaining precious little time he has with his loved ones. He has been in politics and government long enough. He had not shined in all those years; he is unlikely to bloom now.

As for that character who cannot keep his advice to himself, Azmin Ali was not even born in Malaysia. Not many countries would allow a non-natural-born citizen to be its leader. As for his Emotional Quotient (EQ), an important attribute in a leader, Azmin is in conflict with all his siblings, as well as other family members. Don’t expect him to get along with his cabinet colleagues.

Azmin has yet to demonstrate his competence or relevance as a minister in charge of the economy. His bio touted him as an economics graduate from the University of Minnesota, which on the surface sounds impressive, except that he did not attend its prestigious flagship Minneapolis campus, instead one in the ulus.

Mahathir would be picking his third dud of a successor if he were to choose Azmin.

Anwar Ibrahim remains the most capable to lead Malaysia. The Anwar of today is a very different person from the one who tried to upstage Mahathir in the late 1990s. After being incarcerated twice on trumped-up charges, Anwar has emerged not only intact physically (except for his back ailment) but also stronger, wiser, and more tolerant. A lesser soul would have long ago crumbled or capitulated.

Anwar’s decency and humanity showed at the interview he gave on BBC soon after his pardon. He was serene, with no sense of bitterness towards those who had done him wrong. I saw a Nelson Mandela in him. Through his sense of humor I also saw a man of deep faith. No mortal who has gone through what he did could have such an equanimity as Anwar showed during that interview.

He was not at all riled up by the tough questions, as on the sensitive matter of his relationship with Mahathir – his erstwhile tormentor and the man he would like to succeed.

I have a special empathy for Anwar. He was a few years my junior at Malay College and I have many fond memories of supervising his evening class-prep hours. Our children too are of comparable ages. The thought that struck me when Anwar was hauled to jail for the first time with his infamous black eye after being bludgeoned by the-then Chief of Police was:  How would I react if I had been Anwar?

What could replace those precious years of missing your children develop into and go through their turbulent adolescence and then mature into young adults without your being there lending support and guidance? And most of all, to savor those precious memory-building moments that could never be replicated.

I had an earlier intimation of this inner, steely Anwar. Soon after his first conviction was reversed on appeal and while he was out on bail awaiting trial for his secondsodomy charge, Anwar was allowed the rare privilege to travel abroad. At a private dinner at Stanford given by his hosts, l asked him whether his being given that special dispensation was a divine sign for him to seek his freedom in the West, a view shared by many at the table. After all many great leaders had done that.

My suggestion startled him.

“Oh no! I could never do that, Bakri!” he replied in his soft voice. He had a mission for his country and was determined to complete it regardless of the personal price or burden. I was humbled by his response.

That was the depth and strength of Anwar’s commitment. It is time for Mahathir, having done his part, to let his hitherto protégé, Anwar Ibrahim, move Malaysia forward.


23 thoughts on “Dr. M Bakri Musa-Make Way for Anwar Ibrahim

  1. you make a lot of sense. AI is the only politician in msia to have gone to jail not once but twice. no one did! the two who are prepared to die are two police men who is found guity of killing attantuya! why I cant fathom.

  2. The fact that some people are contemplating or talking about this is HIGHLY CONDEMNING OF THE POLITICAL CLASS IN THIS COUNTRY. Seriously anyone really think, that Mahathir someone can back out of this, that its possible to engineer to prevent Anwar from taking this place? IT WOULD TEAR THE COUNTRY APART.

    The people thinking about this, considering it all of them are treasonous AND MEDIOCRE fundamentally..They are contemptous of swath of the country, they believe swath of the citizens can be manipulated and abused. These people should not be in politics, they are the wrong kind of politics – they cannot lead with real ideas and real building and change for the people.

  3. Kusufian Write at blogspot …
    Anwar should blame himsel . AI could be PM2 n Mahathir PM1, what’s fuss…

  4. Let Octo serve his requisite days in Office.
    He can’t o anymore harm than he already has..
    Otherwise, he won’t be satisfied. And his dissatisfaction is dangerous.
    A Lord of the Universe always wants to be No. 1. Monad.

    Brader better wait until his time arrives. Trust may be difficult especially when dealing with Octo. But i know Muhyi is sincere, if nothing else.

    After all Octo’s cabinet is made of super-effluents.
    Is there any hope they will improve? No.
    For instance it’s actually quite unfortunate to have a newly wed gentlewoman to be the Numero Uno of something called MESTECC (Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change). Why? Cuz it sounds as if it has connotations with a Mastectomy..

    But Brader will be much better at Reconciliation and reducing the Political Temperature. How else are Malusians gonna get ahead, if everything is Politicized? It’s as if the Ensoiled Sons have nothing else better to do, except self interests..

    And his Cabinet must really be based on effective leadership, not Politikus – whose idea of Governance is to Blame. and Condemning and Shaming the Oppo..

  5. I totally agree with Dr Bakri.

    Unlike the original Lenin (who pragmatically changed from War Communism to the NEP as the Soviet economy descended into chaos), our “Lenin” is reverting to his old ways.

    Getting rid of our “Stalin” MO1 is not enough, our political institutions/rule of law/professionalism of the police and the courts/ etc must be restored and strengthened. Otherwise the robbers and thieves of the 1Malaysia kleptocratic regime will creep back into power via Bersatu and it will be back to the bad old days.

  6. As long as Dr M holds on to power and genuine reform continues to be slowed or stalled, “Weimar Republic” Malaysia will be subjected to attacks from the hard left and the extreme right (UMNO-PAS clerico-fascists) and also the neoconservatives (like some of those who post here, who apparenty have nothing good to say about the PH “Weimar Republic” government ), further weakening any momentum for reform.

