Friday, 1 August 2008

Heads you lose, Tails I win!

Malaysiakini has featured an interesting article written by Mr. S. Murugesan, my fellow brother in the MIC. He has hailed Datuk Seri Wan Azizah as the true hero, the brave woman that held the fort for her beloved husband. I do not disagree. Wan Azizah always struck me as a reluctant politician. A politician who was thrown into the ring out of situation, not choice. She has kept the fort well, indeed.

However, it is the other segment of Mr. Murugesan's article that struck a chord with my view on this by-election saga. Why now? Who not in April as soon as Datuk Seri Anwar was eligible. Why not later, after the sodomy allegation is dealt with, one way or the other? Murugesan summed it perfectly with the term 'heads you lose, tails I win' analogy.

Anwar Ibrahim is as shrewd a politician as they come by. A master manipulator of public sympathy and perception. By announcing his candidacy now, he is seeking the upper hand. If he is charged for sodomy, he will claim that this is just to stop him from coming to power. If he is not charged after all the hoo-haa, the government will be seen as having harassed him without basis. Smart.

The Prime Minister said today that the due process of law will go on. If and when Anwar is charged, I hope the evidence will be concrete, and not leave the public in doubt. The sodomy allegation may be a legal issue. But public perception is a national issue. In politics, perception is stronger than the truth. The government simply cannot afford a botched trial.

The EC has sixty days to have a by-election. Let's see how all the timelines play out.

Sigh... In the meantime, it's going to be more days of politicking ahead. From the time the General Election results were announced in March, it has been non-stop politicking, and as a result, the nation seems to be on autocruise. I wish we can put all the politicking behind us and get to work. BN or PR, they both have governments to run and people to serve!

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