ANWAR IBRAHIM’s Moment May Have Passed. A Nelson Mandela of Malaysia-NOW or NEVER Chance To Re-Enter Malaysian Politics; But the Malays WON’T Listen
Right at the moment, the majority of those on the receiving ends never had it so good with all the attending benefits, comforts and privileges would not give up their “rights” and “opportunities” to heed his call for these changes. Why would the Malays and the non-Malays beneficiaries want all these reforms to put a brake to their easy materialistic successes? The ends justify the means so they say. The wheels of motions have been put in place and it will take generations for this to be stopped. Just like a natural disasters - a hurricane or an earthquake, nothing can stopped it and we have to go through the painful process to learn the lessons. and share the mass dreams for a change to take place. We need “shared” or “mass” dreams. In these, we dream individually and collectively of ways in which change could occur. The very energy, direction and focus of these dreams will help change the situation.
But alas, we do not share the same dreams. Only the minority is clamoring for changes. And so all our problems recurred and will remain unsolved until and UNLESS the majority is fully awaken and enlightened to see through this current state of affairs.
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Tamara Lynch, research analyst - a
"I think we are ready for a change," he said. "
Still, officials in his political party said Sunday he will run for president of Keadilan, the opposition People's Justice Party formally run by his wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. "We don't want to be caught unprepared. We are not discounting that elections could be held from June onwards," Nazmi said, explaining that although Anwar is barred from public office, there is nothing to stop him campaigning. Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi replaced Mahathir in 2003 but Anwar said the new leader "has inherited a system and he does not seem to want to change the system." The Barisan Nasional coalition has ruled
Anwar called Abdullah "a very decent, placid man" but said "the corrupt system is very much in place". He added the media was not free and the judicial process was compromised. Anwar has made similar accusations in the past year since switching his focus back to the political scene after leading a nomadic existence with stints lecturing in Britain, the US and Australia after his release from prison in September 2004. Anwar filed a libel suit early last year against Mahathir after the former prime minister said he could not allow Anwar to become prime minister because Anwar was a homosexual. The High Court is to hear Mahathir's application to strike out the suit on April 26. In the BBC interview, Anwar said Mahathir -- "the king, the master, and the maestro" -- had felt threatened by him. Now, Mahathir is "old, very bitter about things," Anwar said.
Banned Malaysian Politician Anwar Ibrahim Plans Return
By Guardian Unlimited © Copyright Guardian Newspapers 2006 ;
After his dismissal, Mr Anwar was arrested and charged with what were widely regarded as trumped-up charges of sodomy and corruption. A cause celebre for human rights groups, Mr Anwar was released from solitary confinement in 2004 after the court overturned the sodomy charge on appeal, but his criminal record bars him from holding political office and from running in general elections until April 2008. Despite the ban, Mr Anwar said there were ways of circumventing the order.
"I am not allowed to speak at public forums but there are ingenious ways of getting around this," he said. "I will address the public at funerals and feasts, these are limited avenues but it has to be done." Since his release, Mr Anwar has held teaching posts at
In his capacity as president of AccountAbility, Mr Anwar submitted a letter to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development that was scathing of the government decision. "What better reference point and benchmark for corrupt politicians and business people alike around the world to be able to speak of the case of 'Britain's national interests' in justifying cronyism, nepotism or straight-forward, arms-length bribery," he said.
There is speculation that Mr Badawi could call a snap general election this year, preempting the lifting of Mr Anwar's political ban. Mr Anwar fully expects such a ploy as
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By Tom Burgis in
Anwar Ibrahim, the former golden boy of Malaysian politics, said on Thursday he hopes to stand for prime minister in elections that could be held by the end of this year. The former deputy prime minister spent five years in prison convicted of sodomy and corruption after accusing his government colleagues of graft. In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Anwar said he would stand in May for the presidency of the opposition Keadilan party, a post currently held by his wife. He said he would seek the premiership in elections late this year or early next, provided he wins the backing of his party’s allies.
