16 September 2016
PETALING JAYA: Reconciliation in politics may make for strange bedfellows, but it is purely family ties that sees Nurul Nuha Anwar speak up to demand a public apology from former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Nurul Nuha, 32, said that Mahathir should own up for his accusations and other actions that led to her father’s arrest and conviction for sodomy and corruption in 1998, Malay Mail Online (MMO) reported.
“As a daughter who has witnessed the countless torments my father went through the past 18 years, my personal wish would be for Dr M to publicly apologise and admit the trumped up charges.
“I think that would alleviate some of the hardships we went through as a family. It’s not supposed to get easier, but you just need to get stronger,” Nurul Nuha was quoted as saying by the news portal.
She even suggested that an apology from Mahathir for his past transgressions against his former deputy is a prerequisite before any alliance is formed between Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) and PKR.
Many of Anwar’s supporters blame Mahathir for being behind the incarceration of the former.
“I echo my father’s sentiment, forgive but we don’t forget,” Nurul Nuha told MMO, adding, however, that she and her siblings would respect their father’s decision, no matter what it may be, should he consent to a collaboration with PPBM.
“As I said, for me, Dr Mahathir coming to court is a clear gesture admitting his guilt in the conspiracy and it’s a good start.
“However, we will stand behind our father with the decision he makes,” Nurul Nuha was quoted as saying by MMO.
Nurul Nuha was touted as a possible candidate for the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat following her father’s conviction for sodomy for a second time in February last year.
#Columns Will Dr M say ‘I’m sorry, I was wrong’?
“Mahathir can redeem himself if he avoids acting like a politician but an altruistic citizen. He needs to overcome his compulsion to control.”
COMMENT The doubting Thomases thought his incarceration sealed the demise of Anwar Ibrahim’s politics of reform but the unexpected turn of events in the country makes it highly possible for an Anwar resurgence and prove the sceptics wrong. And yes, Dr Mahathir Mohamad needs to say, “I’m sorry, I was wrong.”
Anwar’s filial daughter Nurul Nuha, who is leading the ‘Free Anwar’ effort, wants Mahathir to “make a public apology” and admit his “past transgressions against his father”. This is yet another of ‘Mahathir’s dilemmas’. But Nurul Nuha is right.
If Mahathir apologises it would certainly clean his ‘slate of sins’ against Anwar. If not, what business has he in making overtures to Anwar in the hope of working with the one he cruelly condemned as “morally unfit” to govern?
That’s classic Mahathir, the paradigm of self-contradictions. The one who many opine destroyed the nation and is now trying to save it. The paradoxical Mahathir is alive and well. But time is not on his side and this is not 1981. His credibility stocks are low. He is a novice democrat and has yet to earn his wings as a reformer.
No matter how this will pan out, one cannot ignore the realpolitik in the country – there is a political stalemate and Anwar working with Mahathir makes the pivotal difference, even if people doubt they can do anything about the new National Security Council (NSC) Act. But tackling Najib is a different matter.
Is Dr M for real?
Mahathir needs to come clean with Anwar. He needs to redeem himself by eating his own words – cruel, hurtful and careless words he had used to demean Anwar. He cannot play politics with the truth. All he needs to do is simply say, “I was wrong on Anwar. I am sorry.” And produce fruit in keeping with the apology by working hard to get Anwar out of jail. He needs to revisit a royal pardon and help get Anwar freed. Then we might believe Mahathir is for real.
Mahathir needs Anwar to bolster his fledgling political party. He wants it to replace Umno. Mahathir is desperate to win at all costs and the one who told the voters to ‘vote for the devil we know’ will do deals with anyone who he needs to help his cause. It is all part of Mahathir’s selective and skewed sense of politics. A single-race party is doomed to failure in a multi-racial nation so where is the credibility for the new political kid on the block?