TUN M’S MEMOIR REIGNITES FEUD WITH ANWARTUN M’S MEMOIR REIGNITES FEUD WITH ANWAR
Tun Dr Mahathir’s memoir
“A Doctor in The House” is selling like hot cakes. He devoted a chapter on Anwar Ibrahim in which he alleged that the former Deputy Prime Minister and now Pakatan Rakyat leader, arranged to have sex with four girls at a house in Kenny Hills, and did not touch on his alleged homosexuality when he defended himself before the Umno Supreme Council in 1998 and declared he had done nothing wrong and accused other council members of doing the same.
The allegations in the memoirs could be hugely detrimental to Anwar, who is also Opposition Leader in Parliament, because it restates alleged sexual improprieties from the past to a new generation of young people who are also potential voters.
Pakatan Rakyat leaders acknowledge that the allegations in the memoir could colour younger voters’ perception of Anwar’s leadership and possibly damage their chances at the polls.
The allegations in the memoirs resume a feud between the two leaders that had dominated the politics of the country for over a decade and led to Anwar’s sacking, first as Umno deputy president and later as finance minister and deputy prime minister in 1998.
Tun M retired in 2003 while Anwar was still in prison, convicted and serving a six- year sentence for corruption. However, he was acquitted and freed in 2004 by the Federal Court on sodomy charges.
Despite the prison and six-year break from active politics, Anwar made a sterling comeback putting together a loose coalition of his PKR, AP and the Islamic Pas, to win handsomely in the 2008 general election.
The loose coalition later became Pakatan Rakyat but is now tattered following defections, massive internal squabbles within PKR and disagreement between DAP and Pas over the place of Syariah laws in a secular society.
Even as the memoirs rip into Anwar for alleged sexual improprieties and damage his standing as an Islamic leader, here and abroad, Anwar is still faced with the outcome of the second sodomy trial that hangs over him and Pakatan like an uncertain dagger.
It is obvious too that Pakatan, as a political coalition, is extremely weakened without him as its head. It is unfortunate too that Anwar, whose image is badly tarnished by the repeated allegations, is increasingly a liability to the coalition and potentially weakening it.