In December 2019, I did a Koboi Performance for Percha Art Space in Lumut, in which I raised a new SUPERSTAR banner depicting a giant hoarding of Anwar Ibrahim. I performed a cleansing ritual on the Lumut waterfront and left for Vancouver soon after. I will return to Malaysia in August this year (2023).
Since my performance, and after a long struggle, Anwar Ibrahim has become the 10th Prime Minister of the nation and holds on to this seat by the skin of his teeth. Anwar incredible return to power, after a quarter-century perjuangan, is an exemplary Hero’s journey – a striking display determination, endurance and a sense of destiny. To mark my own much less momentus return, I am working towards another Koboi Performance the details of which will be announced shortly.
15. Gerontocracy:: A form of government in which the elderly rule, and of which, Malaysia is an exemplar, with Mahathir Mohamed holding the record for the world’s oldest Elected leader when he became Prime Minister in 2018 after GE14.
Anwar Ibrahim was the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, when the Asian financial crisis struck in 1997. Although he seemed to be on the way to becoming the 5th Prime Minister of Malaysia, he got into a conflict with Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed and, by 1998, he was sacked from his post, arrested and charged with the offences of corruption and sodomy. In 1999 he was convicted and jailed. Today, 24 years after he was foiled in his early prime ministerial ambitions, and following Malaysia’s GE15 resulting in a hung parliament, Anwar has been asked by the Agong to form the next government. At last, in 2022, fragile though his tenure might be, Anwar Ibrahim has finally become the 10th.Prime Minister of Malaysia.
A giant banner of Pakatan Harapan Leader and PM hopeful, Anwar Ibrahim, was erected at Gugusan Manjoi in the Tambun constituency. According to the Malay Mail this prompted his rival for the seat, Ahmad Faizal Azumu of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, to say “Is that Anwar Ibrahim? I thought it was Godzilla.”
My own sentiment is that I wish I could be there … Deja Vu!
1996 – Pop star M. Nasir gets boycotted by state owned media for being kurang ajar or kasar towards the sitting Prime Minister in asking, audaciously, “Siapa Mahathir?”
2004 – Esteemed Malaysian cartoonist Lat launches his 27th book titled titled Dr Who?!: Capturing the Life and Times of a Leader in Cartoons. Epitomizing the notion of halus, Lat was able to get Mahathir himself to launch the book. Surely, the latent reference to M. Nasir’s earlier question was heard by Malaysians even at the time!
2020 – M. Nasir’s alleged insult has now become a genuine question on every Malaysian’s mind! Who is he really? What does he stand for … does he stand for anything beyond Machiavellian self-interest?
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