A beautifully written whimsical account of the what-if's.
Written by Iskandar Dzulkarnain, Malaysia Chronicle
Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim recently revealed that "feelers" were sent out to him in 2004 to rejoin UMNO, from which he was sacked in 1998, and if he had agreed his life would be much less mired in controversy than now.
"I'm seen to be a threat. What else? Say I retire tomorrow; do you think they would proceed with all this? Say I retired in 2004 after my release (from prison), that was the only time feelers were sent to me, whether I could re-join Umno. Do you think we would have this now? " - Malaysiakini
What if Anwar had given up on his ideals, ran away from his problems and re-joined UMNO, which was then led by Abdullah Badawi? What would the scenario be like for the Malaysia today?
Looking back to his ABIM days, it barely took Anwar 11 years to attain the post of Deputy Prime Minister after joining UMNO. If he did re-join UMNO in 2004, it would have taken him lesser time still to be the current DPM.
What would have become of Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin? What are the chances that Najib Razak would be the Prime Minister today?
Of course, former premeir Mahathir Mohamad would have cursed at such a possibility, and his son Mukhriz might not have been made deputy minister. But UMNO Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin would be snugly holding onto to a ministerial portfolio now and playing an important part in Malaysian politics.
Sabah and Sarawak would still remain as safe deposits too and DAP wouldn’t have made any significant advances in its struggle.
Altantuya would still be alive and 1 Malaysia a strange word
Anwar would have weaved his magic wand, and UMNO would have been under his thumb. If Anwar had joined UMNO back in 2004, would he have become Chief Minister of Penang, while working his way up the ladder again? Would he have been Foreign Minister in place of Anifah Aman?
Azzizah, his wife would be a housewife again instead of a warring Opposition chief. Lembah Pantai would have continued being an UMNO stronghold. PKR would have dissolved. Tian Chua would probably have been in the DAP, and not fighting for his MP status today. Zaid Ibrahim would still be a Minister in the BN cabinet.
Altantuya Shaariibuu would still be alive, and her kid would have been a 4-year old toddler. Razak Baginda would have been RM500 million poorer. PI Bala would still be a Private Investigator. RPK wouldn’t be having such a good time in UK.
With Anwar’s forte in economics and finance, Malaysia would have gone on to be a powerhouse in Asia. Also Malaysians would be more united. Anwar would have seen to it, that everyone irrespective of race and religion, would have a piece of the economic pie. And much of the illicit outflow of RM888 billion of national wealth could have been averted.
Nobody would know of APCO and 1Malaysia would have been a strange word.
Also, with Anwar back in UMNO, Musa Hassan would have retired much earlier along with Gani Patail. Syed Hamid Albar would still have lost the UMNO veep race and Hishamuddin would probably still be in his current post as Home Minister.
Malaysia would be a much better place to live, and the people enjoying a better quality of life. There would be no Sodomy 2 mistrial. Saiful would have been a pilot today instead of being infamous for the wrong reasons.
Shazryl and Mahathir would still be marvelling at their crooked bridge instead of scheming sex plots. Mahathir would have been a well respected past leader, retiring in peace like Lee Kuan Yew without having to continue his struggle.
Corruption too would have been somewhat curtailed, as Anwar known for his graft-free ways, would not stand by and allow daylight robbery to continue unabated.
No Perkasa or Pembela
There would be no race and racial conflicts affecting the peace and harmony of this nation. All the controversies would not have come about, as UMNO would not perceive the Opposition as a credible threat.
Perkasa would not have existed, and Ibrahim Ali would still be with PAS working his magic to oppose UMNO. Pembela would be out of a job and not have an excuse to demonstrate as UMNO and BN would be in total control of the nation.
Without any threat to their existence, it would be business as usual for BN. MCA, Gerakan and MIC would still have a strong representation in Parliament. Chua Soi Lek wouldn’t have been MCA president even though he would still be caught with his pants down. Koh Tsu Koon and Samy Vellu would still have faded into oblivion.
UMNO wouldn’t have to woo PAS. UMNO would have left PAS alone instead of continuing to condemn them as Radical Talibans. Ummi wouldn’t call Nik Aziz a skull capped communist or try to slander Anwar. UMNO wouldn’t have to continue affirming their loyalty to the Malays in this country or to beg for their support.
DAP and PAS would not have united, and would be squabbling with each other over an Islamic State, while Perkasa and Pembela would watch with genuine interest. Perak, Selangor and Penang would still be under BN. Nizar Jamaluddin would have been a nobody.
Neither would there be a 'most-hated woman in Malaysia' in Jelapang and Lim Guan Eng would not have become Chief Minister. Khir Toyo would keep his job and be busy with the extensive renovations to his Bali palace.
No one will know that humans can turn into frogs
A better choice?
But it is because Anwar stood by his decision to remain in the Opposition, and loyal to PKR which had stood by him during his dark years, that Malaysia’s fate took on another parallel in the time warp.
Each day that passes, BN’s desperation can be seen more clearly as Anwar and Pakatan continue to score direct hits at enemy targets. Seemingly invincible to the time bombs set by BN exploding around him, Anwar continues to taunt his former colleagues mercilessly.
Like a veteran General, expert in the art of warfare, Anwar is inflicting deep wounds in the armour of BN. Never before as now, UMNO is at risk of disintegration unable to fend off the invisible arrows armed to the heart with Tomahawk missile microchips.
If Anwar had made that fateful decision to re-join UMNO, his actions would have touched the lives of so many in this country, and he would have also rewritten the history of this nation.
But then again for us, Malaysians, we would have missed the chance to taste the sweetness of a true democracy, which is now within our grasp as promised to us by Anwar and his Pakatan Rakyat team.
And probably Malaysia Chronicle wouldn’t have existed. And I would have taken up the offer as press secretary to one of the UMNO’s strongmen. But no regrets, I am thankful that Anwar chose wisely. After evaluating the pros and cons, I still prefer the Anwar of PKR than that of UMNO.
- Malaysia Chronicle