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This is a Malay name; the name Ibrahim is a patronymic, not a family name, and the person should be referred to by the given name, Anwar.
Yang Berhormat Dato' Seri
Anwar Ibrahim
MP
Anwar Ibrahim.jpg
Leader of the Opposition
Incumbent
Assumed office
28 August 2008
Monarch Mizan Zainal Abidin
Abdul Halim
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Najib Tun Razak
Preceded by Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
Constituency Permatang Pauh
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Permatang Pauh
Incumbent
Assumed office
28 August 2008
Preceded by Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
Majority 15,671 (2008)
11,721 (2013)
In office
29 March 1982 – 14 April 1999
Preceded by Zabidi Ali
Succeeded by Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
Majority 10,479 (1986)
16,150(1990)
23,230 (1995)
Selangor Economic Advisor
Incumbent
Assumed office
13 November 2009
Monarch Sultan Sharafuddin
Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim
Preceded by position established
7th Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
In office
1 December 1993 – 2 September 1998
Monarch Azlan Shah
Tuanku Ja'afar
Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad
Preceded by Ghafar Baba
Succeeded by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Constituency Permatang Pauh
2nd President of International Islamic University of Malaysia
In office
1988–1998
Chancellor Sultan Ahmad Shah
Preceded by Hussein Onn
Succeeded by Mohd Najib Abdul Razak
15th Chairman of Development Committee of World Bank & International Monetary Fund
In office
March 1998 – September 1998
Preceded by Driss Jettou
Succeeded by Tarrin Nimmanahaeminda
25th President of UNESCO's General Conference
In office
1989–1991
Preceded by Guillermo Putzeys Alvarez
Succeeded by Bethwell Allan Ogot
Personal details
Born (1947-08-10) 10 August 1947 (age 66)
Bukit Mertajam, Penang, Malayan Union
Political party PKRPakatan Rakyat (2006–present)

UMNOBN (1982–1998)

Spouse(s) Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
Children Nurul Izzah Anwar
Ehsan Anwar
Nurul Nuha Anwar
Nurul Iman Anwar
2 others
Alma mater University of Malaya
Malay College Kuala Kangsar
Profession Politician
Lecturer
Religion Sunni Islam

Dato' Seri Anwar Bin Ibrahim[1] (born 10 August 1947) is a Malaysian politician. He is the Leader of Opposition of Malaysia (Pakatan Rakyat), economic advisor to the state government of Selangor[2] and de facto leader of the People's Justice Party (Parti Keadilan Rakyat).

He served as the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia from 1993 to 1998 and Finance Minister from 1991 to 1998 when he was a member of UMNO, the major party in the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition. However, he was sacked from his post by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and jailed for corruption and sodomy. Following his release by Mahathir's successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Anwar has been the leading figure in the opposition and helped coalesce the opposition parties into the Pakatan Rakyat, which contested the 2008 and 2013 general elections.

Early years (1968-1982)[edit]

From 1968 to 1971, as a student, Anwar was the president of National Union Of Malaysian Muslim Students (Malay: Persatuan Kebangsaan Pelajar Islam Malaysia (PKPIM), Jawi: الإثحاد لطلاب المسلمين المالزيين). Around the same time, he was also the president of University of Malaya Malay Language Society (Malay: Persatuan Bahasa Melayu Universiti Malaya (PBMUM) ). In 1971, he was a member of the pro tem committee of Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM) or Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia which he co-founded. At the same time, he was elected as the 2nd President of the Malaysian Youth Council or Majlis Belia Malaysia (MBM). In 1974, Anwar was arrested during student protests against rural poverty and hunger. This came as a report surfaced stating that a family died from starvation in a village in Baling, in the state of Kedah, which was later demonstrated to be false. However the rubber tappers in Baling were experiencing severe hardship as the price of rubber dropped in 1974. He was imprisoned under the Internal Security Act, which allows for detention without trial, and spent 20 months in the Kamunting Detention Centre.He enrolled into a post-graduate degree in prison where he got a Master in Literature from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.[3] From 1975 till 1982 he was representative for Asia Pacific of World Assembly of Muslim Youth under Sheikh Hassan Abdullah.

Governmental career (1982-1998)[edit]

In 1982, Anwar, who was the founding leader and second president of a youth Islamic organisation called Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM), shocked his liberal supporters by joining the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), led by Mahathir bin Mohamad, who had become prime minister in 1981. He moved up the political ranks quickly: his first ministerial office was that of Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports in 1983; after that, he headed the agriculture ministry in 1984 before becoming Minister of Education in 1986. By then, speculation was rife about Anwar's ascent to the Deputy Prime Minister's position as it was a commonly-occurring phenomenon in Malaysia for the Education Minister to assume the position of Deputy PM in the near future.

