Anwar Ibrahim: Wikis


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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

Assumed office 
28 August 2008
Monarch Mizan Zainal Abidin
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Najib Tun Razak
Preceded by Wan Azizah Wan Ismail

Assumed office 
28 August 2008
Preceded by Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
Majority 15,671
In office
Preceded by Zabidi Ali
Succeeded by Wan Azizah Wan Ismail

In office
1 December 1993 – 2 September 1998
Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad
Preceded by Ghafar Baba
Succeeded by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi

Born 10 August 1947 (1947-08-10) (age 62)
Cherok Tok Kun, Penang, Malayan Union
Political party PR-PKR
Spouse(s) Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
Children Nurul Izzah Anwar
Ehsan Anwar
Nurul Nuha Anwar
3 others
Alma mater University of Malaya
Profession Politician
Religion Islam

Dato' Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim (born 10 August 1947) is a Malaysian politician who served as Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister from 1993 to 1998. Early in his career, he became a protégé of the Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad, but subsequently emerged as the most prominent critic of Mahathir's administration.

In 1999, he was sentenced to six years in prison for corruption, and in 2000, to another nine years for sodomy. In 2004, the Federal Court reversed the second conviction and he was released. In July 2008, he was arrested over allegations he sodomised a male aide, and faces new sodomy charges in the Malaysian courts.

On 26 August 2008, Anwar won the Permatang Pauh by-election with a majority of 15,671, returning 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. [1]


Early years

Anwar was born in Cherok Tok Kun, a village on the mainland side of the northern Malaysian state of Penang, to an Indian Muslim hospital porter, Ibrahim Abdul Rahman (later to join politics and retire as Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Health) and Che Yan, a housewife (and later UMNO politician). He was educated at University of Malaya, where he read Malay Studies. Prior to that, he took his secondary education at the Malay College Kuala Kangsar.

From 1968 to 1971, as a student, Anwar was the president of a Muslim students organisation, Persatuan Kebangsaan Pelajar Islam Malaysia (PKPIM). Around the same time, he was also the president of Persatuan Bahasa Melayu Universiti Malaya (PBMUM). He was one of the protem committee of Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM) or Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia which was founded in 1971. He was also elected 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, despite the fact that it never happened. He was imprisoned under the Internal Security Act, which allows for detention without trial, and spent 20 months in the Kamunting Detention Centre.

In 1968-1971, he was first groomed in the National Union of Malaysian Muslim Students (Persatuan Kebangsaan Pelajar Islam Malaysia, PKPIM) as the president of the Union. 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 the major changes that he did 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.

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

In 1991 Anwar was appointed Minister of Finance. 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.[2] Mohamad Sabu, a prominent member of PAS questioned where were about 300 million stocks of Petronas Dagang were invested because of the sudden change in UMNO Sabah's delegates' allegiance from Ghafar to Anwar.[3] 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 improve the country's governing mechanisms which were in direct conflict with Mahathir's capitalist 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. The events of late-1998 marked the beginning of Anwar's descent within UMNO and his subsequent ouster from the party and from Malaysian politics.

Financial crisis

During the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997 Anwar, in his capacity as finance minister, supported the International Monetary Fund (IMF) plan for recovery. He also instituted an austerity package that slashed government spending by 18%, cut ministerial salaries and deferred major investment projects. Large-scale infrastructure development projects known as "mega projects" were set back as well, despite being a cornerstone of Mahathir's plans for developing the nation.

Although many Malaysian companies faced the threat of 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, sympathetic to foreign investment and trade liberalisation, whereas Mahathir favored currency and foreign investment controls, blaming unchecked speculation by currency speculators like George Soros for the shrinking economy.[4] There is disagreement among economists whether Anwar's policies would have been more or less successful than Mahathir's. By the time Mahathir decided to impose currency controls and preventive measures to keep hedge funds in check, the Malaysian economy had plummeted to its lowest level yet since the recession of the early-1980s.

