Was busy today rushing out an article for Asia Times (see below).
In the meantime, as Mustafa has pointed out here, the mainstream media online have been very… apa nama … “shy” in reporting Anwar’s and Balasubramaniam’s allegations – until Najib came out with his denial. Funny, they didn’t display the same reticence when reporting Saiful’s allegation on Sunday morning. I noticed on the front page of the Sunday Star that Anwar was said to be “fighting for his political credibility” in the wake of Saiful’s report. I wonder if they will say the same thing of Najib now.
Najib has now dismissed all the allegations as “malicious lies”. He maintains he has never met the woman and Anwar is trying to divert attention from the sodomy allegations. See the NST here. Najib seems keen to lob the “ball” back to the sodomy allegations.
Where is all this leading to? Taking a step back and looking at the larger picture, I believe this high-stakes “tennis match” (lob and counter-lob) symbolises the battle between the new political order and the old, the tsunami vs the hegemony. I don’t think it is a healthy development though, for politics to be so personalised. The tsunami movement for reforms and change is too broad-based to be focused on individuals at the apex slugging it out for their political survival – but there you go.
Anyway, here’s the article I wrote:
Brinksmanship in polarised Malaysia
Accusations are flying in Malaysia, where opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has retaliated to sodomy charges with a vengeance. His latest political broadsides, aimed at the minister of defence, attorney general and chief of police, symbolise a larger struggle between old and new political forces fighting for power. Read more