What will tomorrow be?

A peek into the future is what every Malaysian wants now. What are some of the things that can happen from hereon? What will our beloved country, Malaysia, become? Who will be taking our Malaysia forward? Will there be a storm brewing, or a hurricane for that matter? Is there going to be a silver lining? Can we see the sun coming up on Malaysia? Or the night is going to be long?

Who or what is under threat?

It is clear to all Malaysians that the country is heading for a showdown of some sort not many days from now. Anwar’s 916 plan became a direct challenge to takeover from Pak Lah. Our PM has never had his powers challenged beyond mere rhetorics. Certainly, personalities like Mahathir, Razaleigh, Muhyiddin and Anwar now has called for his resignation. Within Umno, he’s been urged to handover to a successor. It was under such pressure that Pak Lah made the transition announcement of 2010 for the handover to Najib. Mahathir has remained defiant calling for him to step down now. Muhyiddin attempted again and now let’s see what will happen to him in today’s Supreme Council Meeting.

Now Anwar is actually calling for the transition to be passed to him with the claim that he has the necessary number of MPs supporting him. This is the first time some clearly defined steps are in motion. A call to handover, a call to convene Parliament for a no confidence vote, a suggestion to meet with the Agung, these are doable actions if Anwar is really serious to take over soon and have the necessary support by the MPs.

This turmoil within Umno is also affecting the country. The President of Umno has always become the PM of Malaysia. With all these happening, we can see that Pak Lah is under threat, so is Umno and even BN. But not the country! Not national security!

What will the Supreme Council Meeting today at 3pm decide on? We shall see how they handle Muhyiddin and SUPP as well as Zaid Ibrahim and the recent challenges faced by Pak Lah. That is the threat to Umno security, not national security, unless Umno equals Malaysia.

The economy is not under threat from Anwar either. In every active democracy, the freedom of individuals to challenge the current establishment has been allowed. Each Government has to choose to counter accusations hurled at them factually and unemotionally to display that they are still in control and that others are under an illusion or bent on a selfish agenda. Professionals will use facts and figures with leading world authorities to shore up the credible statements, and not tell people to shut up and just believe what is fed to them.

To ISA or not to ISA

Countering opposing views is part of all Governments. You can’t please all the people all the time but when a substantial part of the people are doubtful, the Government’s job is to enlighten them, educate them and show them the truth factually and unemotionally what the Government is doing is the right thing. Malaysia is 51 years independent and the people are now much better informed than before. The Internet has opened up avenues of information never dreamed before and it provides the best means of communication to the connected people. Those less connected will be by SMS and the traditional print media.

But it is about countering incorrect views that is not factual. The numbers don’t lie. The people having to pay more each day for food is real. The problems in public transport is not an illusion. The disposable income of Malaysians have shrunk to a grossly small amount. The impact to the hardcore poor is immense. None of these were properly addressed in the 2009 Budget by Pak Lah. Anwar’s alternate Budget seems to articulate ways to addressing these a lot better. The Wall Street Journal Asia portrayed a sad picture of today’s Malaysia and the management of Pak Lah (read here).

By allow dissenting views to be aired, this will show that democracy is alive, not just from a General Election vote. The people will continue to have a say publicly and via their elected representatives as to how and what they want of the Government. Any attempt to muzzle this freedom of speech will lead towards a dictatorship. Hence, the flippant use of ISA on non-terrorists or non-communists (incidently that was what the Act was designed for in Malaysia by the British) will be turning against the people instead of working for the people.

If when you can’t out talk them, out flank them, out manouver them and you use the ISA to muzzle them, the hatred towards the Government will be further inflamed to an extent that is not extinguishable. It can be a quiet disagreement but it will build and it is definitely not healthy. In real life, it will lead to a stroke or even a heart attack. Is the Government waiting for the people to have a “stroke” or create a “heart attack” move? Not good for Pak Lah or the economy.

The rumor mill has started saying don’t be surprised that Anwar will be arrested for ISA this Friday or Saturday. They said that Anwar would have been arrested last Saturday had it not been the public uproar on the arrest of Tan Hoon Cheng, the Sin Chew Daily reporter. Anwar has brushed this aside recollecting that Pak Lah had said there wouldn’t be anymore ISA arrests. Then again, exceptions still happen in Malaysia.

