Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Anwar’s Vexed Response to GE13
Yet Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is apparently bringing to fruition months of well poisoning, calling the election fraudulent, and calling for mass protests. It would appear that he is risking lawlessness and chaos merely because in the end, his coalition fought the wrong battles and lost.
No responsible Opposition leader the world over would throw a fit of pique such as this, risking the stability and harmony of his nation over an election loss. It is time that Anwar reconsidered his promise – apparently now abandoned – to retire and return to teaching and leave electoral politics, for the sake of his coalition and Malaysia.
Anwar's strategy has been plain for months. He began by telling anyone who would listen that even before the election was held, if Pakatan lost GE13, it could only be because of fraud. After months of electoral reforms and before the first ballot was cast, the motivation behind this was obvious.
The culmination of Anwar's strategy was in his now-infamous tweet on Sunday night: "PR has won. We urge UMNO and the EC to not attempt to hijack the results," he tweeted before a single seat had been declared.
This was reminiscent of the September 16, 2008 crossover pledge, when he prematurely announced he had enough votes to form a new Government, and warned Umno to stand down.
But this time, Anwar's words were clearly intended to convince his supporters that the any loss would be fraud – which he followed by declaring the result fraudulent the instant it was announced.
Worse, he is now calling for protests. "We must be allowed to express ourselves properly in stadiums or in the vicinity of a public space," he declared to the BBC Monday.
By itself this is nothing remarkable. After all, the Peaceful Assembly Act allows for peaceful statements such as this. Yet after months of poisoning the well, the likelihood of violence from his protesters increases.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has called on all quarters to accept the election results and to raise any challenges in the courts or through administrative bodies. This is how statesmen govern. This is how any credible Opposition leader would lead.
After what may be the final blow to his three-decade-long quest for power, Anwar is playing with fire. It is time for this to end, and for Anwar to stand down.