Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim believes that the Government is the all-but literal equivalent of the Nazis.
We know, because he has said so, and Anwar would never lie. Ever. Certainly not in September, nor in January, February, March, or April.
In many parts of the world, these would be fighting words; in Europe and the Americas, such a statement would be beyond the political pale. While sensitive to the extraordinary suffering the Nazis caused, we believe that this statement is all the worse for being fantastically stupid.
As Anwar is a bit of a student of history, we confess to being disappointed. Nevertheless, university was several decades ago for our Opposition Leader, so we’ve taken the opportunity to outline a few differences between Barisan Nasional and the Nazis.
Here are things the Nazis did not allow. Note that for each, Barisan Nasional — and its predecessor — have guaranteed these things, and lately, have expanded and safeguarded these rights in a series of historic reforms.
- Marches by the Opposition.
- An Opposition.
- Free speech.
- Allowing protesters who deliberately break the law to go free from arrest less than 24 hours after being arrested.
- Protest groups.
- Freedom of religion.
- A vibrant and free Opposition press.
- A vibrant and free press.
- Again, an Opposition.
- Anything vibrant.
- Ethnic minorities’ continued survival.
- Free lines of communication.
The list hardly ends there, but we fear that going any farther may imperil Anwar’s attention span.
Now of course, while we are appalled by Anwar’s historic (and historical) illiteracy and his choice of metaphors, we understand that Pakatan Rakyat politicians are given to hyperbole, especially with general elections just around the corner. We know that they sometimes say things that would embarrass ordinary people, and not just in September.
Anwar being Anwar, he couldn’t leave his speech at mere hyperbole. He had to add a little more. “A free country cannot be enslaved anymore,” he announced as he ended his speech.
While we could perhaps be grateful that he managed not to slip a call for a Malaysian Spring into his closing line, we feel that this is yet another opportunity for education for our eternal Opposition Leader. So, here are things slaves cannot do that Malaysians can.
- Stand for election.
- Vote for an Opposition Leader who will never be Prime Minister.
- Choose not to vote.
- Maintain a blog.
- Maintain a Twitter account.
- Accuse the Government of being Nazis and slave masters.
- Again, this is hardly a comprehensive list.
Ultimately, we should probably pity Anwar. Allegedly, he and his eternal aide-de-camp Azmin Ali incited the charge on the barricades that turned Bersih 3.0 into a farce. He turned the Opposition into a farce.
He himself is a farce. Having no grasp of history is the least of his problems.