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". The response was swift, as Mahathir issued lists of cronies who had benefited from government share allocations and privatisations. The list included Anwar and Zahid, along with several of Anwar's other allies. In the list, Anwar's father and his two brothers are showed to have received shares allocated by the government for the bumiputra. His father Datuk Ibrahim Abdul Rahman and his brothers, Farizan and Marzukhi holds shares amounting to more than 7.1 million units in three companies. On 2 May 1998, Dato' Ibrahim Abdul Rahman, owned 250,000 shares of Pengkalen Holdings Berhad and 3,790500 on Nissan Industrial Oxygen Incorporated. Farizon owned 250,000 shares of Pengkalen Holdings Berhad. Marzukhi owned 2,800,000 shares in Penas Corporation[5]. In the list, Ibrahim Abdul Rahman owned 2,000,000 shares in Industrial Oxygen Incorporated Bhd on 1993.[6].

Charges of corruption and sodomy


At the UMNO 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 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.[7] Among the allegations in the book was that Anwar is homosexual. The police were instructed to investigate the veracity of the claims. In what the Sydney Morning Herald termed a "blatantly political fix-up"[8], Anwar was charged with sodomy, convicted and given a 15 year prison sentence.

In 1999, Anwar brought legal action against Prime Minister Mahathir for defamation for allegedly uttering accusations of immoral acts and calling Anwar a homosexual at a news conference in Malaysia. [9] In 2007, the Kuala Lumpur High Court allowed Mahathir's application to strike out the suit. Anwar was unsuccessful in his appeal after the Court of Appeal dismissed his application in 2009.[10] It was announced on March 1, 2010 that a new panel of Federal Court of judges will be constituted to hear Anwar's application for leave to appeal against the dismissal of his RM100 million defamation suit against Mahathir.[11]

This verdict was partially overturned in 2004, resulting in Anwar's release from prison. 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.[12] The Federal Court on March 8, 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.[13][14][15]

Release from prison

On September 2, 2004, a panel of three judges of the Federal Court (Malaysia's highest court) overturned the sodomy conviction by 2 to 1, finding contradictions in the prosecution's case. However, the judges noted "We find evidence to confirm that the appellants were involved in homosexual activities and we are more inclined to believe that the alleged incident at Tivoli Villa did happen."

Anwar completed his term for corruption after his sentence was being reduced for good behaviour. Although the point was by now moot, an appeal on the corruption charges was heard on September 6, 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 September 7, the court agreed to hear Anwar's appeal. However, on September 15, 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 April 14, 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.

At the time of his release from prison, Anwar was reportedly suffering from serious back problems, which his family said was the result of the beating by the ex-police chief. However, the UMNO-owned newspaper, the New Straits Times, alleged that the injuries had actually been caused by a fall from a horse in 1993 during Anwar's tenure as deputy prime minister. His wife had argued during his imprisonment that he required treatment for his condition at a clinic in Germany. The government refused, claiming that such treatment was readily available in Malaysia, offering medical treatment if necessary. However, in September 2004, after the Federal Court quashed his conviction for sodomy, Anwar was free to travel to Munich for back surgery.

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 School of Advance International Studies in Washington DC as a Distinguished Senior Visiting Fellow, and as a visiting professor in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. In March 2006 he was appointed as Honorary President of the London-based organization AccountAbility (Institute of Social and Ethical AccountAbility).[16]

In July 2006, Anwar was elected Chair of the Washington-based Foundation For the Future [17]. In this capacity, he signed the October 1, 2006 letter to Robin Cleveland of the World Bank, requesting the transfer of the secondment 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 organization.[18] 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.

Political future

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.[19]

He is also the 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.[20]

When asked about the possibility of Anwar becoming the next Prime Minister, former leader Tun Dr. Mahathir reacted by saying rather sarcastically, "He would make a good Prime Minister of Israel".[21]

On April 14, 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. One of the main reasons 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, was due to him leading at the helm.[22] A gathering of more than 1,000 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.[23]

On April 29, 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.[24] Anwar Ibrahim stated he is confident that he can win over enough government legislators in a parliamentary vote in September to end over 50 years of rule by one party. His party pledged to stage a confidence vote on September 16 against Abdullah Badawi and needed the support of just 30 government legislators in the 222-seat lower house of parliament, but missed Anwar's own deadline. Prior to this they had hoped to sway ruling party lawmakers from the states of Sabah and Sarawak to oust the UMNO party from power for the first time since Malaysia won independence in 1957.[25]

