Amazing Spite of An Old Man

While many political leaders are masters in the art of compromise, you can be sure that the word cannot be found in Mahathir's dictionary. His tactic is to hit and hit and hit, no matter what the consequences. Nowhere is this more clearly shown than in the continuing saga of Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar has already been slapped with six years jail for an overblown definition of corruption. The sentence is doubly vicious because it does not take into account the seven months that he has already spent in prison up to the day of the verdict. He has been put out of action for at least two general elections and possibly three if he is not given time remission for good behaviour.

Many people imagined that Mahathir, who probably decided on the verdict himself, would be well satisfied. Even Anwar's lawyers thought that the rest of the charges against their client would be dropped. But it seems that we have all underestimated the depth of Mahathir's viciousness.

So the prosecution is pressing ahead with a sodomy charge concerning Azizan Abu Bakar despite the fact that this witness has already lost the credibility of the public. So the country has to be put through another round of show trial, as though Malaysian justice has not already been sufficiently disgraced in the eyes of the world. No matter how flimsy the evidence, you can bet your bottom dollar that the final outcome will be "guilty as charged." And how many more years jail will a puppet judge add to the six already on the book?

Public disgust will increase and the nation's international reputation sink even lower to the detriment of tourism, investments, loans, the MSC and just plain goodwill. But does Mahathir care? Compromise was never a word in his dictionary. His style is to keep on kicking the victim already on the ground, whatever the price he and others have to pay. And so the whole nation must be held ransom to the amazing vindictiveness of a spiteful old man.

Mahathir Sows the Seeds of His Own Destruction

Mahathir’s decision to go after Anwar on the sodomy charge regarding Azizan is a clear signal of the senile state of a vindictive old man who has lost all touch with reality.

For to convict a man on so flimsy a case that it has been shaken to its foundation even in the limited airing before judge Paul would require a parody of justice so blatant and illogical that it would make even the exceedingly accepting Michael Wang puke!

Condemnations from around the world will pour in thick and fast boosting Mahathir’s international pariah status another notch. On the domestic front the anger of the grassroot Malays will greatly increase and even UMNO loyalists will be split. The Judiciary will be affirmed as rotten to the core and a laughing stock of the civilised world.

It is one thing to convict a man of trumped up charges of corruption. It is far more emotionally charged and repugnant to convict an innocent man and a pious muslim of false homosexuality. Can even Mahathir’s thick skin and disregard for public opinion survive the punishing backlash?

Dictators plot their own downfall when they begin to think of themselves as invincible and become completely blind and deaf to the mood of the people. This strategic error may be the last one that Mahathir makes. Let’s hope he makes it.