Is Ijok The Turning Point In Anwar Ibrahim's Political Career?
However one thing is sure. Anwar over the past few days has had better press and more optimistic reviews than in the previous year. The heat emanating from Ijok is partly responsible for this, as is the public exposing of DPM Najib's Achilles' heel, Altantuya. The vulnerable position Najib seems to be in at the moment has sparked interest in the future of the current Umno leadership and questions are being asked if this by-election marks the return to power of the charismatic Anwar?
Najib is the scion of an aristocratic family, whose father was the second Prime Minister of Malaysia. While he's a powerful national figure in his own right, Najib is still considered by many non-Malays as merely a Malay leader. He has somehow not been able to transcend that invisible barrier and be counted as a leader for all Malaysians, the way that the Tunku had or for that matter even Pak Lah. Non-Malays don't trust leaders who portray themselves as only champions of the Malays as Najib has time and again done. Even his father, the late Tun Abdul Razak, was till the end looked upon with suspicion and fear by the non-Malays. Tun Razak playing midwife to the birth of the New Economic Policy only served to entrench their distrust.
Anwar on the hand has been able to cross that hurdle without difficulty and although he has played the Malay card deftly many times, the people, including the non-Malays surprisingly consider him as a leader for all Malaysians. With him there is no lingering suspicion about his motives or game plan. "Everyone would benefit" seems to be the opinion, however misplaced that trust may be.
If we take the current senior Umno leadership, with the possible exception of the Prime Minister, absolutely no one including Najib has gained the trust or confidence of the non-Malay. Apart from Pak Lah almost every Umno pemimpin has openly played up Malay feelings and fears at some point or other for personal political gain. If the non-Malays too had a say in who becomes Prime Minister after Pak Lah, chances are that every Umno leader including Najib and the other pretenders to the PM's chair would be tossed out. That would leave only one former Umno stalwart in contention, Anwar Ibrahim, the wily Malay politician who successfully transcended the invisible race barrier.
Interesting read from Channel Newsasia: Malaysia's Anwar: "Now give us your vote"
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