On July 27, 2008, Anwar Ibrahim said that he aimed to return to Parliament if a court ordered a by-election near his home town of Permatang Pauh in Penang.[26] He said on July 31 that he would contest a by-election for the parliamentary seat of Permatang Pauh, which was being vacated by his wife in order to expedite his return to political office. His wife Wan Azizah said she handed her letter of resignation to the parliament speaker on 31 July. Party officials said that the by-election had to be held within 60 days.[27]


Permatang Pauh by-election

The Election Commission (EC) has fixed the nomination day for the Permatang Pauh by-election on August 16, with polling to be held ten days later on August 26. Some 58,459 voters in the Permatang Pauh constituency would be eligible to vote on August 26, a working Tuesday, adding that the figure also include 490 postal voters.[28] Umno Seberang Jaya assemblyman Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah is the Barisan Nasional leadership’s choice to face Anwar Ibrahim by-election.[29][30]

Anwar said: "Barisan Nasional is clearly overwhelmed. It's no longer a by-election. It's more than that". Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak admitted the ruling party was the underdog: "It is going to be an uphill task but nothing is impossible in politics."[31]

Election Victory

Anwar Ibrahim was victorious in the Permatang Pauh by-election held on August 26, 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] Anwar won by a large majority against Arif Shah Omar Shah of the National Front coalition, according to Election Commission officials.[33] Reuters reported "Anwar Ibrahim has won with a majority of 16,210 votes"; according to news website Malaysiakini (, Anwar won 26,646 votes, while the government's Arif Omar won 10,436 votes.[34] People's Justice Party spokewoman Ginie Lim told the BBC: "We won already. We are far ahead."[35]

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.[36][37] According to his party and information chief Tian Chua, Anwar Ibrahim will be sworn in as a member of parliament on August 28 Thursday after a landslide by-election victory that ended his decade-long political exile.[38]

On August 28, 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 a.m. 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."[39][40] At that time Anwar needed 30 government lawmakers to defect to the Opposition in order to form the next government.[41][42][43]

Member of Parliament

On August 28, 2008 just after being sworn in as an MP, Anwar Ibrahim staged a dramatic walkout with 81 opposition lawmakers hours later in a row over controversial DNA sampling legislation. Anwar has alleged that the legislation which would force suspected criminals to give DNA samples was targeted at him, as he previously refused to provide a DNA sample after again being arrested on sodomy charges.[44]

On September 2, 2008, Anwar said he would dismantle controversial positive-discrimination policies for Muslim Malays if he seizes power in the multicultural country. The Malaysian New Economic Policy (NEP) launched in the early 1970s would be replaced by a system to boost all poor Malaysians, whether they are majority Malays or from the minority Chinese and Indian communities. "We will do everything in our power and disposal to help and assist the poor and the marginalised, which means the vast majority of the Malays and the poor Chinese and the poor Indians, but we do it on a needs basis," he said. He also promised to abandon the Approved Permits (AP) scheme for importing cars, which it is claimed has corruptly enriched a small number of Malay entrepreneurs.[45][46] Anwar has also promised that he will review the Government's Budget 2009 and present one that promoted economic growth, equal wealth distribution, lower taxes and an open tender for government contracts. Among measures he outlined were ways to stimulate local and foreign investment, reduce the 4.8% deficit of the gross domestic product, reduce fuel prices and give tax rebates as a business incentive. Others measures include curbing public expenditure on mega projects and reforming the system of awarding Approved Permits.[47][48]

Anwar Ibrahim said on September 10, 2008 that he will topple Malaysia's government by early next week despite a trip abroad by ruling coalition lawmakers that he claims is aimed at thwarting his plans. About 50 Barisan Nasional lawmakers left for a farming study tour in Taiwan earlier this week amid opposition accusations that coalition leaders had sent them there to keep them away from Anwar and to dissuade some of them from defecting. He claimed to have made tacit pacts with dozens of lawmakers in recent months, and insisted that he was still "very much" on track for his target date of toppling the government.[49][50]