  7. Why in such a hurry. There are still 396 days left. The more we change the more we remain the same. There is no silver bullet to solve our problems accumulated over 60 years. In the meantime, the policy of mutual respect should continue to be promoted to enable us to look for solutions to our problems in comfort.

  8. Mahathir has left behind a country without quality leaders, exemplary , social ,education, political , judiciary and delivery system and rogue culture of MACCP.

    From the observation made , Mahathir is returning to his “old ways” or “no way” , that had largely led the country to this dire state of affairs. Nothing substantive has changed.

    He is not saving Malaysia but his own personal and political interest at the people expense. The greatest fear is, Mahathir will make a bigger mess than the earlier one he left behind.

    There is little or no choice left for the people to choose. That is why Anwar is the best available. Besides, people expect he would pass the premiership to Anwar within 2 years as promised (or can be earlier the better because he already had successfully achieved his aim of removing Najib. Let Anwar and the younger generations the opportunity to save Malaysia from the ruine.

    • ..with the trust of the Rakyat been manipulated and betrayed, ” famously” through the scandalous practice of saying one thing and doing another. Promises of “ABC” , ” Bangsa Malaysia” made but broken; promoting Multi-racialism/Religionism , Inclusiveness but instead, proclaiming Malaysia is a Islamic State, paving the errant leaders and instigators to become extreme.

      From BMF ,…..Perwaja, …to 1 MDB ,the leaders had never learned to lead by example and learn from past mistakes, but instead, creating bigger ones making it even more difficult to remedy and solve as
      as time passes quickly by.

      But time is not on our side, especially in these highly globalised information technology and competive environments.

      So, respectfully , Mahathir should learn from the past experiences that promises made to and trust s given by Rakyat are the most valuable assets to move the country forward in Saving Malaysia where every future generation would benefit with none being left behind.

  9. High politics especially when titans clash can be cruel and dirty. With all the state apparatus in one’s hand it should have been chicken feed for Najib/Mahathir to nail down Anwar if he was really a sodomite. Saiful, turned around to be a possible prosecution witness, had common access to an up-market apartment along with Anwar. This could easily facilitate the Special Branch to monitor the going-on’s within a room with pin-hole cameras. Perhaps this was done and probably nothing incriminating was discovered thus exculpating an apparent innocent Anwar.

  10. Everyone can go on speculating but do ay of you know how many people trust the forever manipulative AI? He cannot lead; he’s just an orator. What was his record at the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Finance? Or at Agriculture and also Youth and Sports?

    • Anwar’s record may have been no more better or worse than any other normal Minister. Dr Mahathir himself is reputed to have assets no less than US$30 million. If there has been no financial bungle in respect of the portfolios Anwar has held, which seems to be the case as nothing otherwise has hitherto been reported, he should be taken as no less white than Mahathir.

      Look at the irony. A political rival victimised and imprisoned for alleged sodomy, Anwar is being sold now by Dr Mahathir, to be his rightful successor as PM. High politics is not meant for the merciful and compassionate. No wonder Gandhi and Mandela did not last long.

    • Err.., my adinda worked as a penolong setiausaha (PTD), with Brader in the early 90’s in MoF. Not great la but okay cuz he listens to advice and more importantly, acts on it.

      The problem was not him per se, as he had a fairly quick pickup rate. His SUSKs and handlers were the corrupt ones who demanded ‘pelinciran’ (lubrication) to kick up files. One of them is now Octo’s sidekick. Biasa la kan?

      As a kakanda, i could only advise my adinda – patience and follow the GO’s. Brader was personally very kind – especially when the staff had to prepare the annual budget and worked late into the night.

      Don’t know about the other ministries, but he was no ‘Taliban’ or a pretend Mad Mullah, although he was always recognized for what politicians are.. Anything thing else, ayah?

    • It is not speculation.

      No leaders(PM) can survive or prove his worth if he is not tried ; and as long as Mahathir is interfering, pulling the puppet string from behind after making secret private deals (though such deals are against the people’ s wishes )for giving up the position, whoever should take over would be having hard time running the country and he cannot sustain. (Nurul was not from wrong)

      If Anwar should take over, he has less than 3 years to Ge 15 to prove himself or at least show substantive improvement of the reform promises are being kept or he would be booted out.

      Moreover, this is a transition period that people have recognised. They expect the old guards to retire together with their rogue culture and their “evil” ruling (mis)conduct, soonest the better.

      On the positive side, they are expected to simultaneously, train and guide the junior ministers /political leaders to take over and start on a clean slate.

      Many would expect Anwar, if he had led to win the 15 ge, he should past over the patton during the mid-term.

      It is therefore, much important to realize what he can and will do in the future to benefit the country and welfare of the people . That is the hope and aspirations of the Rakyat .

      No more blame games and excuses in moving the country progressively and competently forward.

  11. How can you make allowance for an indecisive old man who thinks he is indispensable and who cannot decide when to step down or cannot even name a replacement after much jostling in the last minute of GE14 to form a coalition? A gambler or a drug addict is a better person than a man who does not stick to his words saying one thing but doing another !

  12. Aiyah please tell me lah what extraordinary things others, who had held Anwar’s portfolios, previously or now, have achieved? Cut out the emotions and come out with substantive facts. Meaningless rabble achieve nothing.

  13. Sekali airbah pasir pun berubah. Taman Residents have expressed that the way to keep their Taman free of gabage is to find a replacement for Alam Flora. Will that make a difference? The problem of garbage accumulation since independence has grown in geometric progression while our response has only grown in arithmetic progression.

    The wise saying only applies if the “pantai” is covered with quality sand. But if the “pantai is pourluted the “airbah” may not make differrnce. It was and now is also our responsibilty to keep the “pantai” polution free.

    Moral of the story all of us must help Alam Flora by controlling our garbage disposal.

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