In a development that should be viewed as welcome by supporters of one of the relatively few functional Muslim-majority democracies in the world, signs are continuing to mount that Anwar Ibrahim’s opposition coalition may be beginning to crumble. Earlier this month, Anwar was sharply criticized by Sarawakians for only offering the Sarawak National Party (SNAP) three seats, which many Sarawakians considered to be an insultingly lowball number. Anwar attempted to deflect criticism for this move by claiming that he had an agreement signed in writing with the President of SNAP in which SNAP agreed to only contest three seats. SNAP’s response, essentially, was to call Anwar a liar:
Sarawak Nasional Party (SNAP) has strongly rebutted PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim’s claims that it had signed an agreement with the party, to contest only in three seats a few months before the recent Sarawak election.
SNAP Youth chief Dayrell Enterie said Anwar’s statement was “totally incorrect”.
“This statement of his (Anwar) is totally incorrect as neither SNAP nor its president (who was erroneously named Stanley Jugol in the Malaysiakini article) had entered into any written agreement whatsoever on seat allocations with PKR.”
Fortunately (or, one suspects, unfortunately) for Anwar, his claim was not that he had a formal understanding or a verbal agreement with SNAP regarding the allocation of seats, but that he had an agreement in writing. Therefore, this whole matter ought to be easy to clear up for Anwar – all he has to do is produce the written agreement and all will be well. Given SNAP’s flat denial of its existence, and given Anwar’s failure to produce the written agreement when he first claimed it existed, it is not difficult to guess whether or not Anwar is lying about this agreement.
More ominous than SNAP’s flat rebuttal of Anwar’s specific claim, though is the clear signal from SNAP that it is willing to walk away from Anwar and PKR, if necessary:
“SNAP wishes to reiterate that it is not a push-over party for any West Malaysian entity nor is SNAP a Pakatan stooge,” he said in a statement mailed to FMT.
These political troubles are anything but welcome for Anwar, who is trying together a bizarre coalition with disparate interests – almost none of which are any sort of good news for Western interests or for the ultimate fate of Democracy in Malaysia, especially given that Anwar has been apparently caught on a DNA test doing what the kids today refer to as “pulling a Dominique Strauss Kahn.”
It is hopeful that the political fissures now beginning to show will signal the beginning of the end for a man who mysteriously remains a cause célèbre among some of America’s hopelessly naïve elites. Anwar Ibrahim is lionized amongst the usual suspects in the United States because he was previously jailed on a sodomy charge, which was overturned in 2004. Lost in the wake of the celebration over Anwar’s release amongst these same people is the fact that Anwar was simultaneously convicted of corruption on a scale that would make William Jefferson, Duke Cunningham, and Edwin Edwards blush. This conviction was not overturned and in fact was upheld on appeal.Read more.