Anwar Ibrahim speaks at an election campaign

On September 14, 2008 Anwar announced that a mass rally would be held against a government crackdown which he says is aimed at preventing him from seizing power within the next few days. The government takeover which is slated for next Tuesday could be delayed by the series of arrests under tough internal security laws. The arrests on Friday of an opposition politician Teresa Kok, a prominent blogger Raja Petra Kamararuddin and a journalist raised fears of a widespread campaign against dissent. The opposition alliance said it expected some 30,000 supporters to gather for the rally at Kelana Jaya stadium[51][52] The Malaysian police have allowed Anwar to hold a rally on Monday protesting against a government crackdown widely seen as a move to derail his plans to take power according to his party.[53] Anwar Ibrahim said Tuesday 15 September, 2008 that he has pledges of support from more ruling coalition lawmakers than he needs to topple the government, and he urged the prime minister Abdullah Badawi to give up power voluntarily and peacefully. Anwar refused to give an exact number or to name the lawmakers, saying they will be subject to harassment by the government or even detention. Four demands had been issued to the PM in a letter sent Monday 15 September. The demands are that MPs are not stopped from defecting; the Internal Security Act not be used to detain defecting or PR MPs; a state of emergency should not be declared; and no roadblocks be set up to stop MPs from going to Parliament.[54] He said the opposition alliance is now seeking a meeting with Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to stake claim to the government and to give him the opportunity to exit gracefully. "We want the transition to be peaceful. That's why we are not giving an ultimatum to Abdullah", he said.[55][56]

On May 10, 2009 Anwar kept up pressure on the Malaysian government, saying that it should apologise to P. Uthayakumar and other Hindraf leaders for detaining them under the Internal Security Act.[57]

Petition against Najib Razak

On April 2, 2009 Anwar and the opposition organised a petition urging the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to delay the appointment of Datuk Seri Najib Razak as prime minister until his reputation has been cleared by an independent commission. The letter was signed by Anwar, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, and DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang, as well as 78 other MPs that represent the Pakatan Rakyat coalition.[58] Anwar continued to attack Najib 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.[59]

Struggle to assemble a majority coalition

Anwar has already missed several deadlines he himself set for the transfer of power, each of which came and went: the most recent was Tuesday 16 September 2008.[60] 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.[61] 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.[62]

On 17 September 2008, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said that Anwar's recent actions have affected political and economic stability. He stated that Anwar had spread lies about the economic situation in the country including that no foreign direct investment was coming in and that the nation was no longer competitive.[63]

On 18 September 2008 Anwar demanded an emergency Parliament session for a no confidence vote in the government, insisting he has secured enough defections from the ruling coalition to topple it. He said he had sent a letter to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, asking that the special session be held no later than Tuesday 23 September 2008. The Parliament was in recess until mid-October. "Any delay in his response would be interpreted as nothing short of sabotage of democratic process and abuse of executive powers," he told reporters. "It is therefore critical for the prime minister to respond." He says he can't reveal the names of MPs who have defected until they demonstrate their loyalty in Parliament and to protect them from possible detention or other extrajudicial efforts by the government to prevent them from crossing over.[64] Anwar said that if Abdullah fails to convene the emergency session, he may meet the King Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin to stake his claim to government.[65] By 25 September Anwar had still not amassed enough votes, creating doubts for Malaysians about whether he was really ready to take power[66], 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[67][68] to broker Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's step down from power in June 2009, a year earlier than previously promised [69]

On 7 October 2008, Anwar said he still has enough support to topple the government and is deliberating over how to carry out his delayed plan to seize power. He mentioned the 31 MPs who want to cross over to the opposition have not lost confidence, nor have they reneged on their commitment to crossover.[70][71] Anwar has set another deadline to seize power which is by December before the end of the year. Anwar stated the takeover would be peaceful because Malaysia could not afford the Thai or Filipino mob style violence.[72][73] Anwar stated that convening a special session of the Parliament to debate a no-confidence motion would be pointless. "Under the Malaysian system, the Parliament's speaker has the power to include or exclude items from its daily business," he said. Experts agree that among the options open to Anwar is for BN politicians to symbolically 'cross the floor' of the Parliament to the opposition benches, showing the government it no longer has a majority. Another possibility is to invoke the help of Malaysia's King, Tunku Mizan Zainal Abidin, who has the powers to sack Prime Ministers who no longer have a parliamentary majority, as well as asking majority leaders to form a government.[74]

On 24 October 2008, Anwar admitted problems with his stalled bid to topple Umno's majority, saying that Pakatan Rakyat is running out of options to create a majority.[75] 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."[76] Media within the country have taken an increasingly hostile view towards Anwar's protestations and failed threats to assemble a majority government.[77]

