Anwar and the Nutmeg Story

PETALING JAYA, 27 Jan: The attributes of a political figure who is close to the pulse of the people, irrespective of race, and whose fighting spirit is strong even in political storm, which Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has today, has been greatly influenced by his life since he was still a child.

This can be seen with his strong stand in defending the people, irrespective of race, and who also guarantees the rights of others are preserved, even of those with different skin colour.

6.1

Anwar, who is also the Opposition Leader, when recalling a story when he was still a child, said that he had been scolded by his grandmother when nutmegs from the grounds of an estate owned by a Chinese boss.

“There was once, when I was young, I took nutmegs from a Chinese estate. At that time, I thought it was okay because it belonged to a Chinese. When I reached home, I remember my grandmother asking, where did you take it from? I said I took it from a tree. Which tree? The tree from the Bukit Mertajam estate.

“My grandmother then said; now go and return it. Indeed, I sent it back. To her, stealing is still wrong no matter who we steal it from.

3.2

“I went back to the tree and threw the nutmegs because I dare not wait,” Anwar said when answering a question in the Youth Dialogue With Anwar Ibrahim at the Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa yesterday evening.

When recalling the experience of being detained for two years under the Internal Security Act (ISA) when he was still a university student and his six years in jail previously, he said that the experience built a strong ‘antibody’ for him to face various challenges in the country’s political arena.

“I’m grateful for being blessed with an attitude of not keeping vengeance, in fact I am surprised that the ones that beat me up, who imprisoned me, are the ones who are angry. I am just relaxed,” said Anwar.

Anwar, with his political philosophy of ‘wanting to change a situation, we need to be in the right position’, is deemed to be among the world’s political leaders who have the political stamina to be competitive in the history of modern politics.

In 1998, with only one remaining step to sit in the Prime Minister of Malaysia’s seat, he was defamed to be involved in immoral activities in a conspiracy involving the top leadership of the country at the time.

6.3

He then became a victim of police brutality when in detention for six years, for the offence of abusing power by ordering the police to investigate the defamatory book ’50 Dalil Mengapa Anwar Tidak Boleh Menjadi Perdana Menteri’ (50 Reasons Why Anwar Cannot Become Prime Minister” and a few of its conspirators.

Anwar, who is also famous for his iconic bruised eye from being punched by the Inspector General of Police, Tan Sri Rahim Noor, was then released in 2004 and then began making great strides in outlining a new image for Malaysian politics.

In Anwar’s efforts in leading the opposition, with strength at par with that of the Barisan Nasional government, as a ‘super heavyweight’ politician, he continued forward, facing hardships of political bureaucracy in another series of defamation which stood in the way of his advancement.

Ultimately, Anwar, with three of the largest opposition parties, formed the Alternative Front. PKR, PAS and DAP managed to deny BN two-thirds majority in Parliament and managed to capture Selangor, Penang, Kedah and Perak, and defended Kelantan in the 12th General Election (GE12) in 2008.

In the GE13, Pakatan Rakyat became the people’s choice when they obtained the popular vote of 52 percent, compared to only 47 percent obtained by BN.

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