Friday, March 26, 2010

Economist Interview with Anwar Ibrahim

I find some politicians very interesting indeed, especially those who are able to garner support from people who completely do not share their political stance. These rare politicians somehow have developed a skill of negotiating their way through very complex political-social maze. One such politician is Anwar Ibrahim. Anwar Ibrahim, who is now the leader of the opposition, attracts a lot of support from very committed Muslims in Malaysia. Many of these Muslims want to see increased application of Shariah law in Malaysia. Therefore many support the Malaysian government's recent decision to cane three Muslim women for the crime of adultery. Many are also supportive of the government's previous decision to cane a lady who consumed alcohol in public. In fact many are actually asking the government to institute more Shariah-based laws for offences that are prescribed by the Shariah. But in the Economist interview below, Anwar Ibrahim explicitly stated that punishments such as caning for consumption of alcohol are `completely unacceptable' (his statement on this begins at 4.00 minute of the interview). Later on in the interview, he was asked whether if he gets into power he will change the laws so that such Shariah-related punishments will not be applied to Muslims in the future. His answer is classic `obfuscation', a skill necessary for all budding politicians.
Anyway, I have a feeling that Anwar Ibrahim, being a shrewd politician, knows that there is little likelihood that his Muslim supporters will read the Economist magazine or watch the video of this interview. But for those who are interested to know of his stance on the `caning' issue, the Economist video below is very enlightening.
Click and enjoy.