Anwar’s Long March


KUALA LUMPUR: Its the 16th of September, the 45th Malaysia Day and the 75th Anniversary of the Armed Forces and the D-Day for the new Anwar Administration. As of 9.30am, it has not happen and it may well not happen within the next few hours or days but it appears that the extinction of the current administration is becoming as real as the next day.

When it does, it will be the culmination of Anwar Ibrahim’s Long March since 1998, since his sacking from the Mahathir government. Anwar had expected it will be short march to Seri Perdana but it was certainly a huge mountain for him to climb in that immediate tumultuous period.

Malaysian Defence believe that Anwar fervently believe that he had enough support to carry him through but in the end it did not. Ten years ago, the country was in a different situation and the masses had yet the time to digest and absorb the message he was carrying. The message, repeated every time he speaks – the reformation of the country’s politics and economic policy and he was the ONLY person who was capable enough to achieve it – remained a strong message to this day since he first voiced it out ten years ago.

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Time was the best ammunition he had and in all this time, he had plotted and strategised for his day in the sun, so to speak. As someone said a true measure of a brilliant leader was the one who forced his enemies to make the most mistakes, and in this regard, Anwar was brilliant

Mahathir did not fall into that trap during his time, but in the final analysis, the Old Man made the biggest mistake by appointing Abdullah Badawi to replace him as PM. Abdullah, is must be admitted, is a nice man, too nice to handle the plot thereafter. Some might say unlucky but thats placing too much on chance to dictate the situation, something Malaysian Defence believe Anwar was unwilling to let prevail although it must be said he (Anwar) took all the opportunity that was presented to him and ran with it.

What was Abdullah biggest mistake? As I had stated before, for NOT dismantling Mahathirism, the 20-odd year of hubris legacy he had inherited from the Old Man. It might not had stopped Anwar’s Long March but it would have allowed Abdullah to retire with his honour and integrity intact, instead of the current quagmire.

Of course in meantime, as part of the overall strategy, other operations were conducted against Abdullah’s circles, notably his vulnerable deputy and allies. This indirect attacks against Abdullah were important as in previously personal attacks against Abdullah had backfired.

In trying to defend his supposed successor, his allies and KJ, Abdullah became less personable, inept and more vulnerable. Sensing the atmosphere was right (taking over the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat and opposition leader post while at the same casting himself of another conspiracy victim) Anwar placed Abdullah on the defensive yet again without even making an attack by announcing the Sept 16 deadline.

It was a brilliant gambit that narrow the focus on the Prime Minister, magnifying even the smallest mistakes. From his Cabinet selection to his handling of the Ahmad Ismail issue (with idiots like this who needs enemies?), the issue always turn on the Anwar’s threat of taking over the government.

And the weekend ISA blitz was another missteps in the long line of mistakes. Although Pak Lah continue to issue denials after denials it was obvious to every one that it was the Sept 16 deadline that was causing continuous problem.

The Sept 16 deadline may well be a gambler’s bluff but Anwar had nothing to lose and every thing to gain.

Malaysian Defence fervent hope that who ever runs the country ensure that its prosper and peaceful at the same time. We have seen too many failed states already and we do not wish to be refugees in our own country.

–Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2186 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Badawi is now the Defense Minister and Najib gets finance. The portfolio swap and its timing leaves very little to the imagination. PM is preparing for any contingency and is indicating that he intends to stick it out till the bitter end and repel both enemies from without and within.

    Najib has clearly been neutralized since he will have to run everything past Nor Yackop, a Badawi loyalist.

  2. I was under the impression that Najib is grinning from ear to ear, now that he get holds the honey pot..but then, could that compare to the opportunity available in ‘black book’ budget allocation in the armed forces? 😉

    Marhalim: This year’s defence budget is pittance, so its better to move to finance…

  3. Najib holds nothing. Pak lah has his watch dogs in MOF. Also, what use is Najib at MOF since he is bound to MP 9.5?
    Pak Lah has adopted the Fabian approach to defending Seri Perdana by declining to give battle in Parliament while he frantically goes around trying to discern the identities of those who he fears are poised to strike him in the back. He’s also trying to avoid an internal coup that would remove him from power.
    Hence the consolidation of power by taking the Defense portfolio. He already has a confidant at the Home Ministry, albeit one who doesn’t seem to know what the Police are up to.

    “Anwar ad portas” would be an apt description of the state of mind in the government at this time.

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