Let’s trust him

Posted on May 4, 2007

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I wish I could. I wish he would give me a real reason to.

johnleemk aptly sums up my predicament :

“The argument that nobody can be the same after six years in prison is true. But the question is not whether Anwar has changed, but the degree of change”.

After his release, Anwar engaged the Malaysian Bar in a dialogue in October, 2004. I attended.

I hoped that I would see a changed man, who would show remorse for his part in any mismanagement of this country whilst he was in government.

Truly, a simple ‘I am sorry’ would have touched me.

Anwar spoke for about an hour. He touched on his suffering during his detention, on the police brutality that he endured, and the injustices he was subjected to during his criminal trials. He talked about the corruption of the previous administration.

During question time, I drew his attention to Musa Hitam’s resignation from the office of Deputy Prime Minister in 1986 on the stated grounds of differences of opinion on several issues with his boss, Dr. M. I then listed for him the following catalogue of national tragedies that occurred whilst he was in government and asked what he had done to try and avert these tragedies and, if he had done nothing, why he had not followed the example of Musa and resign.

1. Operasi Lallang (1987 )

2. Amendment to Article 121(1), thereby emasculating the judiciary (1988)

3. Sacking of Tun Salleh Abas (1988 )

4. Amending the Constitution to remove the monarch’s power of veto in respect of proposed legislation (1993)

5. The Bank Negara forex losses of RM20 billion (1993)

6. The detention of Shia lecturers under the ISA (1997)

7. The conviction of Lim Guan Eng for OSA offences (1997-1998) 

Anwar replied that with respect to Operasi Lallang, he had approached Dr M on the eve of the same with a view to try and persuade him not to do it. Dr. M told him that he did not understand matters of national security.

He did not address the other tragedies I mentioned.

As to why he did not resign, he said that he had hoped to bring about change from within.

And there was no ‘I am sorry’.

I understand the notion of biding one’s time to rise to power to ‘bring about change from within’ as necessarily encompassing a philosophy of  ‘some must neccesarily suffer now for the greater good I can bring about later’. In my view, it entails a judgment call that no one person has the moral right to make. It justifies the detention of 112 under the ISA without trial , the unjust sacking of a Lord President and the immoral conviction of one man who tried to expose an alleged statutory rape by a politician, on the footing that this is the necessary price to pay for the greater good I can do when I ascend to power.

Since that dialogue. I have followed closely Anwar’s public statements, in the hope that perhaps he may give me a reason to trust him.

Anwar has been making very encouraging statements about replacing the NEP with a more equitable affirmative programme.

It is also reported that in Ijok, he acknowledged his fault in 1987 with regard to the matter of the interference with the management of the Chinese language schools.

I am still hoping he will give me reason enough to trust him.   

Posted in: Anwar