By convention, BN (Alliance before), with Umno as the anchor party, had always chosen Umno's President and Deputy President as the nation's Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. We have seen how this system meant our PM was decided by 191 division leaders of Umno. The power in the hands of the decision-makers is obvious, and it follows that whoever is able to influence them gets to be PM. Where does that leave us, the voters?
Pakatan Rakyat has confirmed, and reconfirmed, even to the extent of considering making Anwar PM if he were to be sentenced to jail, if ever PR won the next general election.
Therefore, the choice for the post of PM of Malaysia is between BN's Najib and PR's Anwar.
The Sodomy II case is perceived by many to be cooked up by vested interests who wanted Anwar to be out of the way in the coming general election. The fact that the so-called victim met with the PM (no less) and a police officer in a hotel (of all places) serves to re-enforce this perception. The rest of the evidence are well documented and commented during the trial and now we await the crucial verdict on January 9.
I am sure many voters feel that the competition for the post of PM between Najib and Anwar will be unfairly affected by the deliberate action to disqualify Anwar using Sodomy II. It shows Najib as being unprepared to face a fair competition to let the voters decide in the forthcoming general elections. It also shows how the incumbent has an unfair advantage because of the many institutions under his control. Should Najib wins because of Anwar being put away, his victory will be hollow and dishonourable.
However, there is always the prospect that any judgment against Anwar could rally the people behind his daughter Nurul Izzah, which could possibly tip the balance at the GE in PR's favour. The perception of injustice could work wonders in the minds of the people, cutting across race and religious barriers. She will be the chosen icon without the usual jealousies between more obvious contenders under normal circumstances. Let's hope good sense will prevail and that there will be a fair competition between Najib and Anwar, which gives us a chance to choose our PM.
Wlliam Leong's latest article on Legitimacy of the Judiciary...