Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Anwar Finds Himself Flustered Over Jusuf Kalla Deal
With the furore over the secret deal refusing to die down, Anwar was forced to hold a press conference Monday at which he launched into a long and convoluted defence against accusations by the peace deal's broker, former Indonesian vice president Jusuf Kalla, that he has reneged on his promise.
It came amid reports that one of Anwar's coalition partners, DAP secretary general Lim Guan Eng, is furious that Anwar took it upon himself to enter into such secret negotiations without involving or even informing the senior leadership of Pakatan Rakyat.
Anwar's rambling defence was full of contradictions. He accused Najib of refusing to sign the deal before later admitting "it was verbal". In other words, it was a gentleman's agreement and Anwar, still busy attacking the EC over the "stolen" election, is demonstrating how little his word as a gentleman is worth.
Anwar's conduct since GE13 has left him totally isolated even within Pakatan Rakyat. Fellow MPs who have joined him on his nationwide tour have refused to condone his increasingly wild statements about the fairness of GE13 and the role of the EC.
And the pressure is showing. At this press conference Anwar became especially defensive when commenting on Najib's weekend comments that he "reneged on a promise"
"The PM is the last person to talk about lying after cheating in the elections. He talks about the lying but he controls the media and by denying me the right to talk, that shows his calibre," said a visibly flustered Anwar.
Under pressure, Anwar is now changing tack. Up until Monday he has mostly ignored his detractors (including Kalla) who have been angered by his unsportsmanlike behaviour. But it's clear that Anwar has finally realised this issue can't be ignored.
After all, the peace deal is now international news after the Wall Street Journal reported that as recently as last week Kalla phoned Anwar urging him to honour his deal but the answer was "no, no, no, no."
In a single media conference Anwar has gone from being the angry victim on the attack, to a defensive man having to explain why he doesn't honour his word. Perhaps, with this latest episode Anwar will find within himself the humility needed to finally accept defeat? It's a nice thought, but don't hold your breath.