‘Now that both blessed Ramadan and beautiful Eid are over, what other list are you writing so diligently?’ Tahir asked from behind me.
‘Oh this is a political list hubby dear, nothing that requires spending your hard-earned pay.’ I replied, lifting my head up from the dining table where I was, to smile at him.
‘A political list so early in the morning? Are you thinking of joining politics or doing a consultancy for politicians?’ He queried, walking over to the head of the table to sit.
‘No to both questions. I am writing a protest letter on a political issue. And it requires making a list of the misdeeds of the chief actor. So that’s why I’m bent over today trying to come up with at least fifty reasons why that man shouldn’t enjoy the respect and goodwill he enjoys from his people and the rest of the world.’ I explained.
‘But why 50 Bint, why not 10 or 20? I mean if they are strong enough reasons, they should be convincing enough to everyone without being too many.’ He opined.
‘Yes, but I’m merely copying from his own script. When he played his card against his political opponent, he listed no less than 50 reasons why that man should be politically destroyed and he had his way. That’s why I believe that today, it’s his turn to take a dose of his own medicine.’ I responded.
‘He used 50 reasons to destroy an opponent? Which Nigerian politician is this? Are you talking about Saraki, Tinubu or Dino? Or can it be someone from the former ruling party?’ He wondered aloud.
‘No, Hubby dearest, this man belongs to neither PDP nor APC, in fact the man is not even a Nigerian.’ I answered, enigmatically.
‘He’s not a Nigerian? So why does it matter to you what some politician did abroad? Don’t we have enough political intrigues and scandals in Nigeria to make you worried that you have to get all worked up over what some guy did overseas?’ I asked.
‘Look Tahir, this man made sure that what he did made international news. The whole world knew it when he sacked his deputy, soiled his reputation, put him on trial and eventually jailed him. For twenty years Anwar Ibrahim of Malaysia has known no other life than one of trials and prison sentences. Since 1998 when Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed removed him as his deputy on charges of corruption and sodomy, Anwar had always denied the charges. But that didn’t save him because he didn’t have the machinery of state at his disposal to fight back. Some lower courts did acquit him of both charges, others acquitted him of only the corruption charge but even medical doctors who examined his alleged sodomy victim said there was no physical evidence on the young man to show that he had ever been sodomised. Yet the government was so against him that he lost at the appeals court and had to spend six years in prison. So desperate was Mahathir to jail him that evidences like a stained mattress and other sordid were all presented in court as exhibits. I remember shedding tears Tahir, when I read in an edition of Impact international magazine, that when Anwar addressed a vast crowd of his supporters after the prison sentence, he held a copy of the Holy Qur’an and swore that he had never been a homosexual. According to the report, not a single person in that crowd had a dry eye that moment.
But this did not move Mahathir. He successfully got Anwar out of the way and installed his handpicked successor, Najib Razak. One of ways he campaigned against Anwar, after seeing how much support his former deputy still had amongst ordinary Malaysians was the publication of a booklet called ‘50 Dalil mengapa Anwar tidak boleh perdana menteri’ which translates to ‘50 reasons why Anwar cannot be prime minister’.
In that booklet all the supposed moral crimes committed by Anwar were published for Malaysians to read. Yet the author of the book was in June 2005 found guilty, by a court of law, of publishing false news. But this did not prompt Mahathir to rise in defence of the man he wrongfully jailed for the same moral offences. By now of course his handpicked successor was safely in the PM’s seat and Anwar’s fate was not on their list of priorities.
Now after seeing the mess made of the country’s economy by Najib Razak. 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. He 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 was that Anwar was the victim of a ‘miscarriage of justice.’ What! After wasting two decades of a man’s life in prison?’
To be continued.