During his tenure as Education Minister, Anwar introduced numerous pro-Malay policies in the national school curriculum. One of his major changes was to rename the national language from Bahasa Malaysia to Bahasa Melayu. Non-Malays criticized this move as it would cause the younger generation to be detached from the national language, since they would attribute it to being something that belongs to the Malays and not to Malaysians. As the minister of education, Anwar was elected as the 25th President of UNESCO's General Conference. In 1988, Anwar Ibrahim became the second President of International Islamic University of Malaysia.[4]

U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen (right) meets with Anwar Ibrahim (left) in his Pentagon office.

In 1991, Anwar was appointed Minister of Finance. During his tenure as Finance Minister his impact was immediate; Malaysia enjoyed unprecedented prosperity and economic growth. Shortly after becoming Finance Minister, Euromoney named him as a top four finance minister and in 1996 Asiamoney named him Finance Minister of the Year. In the midst of Asian Financial Crises of 1997, Anwar was hailed for guiding Malaysia through the period of instability.[who?] He backed free market principles and highlighted the issue of the proximity of business and politics in Malaysia. He advocated greater accountability, refused to offer government bail-outs and instituted widespread spending cuts. As a deputy prime minister and finance minister, in March 1998, Anwar Ibrahim was selected as the Chairman of the Development Committee of World Bank and International Monetary Fund from March 1998 until September 1998.[5]

In 1993, he became Mahathir's Deputy Prime Minister after winning the Deputy Presidency of UMNO against Ghafar Baba. There is report on Anwar using large cash payments to win support. Anwar is alleged to have resorted to money politics to secure his position as deputy president of UMNO. Anwar's followers were witnessed by even foreign journalists handing out packets of money to acquire support of UMNO division leaders. These followers are said to be working under Anwar's instructions.[6] Anwar was being groomed to succeed Mahathir as prime minister, and frequently alluded in public to his "son-father" relationship with Mahathir; in early 1997, Mahathir appointed Anwar to be acting Prime Minister while he took a two-month holiday.

Towards the end of the 1990s, however, the relationship with Mahathir had begun to deteriorate, triggered by their conflicting views on governance. In Mahathir's absence, Anwar had independently taken radical steps to change the country's governing mechanisms which were in direct conflict with Mahathir's policies. Issues such as how Malaysia would respond to a financial crisis were often at the forefront of this conflict.

Anwar's frontal attack against what he described as the widespread culture of nepotism and cronyism within UMNO (and the ruling coalition as a whole) angered Mahathir, as did his attempts to dismantle the protectionist policies that Mahathir had set up. "Cronyism" was identified by Anwar as a major cause of corruption and misappropriation of funds in the country.

Financial crisis and fall from power[edit]

During the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis Anwar, as finance minister, supported the International Monetary Fund (IMF) plan. He also instituted an austerity package that cut government spending by 18%, cut ministerial salaries and deferred major projects. "Mega projects", despite being a cornerstone of Mahathir's development strategy, were greatly curtailed.

Although many Malaysian companies faced bankruptcy, Anwar declared: "There is no question of any bailout. The banks will be allowed to protect themselves and the government will not interfere." Anwar advocated a free-market approach to the crisis, including foreign investment and trade liberalization. Mahathir blamed currency speculators like George Soros for the crisis, and supported currency controls and tighter regulation of foreign investment.[7]

In 1998 Newsweek magazine named Anwar the "Asian of the Year". However, in that year, matters between Anwar and Mahathir came to a head around the time of the quadrennial UMNO General Assembly. The Youth wing of UMNO, headed by Anwar's associate Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, gave notice that it would initiate a debate on "cronyism and nepotism". At the General Assembly, a book, 50 Dalil Kenapa Anwar Tidak Boleh Jadi PM ("50 Reasons Why Anwar Cannot Become Prime Minister") was circulated containing graphic allegations of homosexuality, as well as accusations of corruption against Anwar. The book was written by Khalid Jafri, an ex-editor of the government-controlled newspaper Utusan Malaysia and former editor-in-chief of a failed magazine, Harian National. Anwar obtained a court injunction to prevent further distribution of the book and filed a lawsuit against the author for defamation. Police charged the author of the book with malicious publishing of false news.[8] The police were instructed to investigate the veracity of the claims. In what the Sydney Morning Herald termed a "blatantly political fix-up",[9]

