From The Australian:

The story of Anwar’s near candidacy for the UN is fascinating. I must confess to having played a tiny role in it myself, purely as a reporter, but the story was never quite there.

The new Secretary-General of the UN is Ban Ki-moon, a former foreign minister of South Korea.

It was Asia’s turn to get the post and Ban was the best-qualified candidate.

But there was always a chance that the Russians or even the French might veto him because he was seen as too close to Washington. But the other Asian candidates were frankly not all that appealing. A number of international heavyweights canvassed an Anwar candidacy.

Anwar is a moderate Muslim, no one could seriously accuse him of being too pro-American, he is charismatic and learned.

Of course, his candidacy would have caused some acute dilemmas.

Malaysia’s Government, for example, would have been very unhappy and it would be unusual, to say the least, to have a secretary-general nominated against the wishes of his own national government.

But it was not inconceivable. I believe Al Gore, Madeleine Albright, Richard Holbrooke and other senior US Democrats canvassed the idea very seriously. Although out of office, these people were all immensely influential.

I believe also that the Bush administration’s view was that they were supporting Ban, but if Ban’s candidacy should fall over they would not necessarily oppose Anwar.

I believe Anwar’s old friend, Paul Wolfowitz, was at least aware of these manoeuvrings.

My own tiny role in what turned out to be a non-existent candidacy came about when one of the people most encouraging Anwar asked me if I would interview him simultaneously for The Australian and a big American newspaper. In the interview, Anwar would declare his interest in the job and I would write an evaluation of this. None of this came about because Anwar decided not to do the interview and not to seek the job.

One very perverse consequence of Anwar’s wide range of friendships is that there are posters, so Anwar tells me, of Wolfowitz and him together being distributed to Malay villages.

And the accusation against Anwar, which these photographs are meant to support, is that he is pro-Jew.

Wolfowitz is not even identified as a neo-conservative or anything so esoteric as that. Rather it is plain, good, old fashioned anti-Semitism at work.

Anwar meets the accusation head on. Yes indeed Wolfowitz is a friend of his, and an old and good friend. He disagrees with Wolfowitz’s policies on Iraq but agrees with him on a number of other issues. And in any event Wolfowitz’s Jewishness should have nothing to do with anything.

Anwar’s political challenge within Malaysia is very great, in trying to overturn a long established government with a heavy influence on the media. He believes the opposition, running not as a coalition but in broad co-operation with each other, could do well next time. Last time, he says, the opposition got strong support among the majority Malays but almost no support among the minority Chinese and Indians, because the opposition includes PAS, an avowedly Islamic party.

Anwar believes that PAS in government would observe all the constitutional guarantees for all Malaysia’s citizens, would be constrained in any event by the other parties in government, and has not behaved badly on communal issues when it has periodically controlled some state governments, although its rhetoric has at times been inflammatory. This claim of PAS moderation is one many other Malaysians would contest with extreme vigour.

Anwar believes he can attract Chinese support next time, especially in his home state of Penang. Anwar’s own position on communal and religious issues is more liberal than that of the Malaysian Government, which has in recent years moved to outflank PAS by – to some extent – overtly courting Islamist sentiment.

I don’t know if Anwar offers a solution for Malaysia or not. I do know it’s enormously interesting to hear him argue his case. And where better to hear it than Indonesia?

27 responses »

  1. Anor1 says:

    Received on sms:

    25/11/07 at british high commission, we need more than 10,000 indians 2 take part 2 hand over a memorandum pertaining indian rights in malaysia n rgd a civil writ filed in london

  2. koolgeek says:

    I do not believe PAS can ever win the hearts of the non muslims on the west side. Life is just different in states outside of K’tan and T’gannu. K’tan and T’gannu are the best indication of what to be expected of PAS. It’s not very difficult to tell that non muslim west feel more comfortable putting up with BN’s corruption than having to goto cinemas with lights on.

    Anyway, that’s just my own opinion.

  3. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi says:

    The prime minister was surprised, the chief minister was shocked – this was their reaction after hearing from a Supp leader that the predominantly Chinese party is going to lose some seats in Sarawak in the coming elections.
    http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/74814

  4. wits0 says:

    If Anwar can dispense with his goatee, he’s bound to win more support from the nons. One can take that as an emphasis on substance instead of mere forms. This is not a frivolous suggestion or one meant to slight but a factual perception that’s a realistic prerequisite.

