Siapa yang kata 40,000?

So asked Anwar Ibrahim in a press conference today. The 40,000 is, of course, in reference to the number of Bangladeshis that he was alleged to have accused BN of flying in as phantom voters.

To be fair to Anwar, when you look at the statement that he made just before GE13, he did not single out Bangladeshis. What he mentioned was “40,500 dubious individuals” being flown in from Sabah and Sarawak, which consisted of “foreign nationals as well as Malaysians”. This was allegedly done at the instruction of the PM in cahoots with the SPR. (BTW, this in itself is a serious allegation that has never been proven for which he really should be called to account for)

So, to the charge of accusing BN of flying in 40,000 Bangladeshi phantom voters, I would have to declare Anwar not guilty. The reason being only that in that specific statement where he mentioned the 40,500 figure, he didn’t say that they were Bangladeshis, or indeed were all foreigners.

However, if you had paid close attention to today’s PC, you probably would have noticed that in his denial, he was very careful to tie the allegation of the phantom Bangladeshi voters with the number 40,000. Why is that?

The reason, I believe, is that although he did not mention Bangladeshis in that particular instance, he is very much guilty of accusing BN of employing Bangladeshi phantom voters in other instances. For example, below is a speech he made at the Blackout 505 event in Johor Bahru on May 15th. Remember, this is ten days after the general election, by which time it must have been clear to him that Bangladeshis had, in fact, played no appreciable part in the election whatsoever.

At 6:09 in the video, Anwar says:
“Apa yang ditinggalkan? Dato’ Najib lupa kenang jasa orang yang memenangkan beliau dan UMNO Barisan Nasional. Dato’ Najib patut lantik timbalan menteri Banglasia. Ya, regrettable that Najib omitted a very important representative that had played a pivotal role to ensure the victory of UMNO and Barisan Nasional. He should have appointed at least one Bangladeshi, Banglasia, as a deputy minister in his cabinet”

So how many Bangladeshis would it take to “play a pivotal role to ensure the victory” in the GE? A lot more than 40,000, I would think.

This is another example of the trick of the carefully worded denial that Pakatan politicians seem fond of using. I highlighted one such denial made by Lim Guan Eng  in a previous post. In Anwar’s case, he is taking advantage of people mistakenly conflating 2 separate allegations  that he made, i.e. (1) of 40,000 dubious voters flown in from East Malaysia, and (2) of BN using Bangladeshi voters to win them the election.

He did say both these things, only not at the same time. So, by taking the art of splitting hairs to the extreme, he is technically correct in his denial. One has to admire his audacity in attempting such a move in the face of the overwhelming evidence against him. It is heartening to note though that Malaysians are now much wiser to his antics and that no one is biting this time.

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