Anwar was arrested on 20 September 1998. He was subsequently charged with corruption for allegedly interfering with police investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct made against him. While he was in police custody in 1998, Anwar was beaten by the then Inspector General of Police, Rahim Noor. Rahim was subsequently found guilty of assault and jailed for two months in 2000. He made a public apology to Anwar and paid undisclosed damages.[10] In April 1999, following a trial, Anwar was sentenced to six years' imprisonment. Two months later, he was sentenced to nine years' imprisonment, which he was ordered to serve after he completed his six-year sentence for the sodomy case.[11] His trial and conviction were widely discredited by the international community. Amnesty International stated that the trial proceedings "exposed a pattern of political manipulation of key state institutions including the police, public prosecutor’s office and the judiciary". Many world leaders, including US Vice President Al Gore, called for his release from prison. His conviction was overturned by the Malaysian Supreme Court and Anwar was finally released from solitary confinement on 2 September 2004.[12] In July 2008, he was arrested over allegations he sodomised one of his male aides, but was acquitted of the charge in January 2012.[13] The presiding judge ruled that DNA evidence used in the case had been compromised. However on 7 March 2014 the appeal court overruled the high Court reinstating the conviction. The decision came as Anwar was preparing to contest a by-election on 23 March 2014 which he was expected to win. The conviction prevented him from standing. Human Rights Watch was critical of the decision saying it was politically motivated. [14]

Reformasi movement and formation of party[edit]

Shortly after Anwar was dismissed as deputy prime minister by the then prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, Anwar and his supporters initiated the Reformasi movement. It consisted of several mass demonstrations and rallies against the long-standing Barisan Nasional coalition government. At the 1998 APEC Summit in Kuala Lumpur, the Vice President of the United States, Al Gore, gave a speech supporting Anwar and the reformasi movement in front of the Prime Minister of Malaysia and other Asia-Pacific premiers.

Reformasi led to the formation of a new multiracially-based party named Parti Keadilan Nasional (National Justice Party). In 1999, a general election was held. The new Parti Keadilan Nasional, Parti Islam Se-Malaysia, and Democratic Action Party formed a Barisan Alternatif (Alternative Front), in a combined initiative to replace the standing Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition government. In August 2003, Parti Keadilan Nasional merged with Parti Rakyat Malaysia (Malaysian's People Party) to form Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) or People's Justice Party headed by Wan Azizah as president. PKR made huge gains in the 2008 general election, winning 31 seats and becoming the largest opposition party in parliament. On April 2008, PKR, PAS and DAP formed a new alliance named Pakatan Rakyat.[15]

Interim years (1999-2007)[edit]

Years in prison and subsequent release[edit]

In 1999, Anwar brought suit against Prime Minister Mahathir for defamation for allegedly uttering accusations of immoral acts and calling Anwar a homosexual at a news conference in Malaysia.[16]

The sodomy verdict was partially overturned in 2004, resulting in Anwar's release from prison as he had already served his sentence for the corruption offence.[17] The original author of the book died in 2005 of complications from diabetes but not before the High Court found that he had committed libel and awarded Anwar millions of ringgit in compensation.[18] The Federal Court on 8 March 2010 ruled that the 1998 dismissal of Anwar from his Cabinet posts by Mahathir was constitutional and valid, meaning Anwar had failed in his bid to challenge his sacking.[19][20][21]

Although the point was by now moot, an appeal on the corruption charges was heard on 6 September 2004. Under Malaysian law a person is banned from political activities for five years after the end of his sentence. Success in this appeal would have allowed him to return to politics immediately. On 7 September, the court agreed to hear Anwar's appeal. However, on 15 September, the of Court of Appeal ruled unanimously that its previous decision to uphold a High Court ruling that found Anwar guilty was in order, relegating Anwar to the sidelines of Malaysian politics until 14 April 2008. The only way for Anwar to be freed from this stricture would have been for him to receive a pardon from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Teaching and non-profit work[edit]

Since his release from prison, Anwar has held teaching positions at St Antony's College, Oxford, where he was a visiting fellow and senior associate member, at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies in Washington DC as a Distinguished Senior Visiting Fellow, and in 2005–2006 as a visiting professor at the Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim–Christian Understanding in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where he continues as a Senior Fellow.[22] In March 2006 he was appointed as Honorary President of the London-based organisation AccountAbility (Institute of Social and Ethical AccountAbility).[23]

In July 2006, Anwar was elected Chair of the Washington-based Foundation For the Future.[24] In this capacity, he signed the 1 October 2006 letter to Robin Cleveland of the World Bank, requesting the transfer of Shaha Riza from the US Department of State to the Foundation for the Future. This transaction led to Paul Wolfowitz's resignation as president of the organisation.[25] He was one of the signatories of A Common Word Between Us and You in 2007, an open letter by Islamic scholars to Christian leaders, calling for peace and understanding.

