Friday Jottings: When the grey area is the only option

IT IS probably one of the most lucid requests made by a Government MP, if not the rest of the Government supporters at all levels, to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim since he cobbled together the post-electoral pact and became the Prime Minister at the end of 2022.

Government MP for Pasir Gudang Hassan Abdul Karim has urged Anwar to state clearly whether it was true or false that there was a move for the acquisition of Malaysia Airports Berhad (MAHB) by a consortium with purported Zionist links.

He was commenting on the contentious issue of MAHB being taken over by a consortium led by Khazanah Nasional Berhad and the Employees Provident Fund for 70 percent of the company, while the remaining 30 percent would go to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP).

And between ADIA and GIP, reportedly, the latter controls the bulk of the shares.

What made the issue contentious is that GIP is fully owned by BlackRock Inc. an international American company which is rabidly pro-Zionist.

It has its fingers in numerous arms manufacturing concerns including Lockheed Martin, identified as a major arms supplier to fuel the ongoing Israel’s genocide of Palestinians.

In other parts of the world, across the US as well, pro-Palestinian activists had protested against BlackRock for its blatant support for Israel and Zionism amid the ongoing genocide in Palestine.

What had triggered Hassan to ask Anwar to state clearly the status of the issue was when Hishamudin Rais said he felt that Anwar was merely “acting” when he embraced Hamas’ political leader Ismail Haniyeh when a deal was being cut between a Malaysian Government company and the pro-Zionist BlackRock.

While Hassan insisted that he did not believe that Anwar was “acting” given the timing of the deal coming to public domain just when Anwar was embracing Haniyeh, such suspicions are not unjustified.

Hassan’s demand of Anwar is refreshing given that the latter’s supporters and sycophants in particular, were keen to deny, deflect and even blame other leaders for some previous deals with Zionist-linked entities.

Such deflection methods actually stemmed from Anwar himself who, when protesting against allowing Lockheed Martin and British Aerospace (another major supplier for Israel’s genocide) in a Malaysian defence show, insisted that no Israel-based companies were present.

It was obviously an attempt to deflect and spin when the issue was the presence of manufacturers fuelling the Israeli war machine.

To further deflect the issue, Anwar decided to drag in Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad saying that the latter was responsible for allowing ZIM, an Israeli-flagged ship into a Malaysian port in 2002 while his administration put an end to it.

While it is an attempt to make two wrongs one right, Anwar’s irrational justification fell flat by any measure.

Pointed out by one of his critics – when Anwar goes back to 2002, all someone needs to do is to remind him and his supporters of his remarks in a 2012 interview with the Wall Street Journal in which he was quoted as saying that “I support all efforts to protect the security of the state of Israel.”

No doubt, his critics pointed out that Anwar had tried to explain himself in the remarks. But Khairy Jamaluddin in March 2012 in Parliament shredded Anwar’s defence on it and insisted that Anwar’s support in that statement was unequivocal.

Ironically, Israel’s justification for its ongoing genocide and the support extended by the Western powers are based on Israel’s right to protect its security.

Unfortunately for Anwar, the issue of BlackRock’s complicity does not look likely to die off over time.

It seems that his transport minister Anthony Loke, who denied in Parliament a few months ago of the MAHB deal has now been referred to the August house select committee for lying.

In so far as his critics were concerned, Loke had lied blatantly.

But beyond that, it just showed that the deal was in the pipeline over some time, ample time for the Malaysian Government, the finance minister, who happens to be Anwar, the transport minister, Khazanah, whose chairman also happens to be Anwar, to re-consider the deal, especially over the participation of Blackrock-controlled GIP in it.

Against this backdrop, Anwar and his sycophants cannot persist in spinning, deflecting and attempting to make two wrongs one right kind of approach.

They are becoming stale, mouldy and tedious. It is also unimaginative, condescending and most times arrogant. Worst of all, it is an attempt to make fools of everyone.

As such, though Hassan is not the first to demand a simple, clear true or false answer from Anwar, it becomes refreshing because it came from someone who belongs to Parti Keadilan Rakyat, Anwar’s political vehicle.

Yet, it is doubtful that Hassan, like anyone else before him will get a straight answer from Anwar. For one, he is just not used to straight shooting as spin and deflections seemed to be traits more amicable to him.

Like others before him, Hassan may soon develop vertigo. — pic TMR FILE


  • Shamsul Akmar is an editor at The Malaysian Reserve.

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