Anwar has stated that taking over of federal government did not materialise because a letter to negotiate the matter sent to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was not entertained by him. Another reason he gave was that Barisan Nasional MPs wanting to defect had put condition that their names not be revealed until they were ready to do so.[78]

Pakatan Rakyat gains in Perak, Sarawak and Terengganu

On 16 November, 2008 Anwar received membership application forms from Gabriel Adit Demong, an independent Sarawak state assemblymen and from 11,752 individuals accompanied him. Anwar said Sarawakians were now ready for change, saying Adit had volunteered to lead a recruitment drive for more members for PR.[79][80] Anwar has said that PKR has set its sights on wresting Sarawak from Barisan Nasional in the next state election and the work will begin in December 2008. He mentioned that Sarawak was a state rich in petroleum, gas, timber and other natural resources but its people remained poor and were hungry for change.[81]

In the recent by-election in Kuala Terengganu on January 17, 2009 Anwar stated the win by the opposition which increased opposition seats in Parliament to 83, showed momentum for political reform had gained strength "The victory is proof that the people are still thirsty for change" he said in a statement.[82]

On 25 January, 2009 Datuk Nasarudin Hashim, Umno Perak’s assemblyman for Bota, has quit UMNO with immediate effect and crossed over to PKR, citing the interests of his constituents. Anwar has stated that the defection reflected the sentiments of the voters, primarily the Malays in Datuk Nasarudin Hashim's constituency.[83] However this gain was reversed during the Perak constitutional crisis that started in January 25, 2009 when BN took over the state government of Perak. On March 3, 2009 Anwar Ibrahim stated the Perak state assembly had to be dissolved because the current crisis was getting out of hand. He said that Pakatan Rakyat wants voters to decide who they want to lead the state.[84]

On May 14, 2009 Anwar said that Pakatan Rakyat were ready to meet with Prime Minister Najib to resolve the Perak state crisis. He however said that best solution was to dissolve the state assembly and call for a fresh election to determine the valid state government of Perak.[85] Anwar criticised the Federal Court’s decision on February 9, 2010 which confirmed Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir as the Perak Mentri Besar, arguing that the verdict proved Umno did not have the courage to face the public in an election.[86]

Recent gains

On 18 July, 2009 Anwar welcomed Datuk Chua Jui Meng's decision to quit MCA to join Parti Keadilan Rakyat. Chua said that he was joining PKR to help preserve the two-party system that had emerged after the 2008 general elections.[87] He said that this system was under attack by UMNO-led government. Chua's decision was prompted by the sudden death of a PR political aide, Teoh Beng Hock. Former MCA Senator Datuk David Yeoh and former Lumut MP Datuk Yap Yit Thong also announced they were joining PKR at the same time.[88]

Allegations of BN bribing Pakatan MPs and problematic PKR members

A report was lodged against former Kedah menteri besar had been caught on closed circuit television camera offering money to a Pakatan Rakyat assemblyman to cross over to Barisan Nasional. Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim claimed that this was covered in an operation conducted by the then MACC.[89] Anwar claimed that Mahadzir’s agents were alleged to have offered up to RM5 million for a defection.[90]

Anwar also spoke of three police reports lodged by former Bukit Selambau assemblyman V Arumugam. The reports were lodged over various harassments including an alleged threat that he could end up like former Lunas state representative Joe Fernandez if he persisted in his political activities. Fernandez died after being shot three times in 2000.[91] Anwar also showed a photograph of three bullets sent to PKR Bakar Arang state representative Tan Wei Shu. It was alleged to have been sent when Tan declined an offer to defect. Tan made a police report but claims no police action was taken.[92]

Anwar Ibrahim has admitted on February 16, 2010 to have wrongly picked some candidates to be the party’s parliamentary elected representatives in the last general election in 2008,[93] and apologise to the voters for voting these characters into office.[94] He mentioned that the party would be extra careful in the selection of electoral candidates in coming general elections, ensuring that they were unwavering, strong and clean.[95][96] Anwar has accused Prime Minister Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor of being behind the latest resignations from PKR, such as Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng and Bayan Baru MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim who became independents.[97]