Return to politics[edit]

In November 2006, Anwar announced he planned to run for Parliament in 2008, after his disqualification expired. Anwar has been critical of government policies since his release from prison, most notably of the controversial New Economic Policy (NEP), which provides affirmative action for the Bumiputras. The policy sets a number of quotas, such as for units of housing and initial public offerings, that must be met.[26]

Before he became re-entitled to run for Parliament in 2008, he acted as an "advisor" of Parti Keadilan Rakyat, the party of which his wife Dr. Wan Azizah is president. He was in the forefront in organising a November 2007 mass rally, called the 2007 Bersih Rally, which took place in the Dataran Merdeka Kuala Lumpur to demand clean and fair elections. The gathering was organised by BERSIH, a coalition comprising political parties and civil society groups, and drew supporters from all over the country.

The 2008 election date, however, was set for 8 March 2008, sparking criticisms that Barisan Nasional called for early elections in a bid to deny Anwar's plans for a return to Parliament. In response, Anwar's wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, declared that she would step down should she retain her Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat to force a by-election in which Anwar himself would contest.[27]

When asked about the possibility of Anwar becoming the next Prime Minister, former leader Tun Dr. Mahathir reacted by saying, "He would make a good Prime Minister of Israel".[28]

On 14 April 2008, Anwar celebrated his official return to the political stage, as his ban from public office expired a decade after he was fired as Deputy Prime Minister. The opposition seized a third of parliamentary seats and five states in the worst ever showing for the Barisan Nasional coalition that has ruled for half a century, with Anwar at the helm.[29] A gathering of more than 40,000 supporters greeted Anwar in a rally welcoming his return to politics. Police interrupted Anwar after he had addressed the rally for nearly two hours and called for him to stop the gathering since there was no legal permission for the rally.[30]

On 29 April 2008, after 10 years of absence, he returned to the Parliament, albeit upon invitation as a spouse guest of Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, People's Justice Party and the first female opposition leader in Malaysian Parliament's history.[31]

Permatang Pauh by-election[edit]

Anwar Ibrahim was victorious in the Permatang Pauh by-election held on 26 August 2008. Muhammad Muhammad Taib, information chief of the UMNO, stated: "Yes of course we have lost . . . we were the underdogs going into this race."[32] Final results announced by the Election Commission revealed that Anwar Ibrahim won 31,195 of the estimated 47,000 votes cast in the district, while Arif Shah Omar Shah received 15,524 votes and a third candidate had 92 votes.[33][34]

On 28 August 2008, Anwar, dressed in a dark blue traditional Malay outfit and black "songkok" hat, took the oath at the main chamber of Parliament house in Kuala Lumpur, as MP for Permatang Pauh at 10.03 am before Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia. He formally declared Anwar the leader of the 3-party opposition alliance. With his daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar, also a parliamentarian, Anwar announced: "I'm glad to be back after a decade. The prime minister has lost the mandate of the country and the nation."[35][36] At that time Anwar needed 30 government lawmakers to defect to the Opposition in order to form the next government.[37][38][39]

Career as opposition leader (2008-present)[edit]

Anwar Ibrahim speaks at an election campaign

On 26 August 2008, Anwar won re-election in the Permatang Pauh by-election and returned to Parliament as leader of the Malaysian opposition. He has stated the need for liberalisation, including an independent judiciary and free media, to combat the endemic corruption that he considers pushes Malaysia close to failed state status.[40]

Petition against Najib Razak[edit]

Anwar continued to attack Najib on his first day as prime minister, stating he found inconsistencies in the latter's decision to release 13 Internal Security Act detainees. He said as long as the ISA existed, Barisan Nasional could still detain citizens at will.[41] In September 2011 Prime Minister Najib Razak acted to abolish the Internal Security Act and three other laws.[42] Some members of the opposition did not view this in a positive way.[43]

Attempts to form a majority coalition[edit]

Anwar has missed several deadlines he personally set for the transfer of power, each of which came and went: the most recent was Tuesday 16 September 2008.[44] Anwar said he would need more time, and the recalibration of his message has not gone unnoticed: Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak chose that day to initiate a broadband internet program Anwar opposes, saying that he had not doubted that the government would still be in office on 16 September.[45] Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi too pointed out that Anwar had missed his own deadline, and dismissed his claim to have secured the defection of 30 MPs.[46]

