Thursday, July 31, 2008

Anwar goes for Permatang Pauh

The Kulim seat, which is still pending court ruling on the electoral problems, seems to be taking too long for Anwar's liking. The breaking news from Malaysiakini at and many of the major blogs, is that Wan Azizah is giving way to Anwar in Permatang Pauh.

The questionable slant given by The Malaysian Insider in its report carrying the caption, Anwar sticks to safe seat as arrest looms betrays its leaning towards certain sections of UMNO-BN and their cronies that sponsors the online paper. It also explains why The Malaysian Insider has scooped recent breaking news. But, that is not important for now.
Like many, I am saddened that Wan Azizah, the first woman Opposition Leader is giving way to Anwar. She has truly been the Malaysian version of Corazon Aquino during the entire time that Anwar was incarcerated.
Her departure as MP will pave the way for a scintillating by-election that Lim Kit Siang has dubbed with his usual melodrama, a Battle Royale.
My observation is that in creating a by-election during this period when the powers that be are sharpening their knives to arrest and charge him, Anwar is well and, truly, upping the ante against UMNO-BN.
If he is arrested and charged in the next few days, the whole world will see in even greater black-and-white contrast, that Anwar is being persecuted by UMNO-BN. This will be the perception, regardless of how much spin-control is deployed.
But I suspect that the arrest and charge will proceed, regardless.
The game is, well and, truly, afoot.
But whatever the outcome; of the Permatang Pauh by-election; or, of the arrest and charge of Anwar; these are only 2 battles being fought in what appears to be a long-drawn war of attrition. It won't look like World War II. It will more likely resemble the trench warfare of World War I. And, for neutrals and partisans alike, it will be an exhausting experience that we have to undergo against the backdrop of a stalling and sputtering Malaysian economy.

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