  5. The next election is an opener to interesting times. That will spell the ascent or end of Anwar’s party keadilan and the direction of the non bumis. One thing is fo sure, BN will still win.

  6. k.esu says:

    Yes Patrick, BN will still win and RPK`s blazing away with all guns:

    But from where I am sitting it looks like it is the MCA Chinese and not the Malays who are Umno’s running dogs.

    So, the Chinese are very upset. Yeah, sure they are very upset. They are very upset with the Malays. They are very upset because the Malays are running this country. They are very upset because the Malays are screwing up this country. Then why are they the running dogs of the Umno Malays?
    http://www.malaysia-today.net/nuc2006/barred.php?itemid=295

  7. Harrison Bin Hansome says:

    Hang on a moment, just a second, this will be bigger than C4 coz whenever Anwar Ibrahim’s name is mentioned, Ktemoc is digging the biggest HATCHET.
    I can see he’s coming soon!

  8. anilnetto says:

    The problem with Paul Wolfowitz is not that he is Jew. It has nothing to do with anti-semitism. The real reason many are upset with him is that he is one of the main architects of the illegal US invasion of Iraq which has led to the loss of over a million lives.

  9. wits0 says:

    Harrison, do you mean “he’s coming” or “it’s coming”? 😉

    Anilnetto, I will not argue about the “legalilty” of that matter but it’s obvious that Saddam’s belligerency(typical of that region)was predisposing, together with the predisposing culture and tradition there increases the loss of lives afterwards. Another society with a wiser/progressive culture might have made better of the opportunity that was presented to them.

    Wolfowitz’s issue was over a comparatively minor issue as compared with Kofi Adnan’s ‘Oil for Food’ scandal at the UN. At least Wolfowitz stepped down unlike Kofi.

  10. ktemoc says:

    US Senate Committe report on 9/11 – when it happened, Paul Wolfowitz called for an attack on Iraq …😉 At that time Bush still had some brains and ignored that bull!

    The US Senate report also dismissed his claim that the blame for an earlier bombing at the Trades Centre should be atrributed to Saddam as well. He was also signatory of the letter by the committee of the Project for the New American Century to President Clinton urging the control of Middle East energy resources, effectively calling for the invasion and occupation of Iraq as the source of the 2nd largest known reserves of oil. Bill Clinton threw the warmongering letter into the wastepaper basket.
    😉 Harrison, shall I tell you what Anwar Ibrahim commented on the invasion of Iraq? You won’t like it, so I’ll spare you the embarrassment – yes, it’ll be bigger than C4 hahahahahaha.

  11. wits0 says:

    So Wolf called for war…some of those in the Middle East have never ceased their sabre rattling calls for ages against the West. Wolf was deposed over a girl friend issue blown rather big as a good excuse. Bush may be viewed as dumb in certain things but Clinton certainly is/was no honest guy.

    Anwar can stop riding two horses at one time. No clear sign that he has. A learned man or not seems immaterial where playing politics is concerned. No man can have two masters and serve both equally well.

  12. kittykat46 says:

    By now we are very aware of KTemoc’s deep antipathy towards Anwar Ibrahim, but please don’t go into misinformation territory, it damages YOUR credibility.

    Where’s the C4 with regard to Anwar Ibrahim and Iraq ?

    Anwar comes across as a Muslim who is also a friend of the West, and advocates civilisational dialogue between Muslims and Westerners.
    What’s wrong with that ?

    The following interview with Anwar on Australian TV is on public record.

    http://anwaribrahim.com/site/?p=77

    To quote Anwar

    DR ANWAR IBRAHIM: Yes, clearly. I mean, the rationale for the US Administration to launch the war against Saddam in Iraq was, again, proven to be wrong. It is a clear case of deception. And now having seen the effects and the result, the worst crimes, calamities, in Iraq, we’ll have to change course.

    GEORGE NEGUS: Whoever is to blame, are we stuck with the age of terror for 10, 20, 30 years?

    DR ANWAR IBRAHIM: There are issues that have reached so many people. You have to correct them, too. I’m not giving them an excuse, I’m not apologising for those who perpetrate crimes or terror. Tough measures must be taken against them irrespective of whether they are Muslims or Christians or Jews or whatever.