By 25 September Anwar had still not amassed enough votes, creating doubts for Malaysians about whether he was really ready to take power,[47] particularly in light of his failure to meet his own 16 September deadline for the transition of power. In the interim, UMNO had its own party meeting[48][49] to broker Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's step down from power in June 2009, a year earlier than previously promised[50]

On 24 October 2008, Anwar admitted problems with his stalled bid to topple the UMNO's majority, saying that Pakatan Rakyat is running out of options to create a majority.[51] His "credibility among ordinary Malaysians has been somewhat dented after Sept 16 and the new promise of forming the Government has not generated the sort of anticipation or excitement as before."[52] Media within the country have taken an increasingly hostile view towards Anwar's protestations and failed threats to assemble a majority government.[53]

On 30 March 2010, Anwar Ibrahim alleged in the Dewan Rakyat the 1Malaysia was mirrored after "One Israel" concept and designed by Mindteams Sdn Bhd, a branch in Malaysia of Apco Worldwide, an international public relations company engaged by the Malaysian government that also created the One Israel concept in 1999 for then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.[54] The Barisan Nasional government has claimed it was false and its lawmakers have tabled a motion to censure Anwar for misleading the Parliament over his 1Malaysia-One Israel allegations which was passed by the Parliament on 22 April 2010.[55]

2008 Allegations of sodomy[edit]

­­

On 29 June 2008, online news portal Malaysiakini reported that an aide of Anwar Ibrahim, Saiful Bukhari Azlan had lodged a police report claiming that he had been sodomised by Anwar.[56] Anwar said that the possibility of a prison sentence as a result of the allegations could be seen as an attempt to remove him from the leadership of the opposition following his growing support and by-election victories. He also reaffirmed his innocence and cited evidence in the form of medical reports.[40] Anwar was found not guilty on 9 January 2012, almost two years after the trial started. The presiding judge Justice Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah found that the DNA evidence submitted by the prosecution was unreliable, and acquitted Anwar.[57] Eleven days later, the prosecution filed an appeal against the acquittal.[58]

2014 Allegations of sodomy acquittal overturned[edit]

­­

A Malaysian court has overturned the acquittal of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on sodomy charges, upholding a government appeal. While homosexual acts are illegal in Muslim-majority Malaysia, very few people are ever prosecuted. Anwar has always maintained the charges were part of a political smear campaign. The court decision may affect Anwar's plans to compete in a key by-election in the state of Selangor this month. His lawyers are expected to appeal the court ruling, Reuters news agency reported. [59]

As part of his overturned acquittal on 4 March 2014, Anwar has been sentenced to five years in jail, but remains free on bail while he appeals the verdict. Human Rights Watch and the International Commission of Jurists have accused the Malaysian Government of meddling in this particular judicial matter. Analysts claim the initial charges and conviction were also aimed at undermining Anwar's growing political popularity. Since his earlier release from jail, Anwar has been rebuilding his political career and was preparing to contest a seat in the central state of Selangor on 23 March 2014. In addition, this case raises very serious issues of judicial independence from the Malay Government, and accusations of corruption have been levied on certain member of both the government and court members. [60]

Hidden sex tape allegation[edit]

On 21 March 2011 a sex video appeared which claimed to feature Anwar Ibrahim. A day after that, Anwar Ibrahim denied his involvement in the incident and filed a police complaint.[61] The police are conducting investigations against a trio of men dubbed the Datuk T trio, who screened the sex video in the first place. They are former Malacca chief minister Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik, businessman Datuk Shazryl Eskay Abdullah and former Perkasa treasurer Datuk Shuaib Lazim.[62][63]

Salahuddin Ayub vice president of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party ruled out suspending ties with Pakatan Rakyat stating that,"Everything is wrong about the whole scandal. The way the video was revealed was wrong and watching it is wrong. Islam does not accept this,".[64] However the chief of PAS's Ulama council has stated that if the video is authentic they would consider reviewing ties with PKR.[64] Lim Kit Siang, head of the Democratic Action Party stated that the Barisan Nasional reached "new depths in character assassination" and that the scandal was manufactured just in time for the Sarawak Elections.[64] Chairman of UMNO's youth wing, Khairy Jamaluddin stated that the Barisan National never said that it was Anwar in the video, and that it was odd that the opposition automatically took a defensive attitude.[65] Barisan Nasional MP, Abdul Rahman Dahlan stated that the matter should remain personal, and not be used for political purposes.[65] On 4 April, part of the sex clip with a running time of nearly two minutes, was leaked online on anti-PKR blogsites and YouTube. A second part of the sex video was released on YouTube and a pro-UMNO blog website.[66][67] The police and the government have been criticised for their slow response by the opposition in prosecuting the culprits who showed the sex video.

