Hornbill Unleashed

October 13, 2016

Does it matter if Anwar is freed?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 9:01 PM

What was supposed to be a crucial day for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim turned out unfruitful when the court ruling was postponed to a date to be decided later.

Some were awaiting bad news while others were expecting history to be created if Anwar was granted his freedom from the charge of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

It would mean a great deal to his family and friends, but would it matter to the political landscape whether Anwar is spared or not?

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) political analyst Professor Ahmad Atory Hussain says while there would be setbacks if the verdict does not favour Anwar, it would make the Opposition parties stronger.

“They are already going all out to topple the Barisan Nasional (BN), and if Anwar Ibrahim is not released, the fire will only burn stronger.

“We can expect to see the Opposition coalition’s spirit stronger, as you can already see with Bersatu (Parti Pribumi Bersatu) that is growing stronger. It is only a matter of time everyone is strong enough to take on BN,” says Ahmad Atory.

He indicates that signs showing that BN is panicking include the Red Shirts’ menacing actions that have been increasing lately.

“If they (BN) don’t feel threatened, why are the Red Shirts doing so much?” he adds.

There are those who believe that Anwar’s release would strengthen PKR. “With Anwar out, things will speed up, but if he isn’t PKR’s strategies will still carry on and may only move a little less smoother than expected.

“But the party is strong enough to continue on its own whether or not Anwar is out,” he says.

On the question of who would be Prime Minister if the Opposition wins the next general election, Ahmad Atory shares a few scenarios.

“If Anwar is out he is likely to take on the PM post, whether the public hates or likes him, it is based on which party wins the most seats. You can’t choose or directly elect a prime minister. That is democracy.

“But if Anwar doesn’t get out, the Opposition coalition has agreed for Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to take the PM’s spot and Anwar has given his blessings as well,” he says.

He adds that BN should be the one worrying the most as more pressure would be on it as existing favours are not on its side.

“As it is people are looking at BN as an unjust ruling government, it would only get worse.

“At the same time, the important goal for the Opposition parties would be to topple BN. Who would be the next Prime Minister, is a secondary question,” he says.

Soo Wern Jun

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