The “PM-indeterminate” Anwar Ibrahim seems to have picked the wrong example to try to be on the right side of the ever-determined prime minister.
He has lambasted one of Malaysia’s more honest academics, Lim Teck Ghee, for apparently “keeping quiet during the era of corruption and theft under the BN government” just because Lim called the Pakatan Harapan (PH) record since the 2018 general election “an unmitigated disaster”.
Anwar should be more cautious when picking quarrels with Malaysian human rights defenders who have been exposing corruption, injustice and inequality since at least the 1970s. Does Anwar himself have the credentials for being consistent in exposing corruption in this country?
Was Anwar himself corruption-free when he was deputy prime minister in Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s first term as PM? He should examine his own record before casting the first stone at Lim.
[Kua Kia Soong is the adviser to Suaram]
For the record it was Lim who cast the first stone in this matter, lambasting the PH government as “an unmitigated disaster” and thereby sparking indignation from its leader designate.
The world certainly looks different from the pensioned armchairs of academia than the bare floor of a prison cell where Anwar languished for 10 years for his cause.
From Professor Lim’s perspective what would really be an unmitigated disaster would be the sort of government that chucks feisty outspoken fellows like himself into just such a cell and slams it shut (or worse).
That was just the sort of government Malaysia avoided by the skin of its teeth on May 9th 2018 and could fall back into were fractious quarrelling and stone throwing of this kind to become the norm.
Whilst Professor Lim is clearly a significant individual who provokes valued critique and criticism, he should remember that despite his many years of vocalising and the complaints of NGOs (such as Suaram who has leapt so aggressively to his defence) it was the foot on ground courage of the likes of Anwar Ibrahim and Dr Mahathir, along with the hard graft accumulation of solid evidence on corruption that ultimately brought the opportunity for progress to Malaysia.
Therefore, in the light of the likely alternatives to PH (a PAS/UMNO/Crook’s alliance being the most obvious) such critics should perhaps platform less on hyperbole and unsubstantiated serious allegations and provide a more nuanced, evidence based and thougthful critique of this challenged administration of the sort that one might expect from a respected academic and NGO, which both most clearly are.