On 24 June 2011, Sungai Petani MP Johari Abdul screened a video documentary to demonstrate that a sex video featuring a man who resembles Anwar Ibrahim could be faked. Johari also points out that Anwar no longer wears glasses after his eye surgery while the person in the video did in the beginning of the clip. The video also showed how make-up artists could easily produce an Anwar look-alike. Anwar has maintained his innocence and claims that the proceedings today was part of a conspiracy to tarnish his image.[68]

Jews, Israel, APCO Worldwide, and 1Malaysia[edit]

Anwar has made numerous remarks about a supposed conspiracy among the Malaysian government, APCO (a public relations firm retained by the Malaysian government), Israel, and the United States. Anwar has condemned the Malaysian government for seeking advice from APCO. He claims that the firm is linked to the "murder of Muslims in Palestine." He further claims to have given proof that APCO is a front for the Israeli government to a disciplinary committee of the Malaysian parliament investigating his comments. On another occasion, Anwar, speaking from the parliament, claimed that the firm was controlled by Jews and working on behalf of the American government to influence Malaysian foreign policy. He further implied that changes in Malaysian foreign policy could only be explained if Jews were manipulating Malaysia for the United States.[69]

On 22 April 2010 Anwar was censured by Malaysia's parliament for remarks he made during a press conference in parliament on 30 March 2010. During the press conference, Anwar claimed to have documents linking 1Malaysia, One Israel, and the public relations firm APCO but refused to allow access to the documents when challenged[54] The Malaysian government and APCO have both strongly denied Anwar's allegations. The censure motion passed by the House of Representatives referred Anwar's case to the Rights and Privileges Committee which will recommend a punishment for approval by the full chamber. Such punishment could include being banned from parliament.[55][70][71] However Anwar retaliated against the Malaysian government attacks by producing the two documents to support his claims of links between APCO and 1Malaysia.[70][71]

In a press conference at the London School of Economics Anwar made comments about Zionists and "nasty Jews". In the press conference he also stated that, "There are good Jews, there are bad Jews, there are good Muslims and bad Muslims."[72]

In May 2010, B'nai B'rith International, a prominent Jewish human rights organisation condemned Anwar in a letter to the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, claiming that Anwar was a "purveyor of anti-Jewish hatred" and asked the American government to suspend all contact with Anwar.[73]

2012 Israeli-Palestinian Security comments[edit]

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Anwar Ibrahim stated, "I think our policy should be clear--protect the security [of Israel] but you must be as firm in protecting the legitimate interests of the Palestinians."[74]

This comment sparked an array of criticism from Malaysia's ruling party, UMNO. UMNO member of parliament, Khairy Jamaluddin, stated that Anwar's comments "show a blanket support for anything Israel does" and that "The issue of Palestine is a top foreign policy priority for my party, it would be an issue during the election year or otherwise ... timing doesn’t matter.".[75]

Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad said he was not surprised by Anwar's comments, and stated with regard to Ibrahim's relationship with the Jewish community, "You can't be friendly with them and against them".[76]

The opposition party PAS stated that it would respond to Anwar's comments on 12 February.[77]

Later, Anwar was made to clarify his stand in which he said that the remarks were consistent with the two-state solution that is accepted by the Arab world, as well as Malaysia and Hamas, the Palestinian government.[78]

In response, Anwar responded by saying he supported a "two-state solution" with Palestine, a policy he said was no different from the official stance adopted by the United Nations and Malaysia itself, "I am issuing a stern warning to anyone trying to twist my statement just so that they can say that I have betrayed the aspirations of the Palestinian people" and that his party's stance "is to defend the rights of whoever it is that has been victimized".[79]

Views on gay marriage and homosexuality[edit]

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Anwar stated that he opposed gay marriage as he upholds the sanctity of marriage between men and women but the laws on sodomy in Malaysia must be changed as they are "archaic".[80]

