Anwar’s two different reactions to threat
The manner in which prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim, responds to threats, reveals a lot about the man.
When one of Anwar’s more vocal critics received a threat on her life in the form of a bomb which had been planted under her car, the PM did not say a word to condemn the heinous act.
No public statement from his office was made, no press release was issued, and no reference to the bomb threat featured when meeting reporters. It was as if bombings were just part and parcel of Malaysian life, and the attempt to kill Siti Kasim, was just another daily occurrence.
On the other hand, when Anwar claimed that some European governments and the United States of America had ‘threatened’ him over his stand in Gaza, his prompt response and portrayal of himself as a hero of the Palestinian cause, was revolting.
Siti Zabedah Kasim the vocal critic who survived the assassination attempt is a prominent human rights lawyer, activist, and champion of the Orang Asli and LGBT communities. Amongst her many achievements, she is also highly critical of racist bigots, religious extremists, bad governance, double standards and injustice. Last July, she survived a death threat.
Siti is no ordinary Malaysian, but a public figure, and a courageous lady who dares to speak out against bullies, even if the bully is in the form of the government.
The threat against her life is a serious matter as no-one should be allowed to kill or maim people, just because they disagree with their strong views. Someone wanted to silence her because of her bold criticisms and tireless effort to uphold justice.
One would have thought that with the interests of the nation at heart, Anwar would have spoken out about this heinous act and strongly condemned the attempt to kill Siti.
Anwar could have used the threat on her life, to denounce the person or groups of people behind this attempt, warned those involved that violence is not acceptable and that when they are caught, the most severe form of punishment would await them.
Moreover, by speaking out, Anwar’s warning would serve as a deterrent, and prevent others from using bombs in copy-cat tactics, to silence critics, enemies, or rivals in business and politics.
That is why Anwar’s silence, when the life of one of his more vocal critics had been threatened was highly revealing and in stark contrast to his whining that western powers had ‘threatened’ him.
The two responses when a threat had been made, have exposed Anwar’s vanity, his huge ego and his sense of self-importance.
It wasn’t just the PM whose reaction was simply shocking, but the actions of the police should also be condemned.
In Anwar’s case, security was beefed up and security tightened to protect him. In his public speeches, he told us that the threats from western powers would not succeed in silencing him, that he will refuse to yield to western pressure, that they had underestimated him and that they had picked the wrong side.
However, it was odd that when he made those allegations, he declined from naming the western powers which he claimed had threatened him. This led to some PAS leaders questioning the validity of his claims.
PAS secretary-general, Takiyuddin Hassam claimed that Anwar merely made the allegations to promote himself as a ‘great man of huge importance so that he could gain public support and trust
In Siti’s case, the police failed in their duty to carry out a proper investigation. They claimed that the CCTV at the Kajang court house where Siti suspects the bomb may have been planted was not working, and they initially told her that they were on the verge of making an arrest, but there has been silence since then.
Some people may think that Anwar was right not to condemn the threat on Siti’s life, but they are wrong. Malaysians need to know and understand that they will come to no harm when they criticise the government, their leaders and anyone who does wrong.
Yesterday, Anwar finally revealed that it was the Americans whom he claimed had threatened Malaysia. Some members of the rakyat claim that Anwar had wrongly assessed the three American requests on Malaysia’s stand in Gaza as a threat.
They are also disappointed with Anwar’s refusal to brand Hamas as a terrorist organisation. The killing perpetrated by both sides is wrong, and he should be a champion of peace, not try to be champion for Hamas.
Forcing young children to get involved in foreign conflicts with his week-long “Free Palestine” event in schools will have dire consequences. It was an ill thought out plan. The middle east Palestinian-Israeli issue is complex. Teachers and children parading with toy guns in schools is not just daft, but a ticking time bomb of promoting more hate, violence and killing.
Anwar should just focus on Malaysian issues and start with the economy and cost of living crisis.
His response to the middle-east crisis is hugely disappointing because he is simply trying to score cheap political points with the radical Muslims in Malaysia.