Saturday, May 25, 2013

Happy to Protest, Happy to Petition: Anwar Just Can’t Make His Mind Up

When the Election Commission finally gazetted the results of the Thirteenth General Election on Wednesday, Chairman Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof reiterated that any candidates or political parties who took umbrage over them would have 21 days to file their objections.

Curiously, Parti Keadilan Rakyat wasted no time in taking advantage of the freedom that Malaysia's democratic system allows, announcing that they were to file no less than 27 such petitions.
Could this really be the same PKR whose leaders in recent weeks have been doing everything in their power to decry the electoral system and courts as the flawed instruments of an authoritarian Government?

We can but hope that this finally represents a shift in the way those leaders, including Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, conduct their affairs and that Malaysia will see no more of the illegal rallies that have dominated the headlines since May 5.

Perhaps Anwar can simply see the writing on the wall. It is clear that the level of opposition to his string of illegal rallies is growing, even, if you'll forgive the expression, from those he might have once considered his partners in crime.

"We will coordinate the filing of the petitions with DAP and PAS, our allies in the Pakatan Rakyat," PKR Vice-President Tian Chua said this week.

However, even that seems odd – particularly given the news that PAS has already announced that it has accepted the election results. Even DAP leaders have by and large begun to tone down their rhetoric so they can get on with the real tasks at hand.

Perhaps it was the international embarrassment that came after it emerged Anwar had engaged, before GE13, Indonesia's former Vice President Jusuf Kalla to broker a post-election 'peace' agreement?

Or possibly it was the weariness of the rakyat that has shifted his stance? Public opinion, something that Anwar clearly craves, has practically evaporated from all but PKR's most diehard grassroots supporters. It is no coincidence that this has taken place as Anwar's grandiloquence has increased.
His "tanks and guns" speech fell on the deaf ears of Malaysians who want to get back to normal after an agonising election campaign like no other.

It is unlikely that PKR has abandoned Anwar's reckless strategy for more mature avenues; but perhaps this is the beginning of a change that will eventually see a more mature party emerge.

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