In an interview with British Broadcasting Corporation, Anwar said Malaysia’s laws concerning homosexuality – which imprison anyone found guilty of sodomy for up to 20 years, and also potentially expose them to strokes of the cane and a fine – are "archaic," though he maintained he supports the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. He earlier was asked by an interviewer on BBC whether he plans to abolish the set of laws penalizing sodomy in Malaysia after he had been targeted by the laws twice. Clarifying his comments to the Wall Street Journal, Anwar maintained that he does not advocate legalizing homosexuality or making gay marriage permissible — only that the laws should be amended to ensure private affairs are not penalized. "It is not my business to attack people or arrest people based on their sexual orientation," he said. "Morality is in the public sphere, not beyond that."[81]

13th general election[edit]

On the 13th general election, Anwar Ibrahim as the Leader of the Opposition led his Pakatan Rakyat coalition which comprises the three parties (DAP, PAS, PKR) to contest in the election. On 25 February 2013, Pakatan Rakyat launched their manifesto titled The People’s Manifesto: Pakatan the hope of the people to capture the attention of 13 million voters, pledging to reduce their financial burden, among other promises.[82][83]

Ibrahim speaking at a rally denouncing the May 2013 election results.

Pakatan Rakyat did not achieve the regime change target in the election despite obtaining 50.9% of popular vote compared to the 47.4% gained by BN. This is due to heavy malapportionment of the electoral districts.[84] Pakatan Rakyat also gained 7 more parliamentary seats compared to the 12th general election.

Prior to the election, Anwar said that he would step down from politics if his team did not win the election. During an interview with an Australian media he specifically stated that "I will try my best. I am confident we will win. But if not, I will step down." In the same interview, Jim Middleton (the interviewer) stated that Anwar Ibrahim is becoming the Lee Kuan Yew of the Malaysian opposition[85] Al Jazeera also reported that Anwar Ibrahim came so close to win the election on 5 May 2013 however he has yet to fulfill his promise to step down. It is also reported that Anwar Ibrahim is delaying his resignation by refusing to admit Barisan Nasional victory in the general election.[86] On 7 May 2013, Anwar Ibrahim vowed to lead a "fierce movement" to reform the country’s electoral system and challenge the results of an election he lost.[87]

On 8 May 2013, about 120,000 people wearing black gathered at Petaling Jaya Stadium, Kelana Jaya, Selangor, to attend a rally organised by Anwar to protest against the election results and demand a free and fair election.[88] Since then, the #Black505 movement continued for another 2 months with touring all over the country. A successful fund raising #Black505 dinner was held in Thean Hou temple hall on 22 June 2013, hosted by Wangsa Maju MP Datuk Dr Tan Kee Kwong on behalf of PKR. Anwar Ibrahim immediately launched petition of over 30 disputed parliamentary seats in July 2013, but the cases were thrown off election court for technical reasons.[89]

Reformasi 2.0[edit]

In March 2014, Anwar was sentenced to five years in jail after the Malaysian Court of Appeal overturned his acquittal at the High Court and found him guilty of sodomising his former aide Saiful Bukhari Azlan. Saiful, 28, had accused Anwar of sodomising him in 2008 shortly after the 12th general election and even swore on the Quran that he was telling the truth.

The decision by the Kuala Lumpur Court of Appeal came late on 7 March 2014 as Anwar prepared to contest a state by-election on 23 March he was expected to win, opening the way for him to become the Menteri Besar of Selangor state, the country’s main economic hub surrounding Kuala Lumpur.[90]

On 8 March 2014, PKR Deputy President Mohamed Azmin Ali said at a Kajang by-election campaign in Sungai Sekamat there would be Reformasi 2.0 soon to protest against Anwar’s sodomy conviction which allegedly a political move to remove Anwar from politics. On 21 March 2014, Anwar launched Reformasi 2.0 movement at the Kajang Stadium at 9pm.[91] It however have yet create an impact as it have lukewarm support.[92]

Kajang by-election[edit]

On 27 January 2014, ADUN of Kajang, Lee Chin Cheh resigned.[93] This triggered a by-election. A day later, Anwar Ibrahim was announced as Pakatan Rakyat candidate for the by election.[94] Anwar's candidacy heighten speculation that he is tipped to take over as Selangor Menteri Besar at a later date to resolve a feud between the Selangor PKR and current Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.[95] Anwar however, downplayed the speculation as he could " ...strengthen the PKR leadership in Selangor."[96] and if he did become the new Menteri Besar when winning the seat, it is only to "...enhancing the level of achievement of the state as it is our model state and the home of the Pakatan leadership"[97]

On 9 March 2014, PKR announced party president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as its new candidate for the Kajang by-election. [98] This is following Anwar Ibrahim sentenced to five years' prison after Malaysia's court of appeal overturns sodomy acquittal causing Anwar to lose his qualification to be the state assembly candidate. [99]

