On 5th November, last year, Malaysiakini carried the following report :
“Nahalan, a prominent leader in the east coast, took some time to explain his position at length on why he supports any proposed new party to be headed by Jeffrey.
“I received a call from Anwar Ibrahim last week asking me why I supported Jeffrey to be PKR state chief and not Thamrin,” disclosed Nahalan who is a Bajau-Suluk.
“I told him that Jeffrey was elected by the majority of division chiefs including my division. Besides, he’s the best leader we have in the opposition. It’s not true that he’s crazy about posts or likes to switch from party to party for no reason.”
Implied, but not stated specifically by Anwar during the hour-long telephone conversation, was that Nahalan should seriously think about supporting Thamrin on the basis of their common faith.
Apparently, Anwar was busy working the phones last week trying to persuade other Muslim division chiefs as well, including KadazanDusunMurut, to withdraw their support for Jeffrey to be the new state chief.
Muslim KadazanDusunMuruts come from the Orang Sungei along the Kinabatangan, Bisaya in the west coast and Ranau Dusun tribes in the high country.
Anwar’s willingness to ride roughshod over local sentiments in Sabah was the last straw for Nahalan. He said he realised that “Anwar has not changed since his Umno and Abim (Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia) days and is very much a closet racist” .
10 days later, at a ‘meet the bloggers’ session hosted by Anwar at the Lake Club, I broached Anwar on this.
He assured me that there was no truth in this and that Nahalan had in fact sms’d Anwar to say that the Malaysiakini report was completely untrue.
Anwar, of course, was not to know that I had already been told by someone who was at the meeting on 6th November, 2009, in Kota Kinabalu, where Tian Chua met several of the PKR state leaders, including Nahalan, that the latter had reiterated the very same allegation to Tian Chua.
I thought then that I would let this pass.
What’s a little face-saving white lie from a politician?
To be expected, no?
I was in Kota Kinabalu end of last month for the ‘1963 Re-visited : The Way Forward’ forum organised by the Borneo Heritage Foundation together with the Common Interest Group Malaysia.
This was an important forum and I will blog about it soon.
I’ll just tell you now that what I learnt at the forum was that just as BN screwed us Semenanjungites big time, they did the same to Sabahans and Sarawakians.
Big, big time.
After the forum, I sat down to coffee with two PKR leaders from Sarawak.
The discussion, while wide-ranging, finally turned to Anwar and PKR.
“PKR, under Anwar, is UMNO by another name”, one of them said.
“Go and ask Anwar if he will deny that his plan is to keep the Dayaks divided so that the Muslims will continue to rule in Sarawak. How different, then, is PKR from UMNO? If he dares deny this, come back to me and I will give you proof”, the other offered.
I referred to what Nahalan had said last November and asked them what they thought.
“Anwar is more dangerous than that Perkasa fellow. That Perkasa fellow is openly a bloody racist. Anwar hides behind ketuanan rakyat. He is still on a Muslim agenda. Anwar is more dangerous”, one responded.
The other nodded in agreement.
Yesterday, I made a phone call to Sabah to get the inside story on the show cause notice to the 12 Sabah PKR leaders who had, late last year, during the height of the PKR Sabah leadership crisis, when Anwar had rejected Jeffrey to lead although the latter ostensibly commanded the confidence of the majority of Sabah PKR , filed an application with the registrar of societies to register a new party, Parti Cinta Sabah.
I am told that then, peace was finally brokered between PKR in KL and Sabah in that the ‘Jeffery’ faction would live with Anwar’s handpicked Thamrin until the party elections. The application to register the new party was to be withdrawn and PKR HQ and Sabah were to put this whole episode behind them and focus on making ready for the next elections.
Anwar has now reneged on this arrangement.
Anwar, Iam told, is now suggesting that at the time that peace was brokered, he and other party leaders were not aware that an application to register a new party had in fact been submitted, and were under the impression that such an application was merely being contemplated.
This, however, would plainly be an untruth if, as I am told, the condition set by the party HQ when the peace deal was being brokered was that the APPLICATION WAS TO BE WITHDRAWN.
This is no longer a mere face-saving white lie.
My Sabah source tells me it’s about killing two birds with one stone.
Jefffey Kitingan and Zaid Ibrahim.
All 12 divisional leaders are known Jeffery supporters.
Lynch the 12 at the disciplinary proceedings later today and Jeffery’s political jugular vein in the party might be severed, leaving the way open for Ansari, a known Anwar man, and his supporters.
Muslim factor again.
As for Zaid, my sources in PKR tell me that from the word go, Anwar has not been altogether comfortable with Zaid’s seemingly meteoric rise in the party.
Zaid’s become increasingly popular with the PKR grassroots in Sabah, many of whom have becoming increasingly disenchanted with Anwar’s UMNO-like centralised control of party politics at state level.
And notwithstanding Zaid having said he’s not looking to contest for any party post, Anwar and Azmin are not leaving it to chance.
After all, did not Anwar say in 1993 that he would not challenge Ghafar Baba for the UMNO deputy presidency, and then went on to finish off Ghafar?
Everyone in the know in PKR is expecting that the Sodomy II trial will have only one conclusion, and very, very soon : conviction and imprisonment.
Assuming Wan Azizah hangs on to the presidency and Syed Husin holds to his word and does not offer himself, Anwar is looking to Azmin to seize the No.2 post and hold it to check Zaid’s ascension through the party.
Now I ask you, is not PKR beginning to more and more resemble UMNO?
In my ‘The end days of PKR in Sabah?’ post, I had posed three questions to Anwar. I reproduce the same here now.
First, how the *#@* did you ever dream of taking the federal government last September 16th, apparently counting on the support of Sabah and Sarawak when, it would seem, you haven’t a clue of how to win the hearts and minds of their locals, leaders or otherwise?
Second, is your ‘Ketuanan Rakyat’ any less sloganeering than Najib’s ’1Malaysia’? Is it from the heart or just skin deep?
Third, are you truly the changed man from your UMNO days, or are you now a closet Malay nationalist, because you see it as politically expedient?