Anwar in fine form March 28, 2007Posted by elizabethwong in Democracy, Malaysia, Politics.
(Updated: Video of interview embedded)
I caught the last quarter of Anwar Ibrahim‘s interview on the Riz Khan’s programme on Al-Jazeera.
Perhaps it was his composure. The clarity in which he spoke. The articulation. The way he held himself. Or even his suit, and might I add, smashing tie!
Perhaps he was invigorated after a discussion session with Amartya Sen in Italy last week.
Perhaps it was one, or all the above. But the interview made me sit up from my bed, and as I watched Anwar take questions, I thought to myself:- He speaks and holds himself in the manner in which heads of states should.
One can watch this to judge for oneself. There are three repeats on Al Jazeera on Astro’s Channel 20 on March 28 (Wednesday) – 2.00am (live), 7.00am (replay), 8.00am (replay), 2.00pm (replay).
Or if one has broadband at work/home, it can be viewed live from Al Jazeera’s homepage.
(Updated: Found a google video of the interview here!)
And then, I remember Abdullah Badawi in Davos. Sitting in the Selesa Hill restaurant with the Suaram gang having our lunch watching our Prime Minister. We were close to biting our nails, the cutlery were laid down as we held our breaths.
A world stage. And it was so painful to watch. One of us shook her head and turned away.
For those few minutes as we watched him, I felt very sorry for him. Sorry that he was left in such an awful and awkward position; angry that his coterie of 5-star advisors, purportedly from 5-star universities could put him in such a spot so ill-prepared.
I too turned away.
Back to the Anwar interview. In those few minutes he said the following (note: any error in the paraphrasing is mine alone):-
- Indians and NEP: He reiterated the dismantling of NEP and the need for everyone whether Indians, Kadazans, etc. to come together in KeADILan to fight against such policies and abuses.
- Women: That the party is for equality as well as increased participation of women in politics. He made a point that KeADILan is led by a woman. Also stressed the need to change many of the laws, including the Islamic Family Law here, which are or have elements discriminatory to women.
- Conventional banking vs. Islamic banking – While the former has proven to be successful, Islamic banking is an alternative. It is not just about doing away with usury, but taking into account issues such as environment, global warming, social justice etc.
- International affairs: On Iran, he called for further negotiations and engagement. Missed the bit on Iraq.
- Corruption: That UMNO is rotten to the core and so is the ACA. Spoke of the arms deals involving Najib Razak (deputy Prime Minister), of Sukhoi and the amount of money involved.
- His work in AccountAbility (an anti-corruption NGO): He had criticised the British government for stopping a corruption investigation
I’d missed the question on Anwar’s legal wrangles as the transmission went *blimp* at that time, but he mentioned that International Bar Association and other international jurists bodies had condemned his trials, and what’s left of the ‘legal’ process is an official pardon from the King.
If this is Anwar now, in absolute slam-dunk fine form, though it’s not even close to general elections, these next few months will no doubt be very exciting!