Anwar Ibrahim – a friend who prevails

By Hussein Hamid

Look at this man. Upon him lies much of our hopes, our future, and the future of our next generation and the generations to come. You cannot begin to understand, what more to know, what he has gone through to get to where he is now as PMX, for the road he has had to travel has been long and arduous.

If you ask him, I am sure, he will say that the physical pain and the physical deprivations he has had to endure have been many, and may at times even seem to him, almost impossible to overcome. But more than the physical pain that he went through, what has distinguished him from many others, is his ability to endure the mental trauma of being incarcerated for over a decade and…. emerging from that incarceration, a better, stronger, and more gracious man than when he went in.

He is not perfect but who wants a perfect leader? I want a leader who understands the disappointment and pain that we ordinary mortals have gone through past, present, and in the coming future. I want a leader with the courage to face fear and threats to himself, in the same manner as he faces the uncertain future of being a leader of a Malaysia wrecked asunder by decades of corruption led by leaders whose only concern is themselves and never the nation or its rakyat. All this I know he will do with grace and always giving his best to make good of a bad situation, not of his own doing.

For sure he will make mistakes – honest ones I am sure. For sure he will at times falter in his bid to do almost impossible things that need to be done for our people and our future. Let him make those mistakes and let him learn from his mistakes. At times, let him do the things that he wants to do for himself, for Anwar is as human as you and me, and like you and me, he has his follies. Sooner rather than later, you will see him do the right thing by us all – for Anwar, more than any other leader, has the heart and the constitution to do what is needed to make Malaysia great again.

The burden of office is great and these days I seldom see him smile as often as I used to but always voluntarily or involuntarily, the human side of Anwar shines through. He will make time to visit unwell friends. He does not stand much on protocol when meeting people and at times, on the requests of people he barely knows, he will do things for them that will put him in strife with others. Those who know him well use that oft-repeated phase… there goes Anwar shooting himself in the foot again… but all done in good humor for we know PMX means well.

I am sure that one of the most difficult things he now has to do is to go after those people who have abused their political power for personal gains. He knows that it is not a matter of trying to settle past grievances with Mahathir or Daim – if there are any past grievances… but it is a matter of him having to decide that he must be the one to make that decision that enough is enough …. and the corruption and abuse of political power must stop now and past abuses must be punished to show everyone that he means business. These are difficult decisions for Anwar to make but make them he will for he understands that the buck stops at him.

But, for me, more than anything else…. before he is PMX, before he is the leader of the UG Madani government, and even before he is the leader we all hope will take us to the future we have dreamed and hoped for all these years, Anwar Ibrahim is a friend and someone I can depend on to come to my assistance when I need help. And you cannot ask for more than that of a friend…. and that is why, for me, the same Anwar Ibrahim should also be the person we can all depend upon to do what needs to be done to make Malaysia great again! Let us go into the New year with that one thought – together we can make Malaysia great again.