Pak Lah issued a veil threat to Anwar yesterday claiming that he is a threat to the economy and possibly national security. Is that coming or a mere rhetoric to deter Anwar’s next move? We shall see. The repercussions can be quite damaging to the economy if that ever happens seeing that he is the only threat to actually challenge Pak Lah for the PMship of Malaysia. The rest like Muhyiddin, Muhriz, Mahathir, Razaleigh may sound like empty barks but only Anwar has taken it to this stage and possible even further very soon (if he really has what it takes). The rest are waiting for Divisional votes going into Party votes in December.

Wait for Oct 13 – Parliament Reconvenes

At this time when the veiled threat against Anwar has been issued by Pak Lah, will Anwar wait until October 13 to table a “no confidence” vote against the PM? It does appear highly unlikely. Rumors are rife that Anwar may be arrested under ISA later this week. Hence, whenever Anwar is plotting his next move, it will not be October 13 since he may not be around by then. So great is that fear from yesterday’s Ministry swap between Pak Lah and Najib.

Today, Anwar said he has requested for an emergency reconvening of the Parliament on next Tuesday, September 23, to deliberate a vote of no confidence on Pak Lah. One would wonder why Pak Lah would even want to agree to the Parliament meeting to shoot himself? Even if he didn’t believe Anwar, it is highly unlikely that he will have any urge to oblige at all. Pak Lah will be cool to sit this out with Anwar and wait for next month’s official reconvening date.

Observers suggest that this will force public opinion against Pak Lah if he doesn’t allow Parliament to convene next Tuesday. But Pak Lah will brush this aside accusing Anwar of playing games. However, counter to this is Anwar’s move to show in a Parliamentary setting who these 31 MPs are in a formal vote of no confidence that matters most and not in a nonsensical media show and tell.

Meet the Agung?

It will be a constitutional move but what good does that do unless there is a definite clarity for the Agung to make a decision. Having a list and going to the Agung will not make the cut. Why should the Agung believe Anwar and not Pak Lah. Both will have their lists and claims to have the support of the majority of MPs in Parliament. Benefit of doubt is for Pak Lah.

But if all the MPs that support Anwar were to meet the Agung, that will tell a totally different story to the monarch. At the end of the day, the Agung will reign supreme in deciding who has the majority support in Parliament and he must decide based on facts and not fantasy of anybody’s claim.

This is a certainty in Anwar’s move but is it after the vote of no confidence or before such a vote can happen?

Pak Lah – Anwar Cooperation?

This is the wildest yet to be suggested but definitely a worthwhile thought. In many other countries when the dominating party is failing in its support or cannot gather sufficient support, the party looks to collaborate in a cooperation of convenience for the sake of portraying unity within the country. This is an attempt to shore up investors confidence, gives peace of mind to the people and sets up the stage for a proper general elections at a more appropriate time.

Can Pak Lah and Anwar even cooperate? It is not far fetched if Pak Lah believes he has no more majority support but it will be virtually impossible to imagine Umno allowing it to happen. After all, Pak Lah is more the President of Umno than the PM of Malaysia. He may be pressured by various warlords in Umno that influences his decisions. But it still remains a good imaginable option nevertheless.

National Unrest, Runaway Inflation, Stagflation, 2009 Budget?

What about calling an Emergency Rule with the army to curb any possibility of Parliament voting at all. Besides the use of ISA, an Emergency Rule has been mooted as a possibility too. Especially now that Pak Lah is the Minister of Defence. However, the Agung will have to sign off on this one, so suggests some Constitutional experts. And it still lies in the hands of His Majesty.

Will Najib be able to turn around the inflation impact caused by the petrol price hike? The actual effects will be felt towards the end of the year. Or is Najib being set up for a fall guy thereby proving that he can’t run the country’s economy?

Will Najib be able to craft a more viable Budget for 2009 or will he continue to subscribe to the one announced by Pak Lah? Will Najib be his own man or a YES man for Pak Lah? Time will tell and this time it doesn’t take too long to see either.

Is Mahathir behind any of these things? One wonders!

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