Personal life[edit]

Anwar was born in Cherok Tok Kun, a village on the mainland side of the northern Malaysian state of Penang. His father, hospital porter, Ibrahim Abdul Rahman was believed to be of mixed Malay and Indian Muslim descent[100] and started his career as a hospital porter, later to join politics as the UMNO Member of Parliament for Seberang Perai Central between 1959 to 1969 and also as the Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Health from 1964 to 1969. His mother Che Yan Hussein, was a housewife and was active in UMNO grassroots politics in Penang.[101] He undertook his secondary education at the Malay College Kuala Kangsar. He was educated at the University of Malaya, where he read Malay Studies, and worked on his Masters in Literature through National University while in prison between 1974-75.[102]

He is married to Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and they have four daughters and a son. His eldest daughter, Nurul Izzah Anwar, is also a member of Parliament for Lembah Pantai.

Election Results[edit]

Parliament of Malaysia
Year Constituency Government Votes Pct Opposition Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1986 P041 Permatang Pauh, Penang Anwar Ibrahim (UMNO) 17,979 70.56 Mohamad Sabu (PAS) 7,500 29.44% 26,098 10,479 74.82%
1990 Anwar Ibrahim (UMNO) 23,793 75.69 Mahfuz Omar (PAS) 7,643 24.31% 31,740 16,150 78.32%
1995 P044 Permatang Pauh, Penang Anwar Ibrahim (UMNO) 27,945 76.08 Haji A. Rahman Manap (DAP) 4,715 12.84% 37,618 23,230 78.79%
Ustaz Haji Mazani Abdullah (PAS) 4,071 11.08%
Parliament of Malaysia: P044 Permatang Pauh, Penang
Year Opposition Votes Pct Government Votes Pct Others Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
2008 Anwar Ibrahim (PKR) 31,195 66.64% Arif Shah Bin Omar Shah (UMNO) 15,524 33.16% Hanafi Mamat (AKIM) 92 0.20% 47,258 15,671 80.84%
2013 Anwar Ibrahim (PKR) 37,090 58.56% Mazlan Bin Ismail (UMNO) 25,369 40.06% Abdullah Zawawi Samsudin (Ind) 201 0.32% 63,332 11,721 88.33%

References[edit]

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  4. ^ IIUM Past Presidents
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  82. ^ Manifesto to curb monopolies, spur economy
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  99. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-07/an-malaysian-court-overturns-anwar27s-sodomy-acquittal/5307456
  100. ^ Mokhtar Petah (1993), "....Datuk Sri Anwar Ibrahim kerana mereka mendapati beliau juga dari keturunan India." p. 164
  101. ^ Alias Muhammad (1994), p. 177
  102. ^ Allers, Charles, The Evolution of a Muslim Democrat: The Life of Malaysia's Anwar Ibrahim (New York: Peter Lang, 2013), 57.

Other references[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Mokhtar Hashim
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports
1983–1984
Succeeded by
Sulaiman Daud
Preceded by
Manan Osman
Minister of Agriculture
1984–1986
Succeeded by
Sanusi Junid
Preceded by
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Minister of Education
1986–1991
Succeeded by
Sulaiman Daud
Preceded by
Tun Hussein Onn
President of International Islamic University of Malaysia
1988–1998
Succeeded by
Mohd Najib Abdul Razak
Preceded by
Daim Zainuddin
Minister of Finance
1991–1998
Succeeded by
Mahathir Mohamad
Preceded by
Ghafar Baba
Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
1993–1998
Succeeded by
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Vacant until January 1999
Parliament of Malaysia
Preceded by
Zabidi Ali
Member of the Dewan Rakyat
for Permatang Pauh

1988–1999
Succeeded by
Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
Preceded by
Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
Member of the Dewan Rakyat
for Permatang Pauh

2008 – present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
Leader of the Opposition of Malaysia
2008 – present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Shuhaimi Kamarudin
Leader of UMNO Youth
1982 – 1987
Succeeded by
Najib Tun Razak
Preceded by
Ghafar Baba
Deputy President of UMNO
1993 – 1998
Succeeded by
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Vacant until May 2000
Preceded by
Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
Leader of the Pakatan Rakyat
2008 – present
Incumbent
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Guillermo Putzeys Alvarez
President of UNESCO General Conference
1989 – 1991
Succeeded by
Bethwell Allan Ogot
Preceded by
Driss Jettou
Chairman of Development Committee
of World Bank

1998
Succeeded by
Tarrin Nimmanahaeminda

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anwar_Ibrahim — Please support Wikipedia.
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