Either ambition could put him in violation of a ban on holding political office that lasts until April 2008. The ban was imposed automatically after a corruption conviction that resulted from a widely criticised trial shortly after he was fired as deputy prime minister in 1998 by Mahathir Mohamad, then premier and his erstwhile mentor. Abdullah Badawi, Mr Mahathir’s successor as prime minister, could lift Mr Anwar’s ban but Mr Anwar said he would challenge the ban in the courts were it not lifted. “I don’t have a choice,” Mr Anwar said during a visit to
Currently an adviser to the World Bank, he hopes to bolster Keadilan’s flagging fortunes with a platform of economic growth, institutional reform and tackling graft. However, Tamara Lynch, research analyst at Chatham House, a
Separately, Mr Anwar also revealed he had written to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s anti-bribery committee in his role as president of the British-based AccountAbility think-tank. His letter denounced the British government’s much-criticised role in the cancellation of the Serious Fraud Office’s investigation into alleged corruption in arms deals between BAE and
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ASIA-PACIFIC: Anwar vows to go back into politics if court appeal succeeds
By Hugh Williamson in
Anwar Ibrahim, the former Malaysian deputy prime minister, plans to return to national politics if the remaining conviction against him is overturned by the federal court. That pledge, made for the first time since his release from prison last week, came in an interview with the Financial Times in
Mr Anwar, who aims to overturn the conviction for abuse of power, said he did not want to join the government of Abdullah Badawi, prime minister, or UMNO, the ruling party, but was keen to help build a "responsible opposition". "I don't wish at this stage to be part of the government. I want to express my views, but not necessarily by joining the ruling party of government. I don't want to give any indication [in this direction] because I think we need to press upon the public that a responsible opposition is a necessity in a functioning democracy." He said it was "premature" to decide exactly what opposition role he would play, including whether he would lead the National Justice party, formed by his wife after his arrest.
Mr Anwar made his comments in a private clinic in
He hoped the federal court would on Wednesday overturn a ruling on the abuse of power conviction against him. The court on September 2 threw out sodomy charges. Mr Anwar acknowledged that if the conviction stood, he would be banned from taking up political office until 2008. He said the court decision to release him last week was influenced by political considerations within the government. He said he wanted to push for political and economic reform when he returned to
He felt "no personal enmity" towards the prime minister, although he criticised him for not moving quickly enough on reforms such as fighting corruption. Mr Anwar was jovial for most of the interview, but could not hide his deep bitterness towards Mahathir Mohamad, the former prime minister who sacked him from the cabinet and pressed sodomy and other charges. Mr Anwar had harsh words for Dr Mahathir, comparing him unfavourably to the former Russian leader Joseph Stalin. But his tone was also partly one of a victor. "People in the ruling party don't consider him seriously any more," he said. "His rhetoric is regarded as obsolete." And would Mr Anwar be pressing charges against his enemy if the court overturns the abuse of power charge? "No," he replied. "I have no malice. I don't want to waste my time on him."
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He walks slowly, with measured steps. On the stairs, he holds onto the railing. His back still hurts eight years after a police chief’s punch sent him crashing to a concrete floor and gave him the black eye and bruises that shocked the world. I’ve finally caught up with Anwar Ibrahim, the former deputy prime minister of
He was heir-presumptive to Mahathir Mohamad, longstanding prime minister, but was dismissed
Why had Mahathir turned on him?
The court of “close family members and cronies were feeling insecure with my talking about corruption and the need for freedom.” But real trouble came when “he asked me to bail out his son, who had then a home in
“He got the state petroleum company, Petronas, to come up with the money” and fired Ibrahim. In solitary confinement, Ibrahim took to performing the post-midnight voluntary prayer called Tahajjud, memorizing the Qur’an, exercising and reading both Islamic and Western canons, “enough to become a professor.”
“I have a great wife and kids and friends who stood by me, as did many people abroad. Paul did. And the Canadian high commissioner himself appeared at my trial, and then made sure some Canadian official was always present in court during the proceedings. “My consolation was that others have had it worse. When I met Nelson Mandela later, I told him that compared to his, mine was a short walk to freedom.” Mahathir has since turned against Badawi for cancelling his legacy projects, such as a causeway to
“Nobody dare (help me). They get harassed. Their licences may be revoked.”
The media maintain a blackout, and the bloggers are “harassed and hauled into police stations, and have their computers confiscated.” His wife Wan Azizah, an MP, leads their National Justice Party. But he plans to run for the presidency in May. “If the Registrar of Societies, in the ministry of home affairs, does not approve my request to run, we will go to court.” It’s a good issue to launch his campaign for the next election. “Yes, but I’ll need a good judge.”
It’s possible that Badawi would call the vote this fall, well before Ibrahim’s ban ends next spring. Ibrahim fully expects it.
So, why the Quixotic quest?
The self-described “incorrigible optimist” says he has a commitment to democracy. “I went to jail because of it. Now that I am out, I cannot abdicate that responsibility. The country needs a change. The situation is not hopeless. You cannot under-estimate the wisdom of the people. They are aware of what’s going on.”