Anwar, From Prison to Parliament

It was in prison in May 2018 that he allied himself with his former mentor and then sworn enemy, the veteran Mahathir Mohamad for a coalition

Anwar Ibrahim as PM of Malaysia speaking in New York - Photo: Anwar Ibrahim Twitter

By Riad Hullemuth

On Saturday October 13, 2018, Anwar Ibrahim won a major victory in a by-election. It therefore marks his return to active politics.

Victory in this Port Dickson by-election is a step closer to becoming prime minister, his supporters say. After his victory, he said it was a 'vote of confidence' in the government led by then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

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In 1968, Anwar Ibrahim became president of the National Union of Students [UNE] and subsequently one of the main figures of the student protest movements. He participated in several demonstrations against hunger and poverty. In 1983, he became Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, then Minister of Agriculture in 1984. In 1986, he was Minister of Education and in 1991, Minister of Finance and vice -Prime Minister in 1993.

Nepotism and Corruption

Towards the end of 1998, he began to openly criticize his 'mentor', Mahathir Mohamad, for acts relating to nepotism and corruption. In 1999, he was sentenced to six years in prison for corruption and disqualified from participating in politics. He was sentenced to an additional nine years in prison on trumped-up charges related to homosexual acts. Unable to participate in the political life of his country, he accepted a position as lecturer at the University of Oxford and Johns Hopkins University.

It was in prison in May 2018 that he allied himself with his former mentor and then sworn enemy, the veteran Mahathir Mohamad for a coalition, 'the pact of hope', to clean up Malaysia. This allowed them to beat the party in power since decolonization. This election shocked us, as was the case in Mauritius in 2014 where two major parties in the country bit the dust.

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Royal Pardon

After the victory of the Pakatan Harapan a royal pardon was granted to Anwar Ibrahim. During his political fight, he experienced moments of glory and he also experienced very painful moments in prison.

His political beliefs and principles demonstrated that one should never be discouraged. Today, he is the hope of Malaysia.

The then reconciliation of Mahathir Mohamad and Anwar Ibrahim played a crucial role in the victory of the alliance of hope. By becoming a member of Parliament, it will be easier for Anwar Ibrahim to prepare for Mahathir Mohamad's succession.

NOTE: The article was written in 2018 after the Port Dickson by-elections