Stocks weaken further, radar & focus on Anwar’s arrest

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Jul 16 2008
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Local stock market sentiment was crushed over the arrest of de facto opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, less than 15 hours after he appeared live on television in a debate with Information Minister. The turnover or transaction volume traded plunged to 315 million shares from 395 million yesterday. The ING Investor Dashboard Survey reported that Malaysian investor sentiment registera 82 per cent drop, the second largest dip after Thailand.

Gosh! It appears the journalists could forget about taking leave if the current trend of explosive news were to continue till the year-end. Let’s get one thing straight, I do not think Anwar is Gandhi and it would be too insulting to even compare both of them. The fact remains that Malaysian’s politic is one of the dirtiest the world ever seen. It has come to a stage whereby you simply can’t differentiate between the sheep and the fox. But people need to make a choice because your life, your children’s future or even your career depends very much on it, whether you like it or not.

If the government couldn’t manage the country and economy well, it’s a matter of time before the storm hits us, again. Go ahead and blame the Dow Jones’ performance, oil speculators, opposition parties or even the President of the United States for having this strange hobby of yet another attack on Iran for the current market’s weakness. Assuming the figure released by Petronas that over RM400 billion was paid to government since 1974 is correct, I somehow still can smell huge leakages over the years. And what’s wrong to have two-party system in this country? Since the local ministers like to subscribe to the idea of comparing the country with others such as Singapore when talk about oil prices and African countries when talk about development, why not compare to U.S. when talk about two-party system to achieve better transparency and accountability? At least you have a choice.

Anwar arrest UTKNow, you might not care because it didn’t happen to you but to deploy a contingent of ten police cars, half unmarked and half patrol, with about 20 balaclava-clad masked commandos (UTK) to arrest Anwar is simply outrages, not to mention a waste of tax money. According to Anwar’s statement, the above occurred as he entered the neighborhood of his home, returning from the Anti Corruption Agency after giving a statement pertaining to the police report that has been filed regarding suppression of material facts in the case involving him in 1998. However theStar reported that the arrest was carried out by Bukit Aman’s Serious Crimes Division and not by the Special Action Force (UTK).

The question is do you need such a massive mobilization to arrest the de-facto opposition leader; lest the time is indeed running out to put him behind bar to prevent him from running for by-election and possibility forming the next new government? Osama bin Laden could be furious to learn that Anwar was given such a grand welcome because he himself might not enjoy such recognition. Funny they never mobilize the Polish PT-91M tanks for such exercise, what a waste. It might be a desperate move to provoke the opposition to take to the street the same way it happened 10 years ago when Anwar was accused of the same old sodomy charges – so that an emergency rule can be declared?

Osama envy Anwar The latest news reported that Anwar was taken to Hospital Kuala Lumpur in an attempt to get his DNA sampling. The same nightmare has come back haunting his wife so let’s hope the PM Abdullah Badawi’s promise that the PKR de facto leader will not be dealt a ‘black eye’ this time around is good enough. But then he didn’t promise “two” black eye, did he *grin*? Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar dismissed Anwar’s claims that the accusations levelled by a former aide were a government conspiracy but he’s pretty sure the opposition supremo is likely to spend the night in detention. No wonder Anwar looked disturb during yesterday’s debate. He probably knew the debate could be his last political speech to the public before he revisits his old sweet home in jail.

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