  13. Philip Lau says:

    Hi Susan,

    With your BLACK background, with white words, not very white, I hope you will consider reverting to your old self.

    (Susan says): No, Philip, I won’t be reverting to my old blog style. Not until, I get fed-up with this one, in which case, I will try a new style. Sorry.

  14. ktemoc says:

    kk46, if you take this long to be even aware that I don’t like Anwar Ibrahim you must be very very slow on the uptake😉

    I resent your poo throwing in your insinuation “but please don’t go into misinformation territory”. If you have any evidence of KTemoc doing that to Anwar Ibrahim, please state it out clearly, and don’t rely on sly sinister sniping to discredit me. You have actually become what you’ve insinuated I was proposing to do.

    I pride myself in that I am one of the very few independent bloggers who have never mentioned anything about AI’s sodomy case or rumours. Nor have I ever touched on his student days or stint in Abim. Those are irrelevant to what I want to blog about AI.

    I have thus far blogged on him on his ministerial policies and performance, and these are what really matter, using available public records derived from international media, malaysiakini. I very seldom rely on Malaysian mainstream media. It is in those (his ministerial policies and practices) that have shown him to be unacceptable as an opposition leader. I am repulsed by his pathetic excuses when he was confronted by his political baggage. It is in those excuses and finger pointing trhat I see him as not suitable to be trusted, respected nor accepted as an opposition leader.

    Nonetheless, I have recently lay off him because of the Bersih rally, purely out of respect for the many sincere participants because criticism of him would impinge collateral damage on the credibility and sacrifice of the many thousands of Bersih supporters.

    Even when Harrison chose to bait me, I only posted comments on Paul Wolfowitz. bUt if you want me to show what Anwar said after 9/11 (when he was still in prison) I can do that.

    You quoted a TV clip posted on his website – is that the best you can do and are you that naive? AI has a habit of being wise and suddenly on the ‘right’ side after the event – go ask him what he said of the IMF after he was released from jail😉. His hindsight ‘wisdom’ could be seen in his recent proclamations against what he had defended vigorously when he was in UMNO man. Just as an exmaple, where was his human rights, democratic and free speech beliefs when KL hosted the Apcet II conference – he was then the acting PM. Ask him what he proudly announced after UMNO Youth thugs had smashed the Conference to shreds and terrified the international participants.

    kk46, don’t challenge me and get me going😉 Unlike you I am not blindly enamoured of a person like him. I am only holding back for those Bersih people, many but obviously not all😉 of whom are people I respect.

  15. kittykat46 says:

    KTemoc,
    “You quoted a TV clip posted on his website – is that the best you can do and are you that naive? ”
    Here’s the actual Australian SBS transcript – its the same, word for word.
    http://news.sbs.com.au/dateline/dr_anwar_ibrahim_130767

    Anwar Ibrahim wrote an article published in Time Magazine on October 8, 2001, titled “Who Hijacked Islam?”, while still in prison.

    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,178470,00.html

    To me , it was an intelligent and level headed essay. I repeat what I wrote earlier – Anwar Ibrahim is a Muslim who is also a friend of the West.

    And repeat my question to KTemoc – What’s wrong with that ?

    I know a guy who spent just 2 weeks in prison for a minor offense. For a guy who’s a university graduate, and normally lives a pretty comfortable middle-class life, it’s been a very bitter lesson for him.

    6 years in prison has been a very effective “teacher” to Anwar Ibrahim. Is it so hard to believe that ?

  16. ktemoc says:

    Susan, my two links here are in wrong post lah, should be in one regarding the King – sorry

  17. wits0 says:

    Dear Philip Lau, I have no problem viewing this blog even without enlarging the fonts on the page. Could it be a problem with the display on your Monitor? Have you done all the necessary adjustments? Is your display in the best 32 bit true color mode? I have 2 PC, one with a CRT Philips 17″ monitor and another, a Samsung 19 LCD. Neither presents any problem wrt the color scheme in this blog or in any others using a similar one.

  18. wits0 says:

    Susan, perhaps Philip Lau could send you a screen capture and you may be able to understand the nature of his complain? I could send one from my end too, for comparision. 😉 This seems to be an intriguing ‘problem’.

