KEPUTUSAN: TIADA TERTUNAI
Anwar Sends Conflicting Signals On Plan To Unseat Government
By Noor Hayati Muda
Sept 13 (Bernama) -- For months, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been insisting that his three-party Pakatan Rakyat alliance would unseat the Barisan Nasional (BN) government on Sept 16 through defections.However, since returning to Parliament after winning the Permatang Pauh by-election on Aug 26, the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor has been making conflicting statements on the exact date for the "takeover" as Sept 16 draws closer.
He has been reported telling his supporters after breaking fast on Tuesday that it might happen a day later, on Sept 17, and yet the next day he insisted to a group of reporters that the big plan was very much on track.Later in the day, when addressing his supporters, Anwar once again changed his statement by saying that the deadline may be shifted to Sept 20 if Pakatan Rakyat (PR) encounters problems that would prevent it from wresting power from the BN.And yesterday, the opposition alliance yet again deferred the plan, blaming it on a trip by 49 BN members of parliament (MPs) to Taiwan.Anwar's conflicting signals begin to look like he is laying a foundation for excuses, which would come eventually should he fail to make good his promise.And some political analysts say they are expecting Anwar to do just that.
"I won't be surprised if he does that. It's what most politicians would do if they fail to deliver on their word, giving reasons why this and that didn't happen," says Prof Dr Mohammad Agus Yusoff of University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).The Social Sciences and Humanities Faculty lecturer says Anwar expects people to understand that it is difficult to form a government, regardless of the self-imposed deadline."This is the first time (for any change of government through defections), and people are expected to understand it's not going to be as easy as he has said it," says Mohammad Agus.He is also of the opinion that credibility is not on Anwar's card of priorities."This is about a psychological war, and credibility ceases to be a priority in a mind game like this. It doesn't matter if it doesn't happen.
What's important is he manages to cause some concern in the BN camp."He has managed to send BN leaders scrambling to their feet and take notice of the much-needed changes in the country," says Mohammad Agus.He adds that although subconsciously people realise that Anwar is offering false hope, they still want to believe it."To me, what's important is that we have to find out why people want to believe in this false hope in the first place. They want changes," he says, adding that changes were now being made by the government, albeit at a slow pace.As for Prof Datuk Dr Zainal Kling, Anwar is just a good orator with empty talk."Those who have worked with him (when he was in the government) would know who Anwar really is.
He's a good orator but mostly it's just talk," says the former dean of the University of Malaya Arts and Social Sciences Faculty."You just wait and see, nothing will happen that day," he says, adding that Anwar would come up with various excuses when the big plan does not materialise.In a way, Zainal has a point as Anwar is already harping on the departure of the 49 BN MPs on an agriculture study trip in Taiwan, claiming it is a ploy to foil his plan.Another political observer, Prof Dr Nik Anwar Nik Mahmud of UKM, is also of the opinion that it is just a psychological warfare by the PKR leader."He is hoping on at least 30 Barisan MPs joining him. But it's not as easy as that as BN is still okay. This is just a transition era, one that will stabilise our politics later on," he says.
During the BN Supreme Council meeting on Tuesday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi reiterated that BN is not disintegrating and his statement was supported by the coalition leaders attending the meeting with a loud: "No."It was not the first time that BN leaders have rallied to voice their loyalty to the coalition, as for the past five months Anwar has been claiming a number of MPs would jump ship and join him.If this is indeed a mere psychological warfare by Anwar whose ambition is to be the sixth prime minister, as many political observers have noted, the PKR leader's action can only be summarised as irresponsible if not selfish.His psychological warfare creates instability not only in the already fragile political scene but also in the country's economy.It was reported that Credit Suisse, a financial advisory firm, had early this month advised investors to avoid stocks in this country due to political turmoil, saying that a power struggle between the government and the Opposition leader was heightening risks to the economy.
As most Malaysians already have to shoulder a heavier financial burden due to the recent increase in fuel prices, the last thing they would need is an over-ambitious politician toying with their sense of security.Although Anwar has promised to reduce fuel prices, among others, once he helms the country, the next few days will be crucial for Malaysians as it will determine whether the premier aspirant's word is to be believed or not.After all, promises are made to be broken, as some will definitely point out.-- BERNAMA