Someone had just posed me this question – Will Anwar Ibrahim be incarcerated? My instantaneous response to him was that, “I am not the judge, and even if I were the judge, I will not give you the answer”. That’s the oft-question ask when the name of Anwar Ibrahim is toyed with in coffee shop conversation nowadays, and the court’s decision on Anwar Ibrahim will be known in a few days i.e. reportedly on Monday 9th January 2012.
The story goes that Anwar Ibrahim stands a hopeless chance at getting an acquittal, if we were to base it on an earlier trial of about a similar offence in 1998. PKR has to brace itself for the worst case scenario where a leadership vacuum in the party will occur if Anwar Ibrahim is found guilty and is sentence to a jail term. I think that leadership vacuum will also be felt in the PR, but how this will affect the coalition’s chances in the upcoming elections is difficult to predict.
There have also been numerous assessments citing the possibility of PR winning the elections i.e. with or without Anwar Ibrahim. Some believe that Anwar Ibrahim isn’t a critical factor in winning the elections anymore, and neither is there the ‘sympathy factor’ that impacted upon PR successes in the 2008 general elections. What are more important now are issues and exposures affecting UMNO/BN today that are most likely to weaken BN’s reputation in the run up to the elections. And issues and exposures detailing UMNO/BN 50 odd years of wrong doing are slowly emerging. Even former PM Tun Dr. Mahathir 20 odd years of rule is not spared of public debate and criticism.
Even if Anwar Ibrahim were to be acquitted and assumes the premiership (should PR win the election), at best he would only last one term as he would breach his 70th birthday at the end of that term. It is for this reason that I think, PR should start developing and identifying a second tier leaders that are reasonably young capable (free of all the worldly vices) of taking over the leadership, so that when a leadership change does occur, the transition would be smooth. I believe the PR leadership today is not devoid of young and able leaders that are not seen to have been infected or to have been influence by the ‘evils and vices of politics’. This is simply because they all have not savored political power, but once in power I certainly am not ruling out the chances of them emulating the inherent adverse qualities of the present UMNO/BN leadership. This will be the biggest challenge for the PR leadership.
So with the uncertain future of Anwar Ibrahim, the PR leadership now has a daunting task at hand to decide upon a ‘replacement’ for Anwar Ibrahim. That replacement has to be decided and made known now so that there will be a clear transition in the change of leadership, should Anwar Ibrahim be incarcerated and the PR wins the election. As of now, that replacement isn’t quite certain and PR cannot place their bet on Anwar Ibrahim getting an acquittal. PR has to start working on the worst case scenario now.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION