Continued from last week
‘He engineered a civilian coup by bringing together a coalition of four parties to defeat his former party and his chosen protégée; and as soon as he got elected back to office, at the age of 92, he’s busy telling the world that he’ll retire in a year or two and handover to Anwar; whose party, as you know was part of the alliance that defeated Najib Razak. Mahathir managed to get Anwar pardoned by the government. Incidentally he was again serving a prison term for another unproven case of sodomy, this time around orchestrated by PM Najib. And the only explanation they deemed fit to tell the world now was that Anwar was the victim of a ‘miscarriage of justice.’ What! After wasting two decades of a man’s life in prison?’ I asked rhetorically.
‘Why don’t you see it this way Bint? Malaysians and particularly Anwar himself, are not unaware of all the things you said but they don’t care. All they want is to move on and forget the past. So why do you want to drag them back? As we say over here, What is your own in this matter?’ Tahir demanded.
‘My own, dear hubby, is that Anwar waa accused of the worst thing you can accuse a Muslim after murder. For twenty years, his life was put on hold, going through one trial after another, not to talk of the humiliating treatment he received during trials, you remember the semen-stained mattress that was brought as exhibit and the shiner he got in prison after he was subjected to the beating of his life by a police officer? Are all these to be brushed aside because the government has admitted there was a ‘miscarriage of justice? Is it enough to say that we know you were wrongfully treated but let’s just move on and forget it happened?’ I argued heatedly.
‘That seems like what Malaysians want to do. They want to turn over a new leaf and focus on reviving their Asian Tigress. You are the one who would rather hold them back Bint.’ He accused.
‘No, no Tahir. I am also for national healing and reconciliation but to me the future can only be good if we successfully heal the wound of the past. And doing that, in Malaysia, means having Mahathir Mohammed appear personally, on national TV, and apologising for everything done to Anwar from 1998 to last April. For, even though he didn’t jail Anwar the second time, his protégé Najib Razak did it by following his own script to the letter. He accused Anwar of sodomy and corruption once again and got him jailed on the same charges. This is why Mahathir must take full responsibility for all of Anwar’s two decades long travails.’ I insisted.
‘You keep forgetting one thing Bint, this is a man whose compatriots consider a hero. What makes you think your views on him matter?’ Tahir asked.
‘Mahathir might be seen as a national hero but as long as he doesn’t publicly admit to all his wrongdoings against his former deputy, he will remain a villain to the rest of us. And yes, our opinions on this might not matter but if he apologized on this issue, it would serve as a deterrent to other leaders who might wish to persecute their political opponents by going as far as he did. As it is now, many power-hungry politicians will feel inclined to borrow a leaf from the way he treated Anwar against their own rivals because they could see that he didn’t pay for his sins in any way. But if he were to eat a humble pie and publicly seek Anwar’s pardon for the way he treated him, it will certainly be an inspiration against playing dirty politics.’ I enthused.
‘So how do you hope to accomplish this, I mean getting Mahathir to publicly apologise to Anwar in faraway Malaysia?’ Tahir asked, with a mocking smile.
‘That’s what I’m doing now. I am compiling my own ‘50 dalil against Mahathir’ and sending to Anwar’s political party and urging them to start a national campaign for an unconditional apology to their hero. I will advise them to publish it into a booklet the same way the ‘50 dalil why Anwar cannot be prime minister’ was printed and share it all over the country in order to kick-start the movement.’ I explained.
‘Let me see what you have on the list now.’ He requested, taking the paper from me. ‘You have only 20 items, 30 more to go. You still have a long way to go wifey dear.’ He joked.
‘Yes I know, I will soon include the shiner he got in prison and all the others will follow, in sha Allah.’ I assured him.
‘What is this shiner you keep going on about?’ He asked.
‘Oh it’s a black eye. Anwar got one when he was beaten up by a police officer after one arrest. I heard the man is busy denying that he was the one who did it now. Anyway I got used to calling it a shiner because that’s what they call a black eye in the Fleet Street comics I read as a school girl.’ I replied with a nostalgic smile.
‘And I keep telling you that I never read those British comics you so lovingly talk about, so for the sake of people like me, please write it down as a black eye. Millions out there have no idea what a shiner is, spare us the need to rush for a dictionary. And good luck with your 50 dalil.’ He said, giving me back the paper and rising from his dining chair.
‘Thanks hubby dearest, I am going to need it.’ I replied with a smile.