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Mar 6, 2008

An Open Letter to Chandra Muzaffar

Thursday, 06 March 2008

Many years ago in the 1980s, then leader of the Labour Party in England, Denis Healey, was openly criticized for having been a member of an extreme Left political party in his younger days.

His simple response was that he also believed in Santa Claus in his younger days! Indeed, all of us – without exception – change as we age and as we learn more about life. Some more so than others, of course, but change we certainly do.

This, unfortunately, is something that seems to have been lost on Chandra Muzaffar in his widely – almost gleefully – published diatribe against Anwar Ibrahim in the mainstream newspapers today, Tuesday, 4 March. Like his equally disingenuous friends in the BN coalition who are perhaps unable to counter much of the Opposition front’s critiques against the failure of BN rule, Chandra – out of the blue, after having been quiet for so long – suddenly decided to rip into Anwar. “He’s singing a different tune now”, asserted Chandra. Anwar’s “Deceiving Malaysians”, claimed another headline attributed to Chandra.

The gist of Chandra’s personal attack is that Anwar is saying things now that are the opposite of what he said and did when he was high up in UMNO. This, of course, is nothing new and Anwar himself has addressed these criticisms often enough.

It’s a trifle ironic that Chandra is ‘coming clean’ and saying all this of Anwar now, when he himself appears to be doing the exact opposite of what he was doing when in ALIRAN and Keadilan. Before, he consistently argued against the BN having a 2/3 majority, and the need for a strong Opposition. Now, on the eve of the elections, he seemingly dismisses the Opposition and asserts that, despite its flaws, there is no other viable coalition beyond the BN. How fortuitous. I guess when you’ve been offered a cushy position in a state university for two years, you tend to ‘change’ somewhat.

Dear Chandra, selling out is fine, prostituting yourself is understandable as you age and wither. But becoming a willing tool of a corrupt, arrogant and racist regime at this critical juncture devalues, indeed destroys, whatever good work you may have done thus far. May God guide you.

Aril Mikhail


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