  19. Harrison Bin Hansome says:

    Hahahahahahha, (just notice this, someone mentioned my name)

    KTemoc reasoned that I chose to bait him to this ever-popular post and “something” (see my inverted comas’ placement ) bigger than C4.
    Well, I DID!

    And (Soree mostly I am confining myself to only here, Elviza’s Dr. Hsu and RPK’s blog others are remote lah) but I CERTAINLY HAVE NOT COLLUDE WITH ANYONE *(including a 61 y.o. man) OR ANYTHING to waylay a C4 ambush on you here.

    Haiyah ‘maih ah ne lah’ Kaytee, I ain’t a boorish man and I also ever visit your blog lah only just maybe I’ll buy u a HATCHET with 2 ends. hahahaha.

    ‘maih ah ne lah’ in Hokkien= Don’t be Like That Lah.
    my asterisk*=(just maybe ok) Kittykat46. 2007-1946=61 y.o. man

  20. k.esu says:

    Malaysian Chicken asscn. at work and play:

    It is hilarious to know that Dr Ayam ex-MP of Bukit Bintang Dr Lee Chong Meng is leading the Protest against the Bersih Rally claiming that it is “bad business” for traders. Did the Bersih Rally march went through the Bukit Bintang areas that he has reasons to complain?
    http://powerpresent.blogspot.com/2007/11/ant-bersih-rally-protest-dr-ayam-bukit.html

  21. wits0 says:

    On first impression alone one must be naturally naive to readily believe in a B-Lardy prosperous fatface without re-examination. Oh yes, they really believe in their own ever rehashed and surreal propaganda.

    Like, OT here:

    http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/74928
    Semi-literate ministers an embarrassment: Anwar
    Terence Netto
    Nov 17, 07 6:37pm

    PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim told a packed public forum on the judiciary in Kuala Lumpur last night that the government’s tendency to play up to the lowest common denominator is producing semi-literate ministers who are an embarrassment in international circles…

    —–
    Not only ministers but running dog supporters. (Apology to real and noble canines!)

  22. Beh Sai Kong says:

    This is the first time I ever heard of and read from kittykat46. But independently of what I have read in this Blog, I have come across KTemoc’s postings about Anwar Ibrahim in other Blogs. He was clearly biased and anti all the way. I say if he wants to publish all that he says he is refraining to do, he should go ahead and say it. He may not have said it here, but the insinuation that he has other information is already damning. I say the act of insinuation in itself is outright unfair and a form of character assasination. In KTemoc’s own words to kittykat46: “don’t rely on sly sinister sniping to discredit me. You have actually become what you’ve insinuated I was proposing to do.”

    What really incensed me is what he accuses kittykat46 of: “Unlike you I am not blindly enamoured of a person like him.” What difference is there between this expression of arrogance and those which comes out of the mouth of Nazri, Zam and the like?

    The unfortunate thing about this kind of holier than thou attitude is that it does not allow good conversations to go on. Among other things,kittykat46 had listed, the article published in TIME soon after 911 entitled WHO HIJACKED ISLAM? is a very important one well worth the reading. I happened to have read it when it was published and felt there was much food for thought there. It did and will help any discussion about 911 and other related issues.

  23. ktemoc says:

    😉 I wonder whether this behsaikong (can be translated into two meanings, one very uncomplimentary, you’d know if you’re a Penangite like Susan and me – monsterball, dun be jealous OK? Yes, I love her, I do … but only as a penangite sister lah hahahahaha – hey I can still change my mid hahhahahahahaaa) – sorry where was I?

    Ah, I wonder whether this bsk is indeed someone who’s really challenging me to reveal all about Anwar’s position on Iraq or he/she’s an UMNO cybertrooper playing agent provocateur?

    Wait, I have to consult monsterball. But if monsterb doesn’t want to come out to play, I’ll play with Sister Susan instead hahahahahahahahahahaha

  24. ktemoc says:

    typo should be “… I can change my MIND …” regarding my perception of Susan as only a sister – hahahahhahahahahahaaaa

  25. stcin says:

    do AUSTRALIAN people know how i was humiliated and toyed about by SUHAKAM since 24-7-2000, its 1st historic INQUIRY !? please read other post about humanrights.

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