scholarship

Anwar Ibrahim’s lengthy journey to turning into Prime Minister of Malaysia

Here is a brief history of Anwar’s political journey, spanning three decades:

BEGINNING OF LIFE AND POLITICAL ASCENT:

** Anwar was born on August 10, 1947 and rose to prominence as an Islamic youth leader in the mid-1970s, raising awareness of poverty conditions in northern Malaysia during anti-government protests.

** He enjoyed meteoric political rise under Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who invited him to join the governing coalition, the United Malayan National Organization (UMNO), in 1982.

** Finance Minister from 1991 and Deputy Prime Minister from 1993, Mahathir’s long famous heir fell out with his mentor in 1998.

THE CASE AND THE PRISON:

** Mahathir dismissed his deputy in September 1998, calling him unfit to be a leader. Anwar was arrested this month after leading 30,000 protesters into the capital and charged with bestiality and corruption.

** Anwar was sentenced in April 1999 to six years in prison for abuse of power and in August 2000 was sentenced to nine years in prison for a second consecutive sodomy charge.

** Although he was released in September 2004 after Malaysia’s federal court overturned the sodomy charges, he was not allowed to stand for election until April 2008.

BACK TO POLICY, NEW FEES:

** After historic wins in the March 2008 general election by his People’s Justice Party and its allies, Anwar returned to parliament as opposition leader.

**On June 29, just three months after he was allowed to stand for re-election, he faced renewed sodomy charges and fled to the Turkish embassy, ​​fearing for his life.

SECOND CONVICTION OF SODOMY AND DETAINMENT:

** In 2008, Anwar was accused of bestiality by a male aide and said the charges were aimed at removing him from his post as opposition leader.

** During Prime Minister Najib Razak’s tenure in 2015, Anwar was jailed for a second time on sodomy charges.

REUNION WITH MAHATHIR AND 2018 VOICES:

** Anwar and Mahathir buried the hatchet together in 2018, beating Barisan Nasional for the first time in Malaysian history amid public anger at the government over the multi-billion dollar 1MDB scandal.

** Mahathir promises to ask for a royal pardon for Anwar and give him the post of Prime Minister if the coalition is successful.

** Anwar was pardoned and released within a week after Mahathir led the opposition coalition to an unprecedented general election victory.

** Their alliance falls apart less than two years later due to fighting over Mahathir’s promise to hand over power to Anwar.

2022 ELECTIONS LEAD TO TOP POSITION:

** According to a November 16 poll by British research firm YouGov, Anwar’s Pakatan Harapan coalition was set to win the largest share of seats, 35%, in a hard-fought election.

** But the election resulted in an unprecedented no-majority parliament over the weekend. Anwar’s coalition won 82 seats, or 36.9% of the seats, insufficient to secure a majority.

** Anwar and former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin have each said they could form a government with the support of other parties.

** The King of Malaysia appointed Anwar Prime Minister after a special meeting of his hereditary sultans.

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