Anwar ready for top seat, and he’s not hiding it

From Singapore Today:
MAY 22 — A confident Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim met foreign correspondents based in Singapore yesterday and opened the door a wee bit more on his plans to grab power.

Once the former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister and now torch-bearer for the Opposition has the numbers to make up a simple majority in Parliament, Anwar said he will call for a vote of non-confidence in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s government.

Do you really have the numbers, or is it just good psychological warfare, asked veteran journalist Barry Wain, who is now writing a book on former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Anwar smiled somewhat coyly, then replied: “I’ve said it on April 14. Yes, we have the numbers.” Where does this confidence come from? Not wanting to give too much away, he said it came from reading the mood among the BN backbenchers. As though anticipating the follow-up question, the man who believes he is within kissing distance of becoming prime minister gave an example: Only three or four of Abdullah’s diehards — and not 30 or 40 parliamentarians — rush to his defence every time Umno’s top leadership comes under attack.

There is one other question: Can he become the next PM since he is still not an MP? And what about his plans to fight a by-election? A couple of constituencies have been identified, but Anwar said this plan is currently in a limbo since he has not been given a clear date yet on when he could contest.

“We’ve worked it out as April 15, based on what was told to me by the prison officers and by the Attorney General’s office,” he said. “But until today, I have not got any reply to confirm the actual date that I am eligible to contest.”

If he does comes to power, he wants to push for a change on a PM’s longevity: Not more than two terms, like the system in the US. “I don’t intend to be active in political life beyond a decade. I think the problem with our society is that people tend to stay on forever,” Anwar said.

Taken from The Malaysian Insider.


That last sentence has got to hurt Dr M. But it’s true. People who stay on at the top post for too long tend to get too comfortable in that chair of power. And besides, staying for so long only makes it much easier to get “corrupted”, because all the jalan-jalan are in place.

This, I feel, is going to hurt BN, UMNO especially, at a time like this. And Anwar is using this time fully to his advantage. And one can’t blame him.

He has been saying that Pakatan Rakyat will take over the Federal Government ever since March 8, 2008. And after Black 14, he made the message even clearer.

After that, things were pretty quit in Anwar camp, except for a few statements and announcements that Pakatan Rakyat will definitely take over government of Malaysia no later than Hari Malaysia. Now, he is reiterating everything that he has previously said.

I have been wondering since GE2008, when is Anwar going to contest in a by-election? Before, we thought he would be contesting in Wan Azizah’s place, then it was Tan Sri Khalid’s place, and then all news just disappeared. “How exactly is Anwar going to be the next PM of Malaysia if he isn’t even an MP?” was my question.

I guess he sort of answered the question by saying that the authorities have still not gotten back to him yet about the date when he can legally contest. Slack on their part.

People have been waiting for the hopping to happen. They’ve been waiting for the past two plus months. Is it finally going to happen? Will he ask the MPs to call for a vote of no confidence before, or after he becomes MP? If he calls it before, then who will take the seat of PM? If it’s after, then how soon?

So many questions, and it’s pure tactic to not shed too much light on his plans as yet.

I’m all for a better government, in fact, I’m all for Pakatan Rakyat taking over.

Just one question though. Is this really the only way to go?

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