Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Ezam the Chameleon - Special Branch’s biggest success story

Ezam - the lizard that changes color - suffered a syndrome called Alcibiades, according to Khalid Jaafar a Parti Keadilan Rakyat supreme council member and a close confidante of Anwar. In his blog's post al-Telawi exposed Ezam’s personality and why he failed the test as Reformasi hero. Let me share a little bit (excerpted from his blog) here…

Ezam, I suppose, must be the Special Branch’s biggest success story in turning over. If he wasn’t turned over how he could have written a letter to Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi while serving his prison term in Kajang. He was the most celebrated of the ISA detainees but upon his release he refused to be present with them at a press conference. He also avoided being on the same platform at any rally.
When Anwar was released and regained his health, leaders fought tooth and nail to have him speak at their constituency. But Ezam evaded offers by Anwar to speak in Shah Alam, his division, and asked Shamsul Iskandar to sit in for him as Anwar toured of the country.
Why Ezam failed the test while the rest continue to walk tall as Reformasi heroes? I think he suffered from a disease I call Alcibiades syndrome. Alcibiades was the most controversial Athenian politician during the Peloponnesian War and one of the disciples of Socrates. He was immortalized in Plato’s dialogue called “The Symposium”. Instead of trying to understand Socrates’ philosophy he was enthralled with the personality of the philosopher.
His speech in the symposium was all encomia to his teacher. In his politics he betrayed Athens by joining the city’s mortal enemy, Sparta, then rejoined Athens to fight against Sparta and later betrayed Athens to join the Persians.
I saw Ezam giving a similar speech in Jakarta, when we were in a short exile, at the launching of the Indonesian version of Anwar’s Asian Renaissance. He didn’t say a sentence on the book, or about Tagore, or Iqbal, or Rizal and Okakura. He was saying “Anwar this, Anwar that” and I at the time was praying that lightning and thunder would strike so that he could end his dumb speech.
I saw him in Ipoh where I heard him say: “I joined Umno because of Anwar Ibrahim, and left Umno because of Anwar Ibrahim.” Of which he received a standing ovation among the youth delegates.
I saw his character in the Romance of Three Kingdoms, in the personality of Lu Bu whose politics is marked with a series of betrayals. But both Lu Bu and Alcibiades ended in ignominious

Question: Who’s Next?

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