M A Hossain 11/5/2018
Corruption plagued Najib Razak must have been counting hours for his stepping into prison, facing numerous charges. Most possibly, he will have to remain in jail for many years – if not until the end of his life. In proverb it is said- money can buy everything. Possibly true! But, dirty money earned through corruption can only purchase misfortune. Najib’s tons of dollars in the secret bank accounts won’t work anymore. Because Mahathir Mohammad is back to power. We all know, Mahathir wanted to establish the rule of law. He does not have the ambition of remaining in power and leaving his last breath as the prime minister of Malaysia. Instead, Mahathir’s once bitterest arch-rival Anwar Ibrahim- who still in prison- will be received by none other than Dr. Mahathir himself with garlands; and get elected in a by polls- thus finally making Anwar next Prime Minister of Malaysia. Though Dr. Mahathir won the election, the people of the country had voted in favor of a repressed and oppressed Anwar Ibrahim. From this, all of us got the lesson- being in prison, does not mean- end of everything. Instead, imprisonment can turn into a huge blessing.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (father of the nation of Bangladesh) was released from prison to become the Prime Minister of Bangladesh. Nelson Mandela was released from his prolonged imprisonment to become the most popular President of South Africa. And now, Anwar Ibrahim will be walking out of prison to become Prime Minister of Malaysia.
In my personal opinion, on ninth May 2018, Malaysia, in fact, got a real democracy. It has been salvaged from the evil clutches of fake democracy. Mahathir was an autocratic ruler for 22 years. That was not a democracy! Malaysia’s Barisan Nasional party was in power for six decades. That was not democracy indeed! Now finally, the opposition Pakatan Harapan party has come to power. This is a democracy. At least, the result of the election has been a victory for democracy. But now the world will observe, whether the next Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim continues the real democracy in Malaysia or he too and his Pakatan Harapan party emerge as another autocracy.
Imprisonment purifies a human being. In case of people with ideologies and political thoughts in mind- incarceration works as a great University to them. Anwar Ibrahim must have witnessed sufferings of the other prisoners. He must have witnessed corruption from a closer distance. He had conceived many qualities of becoming a real leader – a true statesman. He should remember the dark days in prison. He must remember, how people become victims of the rotten judicial system. He definitely should not forget- how imprisonment turns people into extremely helpless entities. With such high learnings, Anwar Ibrahim should emerge as a leader of the people.
People of Malaysia, for the first time in many years, have exhibited their guts and moral courage of saying NO to the politics of deception, pretension, corruption, and mockery. They have said NO to the rogue culture of the politics of dynasty- the dynasty of Barisan Nasional. They have laid their absolute trust and confidence in Mahathir Mohammad and Anwar Ibrahim. It is a herculean task both to Mahathir and Anwar to prove- people did not commit a blunder by pledging their trust on them. A beginning of new era should transform Malaysia into a real democracy- a decent nation!
Imprisonment is not the end of everything if the imprisoned person is on the correct path and filled with true visions. The world is waiting to watch the excellent leadership of Anwar- a person who had endured ordeals in his prolonged imprisonment! Best of luck Malaysia!
M A Hossain, a political and defense analyst writes on diversified topics in Bangladeshi and foreign newspapers including South China Morning Post, Modern Ghana, Malaysia Today, New Nation, Asian Age, Financial Express, etc.