Mahathir-Anwar handshake – A betrayal

 |Sep 8, 2016
Raja Sar (left) slams the Mahathir-Anwar handshake as a betrayal to the people.
Raja Sar (left) slams the Mahathir-Anwar handshake as a betrayal to the people.

Social media commentator Raja Sara Petra slammed the handshake between Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Anwar Ibrahim as a betrayal to those people, like her, who were dragged into the duo’s personal conflict

She said the fight between Dr. Mahathir and Anwar for past 18 years was never for democratic principles or the change as Malaysians were told.

She said the people were used as pawns and later forgotten in the political game of Mahathir-Anwar.

“The people were discarded when no longer convenient for them (Mahathir-Anwar).

“It is just as well the truth is revealed now before it is too late.

“So the fight was not really about change after all as we were told.

“It was just about power,” said political commentator Raja Sara Petra today, recalling the trauma she underwent when her father, Raja Petra Kamarudin was whisked away the police.

“Now that Anwar and Mahathir are friends again, are Anwar and Mahathir going to apologise to me for the 18 years of suffering I had to endure and the weekly trips I had to make to the Kamunting Detention Centre?”

Raja Sara recalled the incident when she was just 13 and in Form 1 when the police stopped her family car to drag Raja Petra, better known as RPK, away.

“I could see the anxiety on my mother’s face but could not really comprehend what was going on,” she said, adding that she basically did not know anything about politics then.

“I was only told that my father might be away for a long time. No one knew how long is long, though.”

Raja Sara however, remembered that she was told that her father had to be locked away because he supported Anwar, then the sacked deputy prime minister and Umno deputy president, and opposed then Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir.

She was led to believe that “supporting Anwar, opposing Mahathir, is a serious crime under Malaysian law.”

On Monday, Anwar and Mahathir met up and shook hands in the court house.

Mahathir claimed he was at the court to lend his support to Anwar’s application to stop the implementation of National Security Act.

Mahathir was accompanied by Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali.

Raja Sara questioned on whether the so-called 18 years of animosity between the two political stalwarts was now water under the bridge.

“The past is the past. Forgive and forget,” she said, asking on what would be the reparation for people like her, who had for many years suffered emotional stress that every knock on the door was, yet again, the police coming to take her father away.

She said for the last seven years, RPK had lived in exile outside Malaysia because he supported Anwar and opposed Mahathir.

She could not find the words to explain the agony and constant fear that she and her family got through during her father’s detention.

“What my family and I suffered can never be explained unless you experience it yourself,” said Raja Sara.

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Athi Shankar has been a journalist for past 30 years. He believes that democratic rights come with responsibility.