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The mutation of Tunku Aziz (Part 2)

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Tunku Abdul Aziz sang a different tune about Anwar in an article written in 2010. Martin Jalleh sieves through that commentary.

When asked recently for his opinion on Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, all that Tunku Abdul Aziz could say was that since he became a columnist for the New Sunday Times, he did not agree with Anwar’s style of politics and that he had written an article, “Stop the theatrics, Anwar, let Malaysians get on with their life” (Malaysian Insider, 18 May 2012).
“The article touched on rumours that the federal government would fall to the opposition on 16 September 2008, with a large number of BN members of parliament jumping to join the opposition.
“Hopping is not my game… I despise people who do that… we contest under, let’s say, Umno banner and later hop to Anwar… I do not agree. If you want to jump, resign and hold a by-election to contest on an independent ticket, then we will see who will win,” he said.”
Apparently he had forgotten about an article which he had written entitled ‘Anwar waves his magic and thrills European audiences’ which was carried in MySinchew and The Malaysian Insider on 4 October 2010 in which he paid glowing tribute to Anwar (and at times made implicit comparisons to Najib!

Below are excerpts of his article:

I have had to come all the way to Brussels and Berlin to discover a side of Anwar Ibrahim that I was wrong about…Reading the Barisan Nasional-owned newspapers that consistently portrayed him as a “traitor to Malaysia” who exaggerated the situation obtaining in the country given half a chance, I have, I must admit, tended to view him as a self-serving political demagogue who could not care less about the fate of his country as long as he achieved his ambition of becoming prime minister.
Anwar spoke last Monday evening (28 September 2010), on ‘Liberal Values in the Muslim World – Why Islam and Democracy are Destined to Coincide’ to a packed hall of some of Europe’s powerful decision makers. These were men and women with wide international experience and could not be easily hoodwinked even if he had tried…
As I sat listening to the prime minister Malaysia never had, thanks to Mahathir the Maverick, and who might yet take the country by storm, Anwar, I mean, not Mahathir, I could not help thinking how utterly sad and absurd for Najib, whose articulation of his 1Malaysia slogan invariably finishes in a cul-de-sac, offering his services to Obama to help bring about greater understanding of Islam, the religion of peace, among the majority American non-Muslims. My dear fellow, charity begins at home.
The only Malaysian politician, who can, without making a fool of himself, stride the world stage with the right combination of strong intellectual credentials and honesty, is not to be found within the serried ranks of the BN, but in the person of Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia’s iconic liberal democrat.
As I saw here in Brussels, he had the European parliamentary leadership, figuratively speaking, eating out of his hands. Many have already put the champagne on ice; they clearly see this victim of a rotten political system as the next man to lead the country.
For all our sakes, I hope they are right. Malaysia needs a thorough overhaul and Najib whom we need like we do a great big hole in our head is unlikely to understand the dynamics of change for the great leap forward.
Even if he understands the urgent necessity for change, would he be allowed to by the reactionary forces with the party ever so gingerly as the prospect of a palace coup remains a distinct possibility? He is not only busy watching over-sized baggage, but also his back with the sort of loyal friends he has had foisted on him.
There simply isn’t much time for anything else while the ship of state springs more leaks by the day. (The paragraphing has been edited for convenient reading. – Martin Jalleh)


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Political commentator Martin Jalleh is a regular contributor to the Aliran website

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