Defections from PKR and future as Opposition Leader

In 2010, three PKR Members of Parliament resigned from the party to sit as independents.[98] UMNO Youth President Khairy Jamaluddin suggested that it would be contrary to convention for Anwar to remain as Opposition Leader as PKR was no longer the largest party in the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition (the largest party now being the Democratic Action Party (DAP).[99] DAP leader Lim Kit Siang had earlier stated that his party would support Anwar remaining as Opposition Leader even if the DAP had more Members of Parliament than PKR.[100] The other major Pakatan Rakyat member, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), also stated its support for Anwar remaining in the position.[101]

New allegations of sodomy


On June 29, 2008, online news portal Malaysiakini reported that an aide of Anwar Ibrahim had lodged a police report claiming that he had been sodomised by Anwar. The news has since been updated with reports that SMS messages are being distributed claiming that the person who made the report is Anwar's aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, who was arrested and allegedly forced to make a false confession. The same text message also claimed the possibility of Anwar being arrested.[102] Anwar has said that the possibility of a prison sentence as a result of these allegations could be seen as an attempt to remove leadership and transference of power issues caused by his growing support and by-election victories. He also reaffirms his innocence and cites proof in the form of medical reports. [1] The second sodomy trial began on 2 February, 2010 after numerous delays and pre-trial manoeuvrings, including difficulty by the defence in getting access to the evidence for their case. Anwar has continually claimed that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is the mastermind behind Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan’s testimony.[103]


Report against Police Chief and Attorney General

Anwar began to raise the stakes in his fight with the government by lodging a police report against its police chief and top lawyer for faking evidence against him in a similar case a decade ago. Anwar claims he has proof that Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan and Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail concocted evidence for his corruption and sodomy trials in 1998 and 1999 which kept him imprisoned until he was freed in 2004.[104][105] In retaliation Musa Hassan sued Anwar Ibrahim for alleged defamation on 21 July, demanding unspecified compensation.[106] On 10 October, 2008 the investigating officer of the case, Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim stated in his affidavit that Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail tried to hide facts from his superiors in the investigations into the "black eye" incident. In the allegations it was stated that Gani had tried to slow down investigations, even as Zain was trying to complete quickly. Mat Zain claimed that Gani was present on the 30th floor of the Federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman on Sept 20, 1998, the day Anwar was beaten by the then Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Noor. On Jan 6, 1999, the Attorney General chamber stated that Mat Zain's investigations were incomplete and that they could not identify who had assaulted Anwar.[107]

Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim, who investigated Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s black-eye beating in 1998, accused the country's top lawyer and police chief of fabricating evidence in the assault. He claimed there was an attempt to introduce a fake medical report prepared by a Dr Abdul Rahman Yusof from Hospital Kuala Lumpur that suggested Anwar’s injuries were self-inflicted.[108]

Altantuya murder case

On July 3, 2008, Anwar presented allegations which claimed that the Deputy Prime Minister, Najib Abdul Razak, was involved in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder case, and called for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the matter. He showed a sworn statement by murder accused Abdul Razak Baginda's private investigator P. Balasubramaniam that claimed police suppressed evidence to protect some personalities, including proof that Altantuya knew Najib.[109]. The private investigator, however, retracted his statement the following day after he was detained by the police for reasons unknown [110] leading to allegations that his retraction was coerced.[111] He and his family has since gone missing leading the family members fearing for his safety to lodge a missing person's report [112]. The police have since claimed to have initiated a manhunt for the private investigator.[113]

Anwar Ibrahim wished Abdul Razak Baginda well after his acquittal, but questioned the manner in which the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder case was handled by the police and the prosecution. Anwar has said that there is general and growing perception that the investigation was not done professionally and that there is clear motive to cover up. He mentioned that a lot of evidence was not adduced during the trial. He also questioned the move to change the prosecution team and the presiding judge before the trial even started. The case was originally heard before Justice K.N. Segara before it was transferred to Justice Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yassin. The prosecution team led by Salehuddin Saidin was replaced with another team led by Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah.[114] He also raised the issue about Najib's involvement, the alleged SMSes between Najib and Razak Baginda and various other evidences the public has raised previously.[115]

Fuel price debate

On July 6, 2008, Anwar challenged the prime minister and his deputy to debate in the reduction of petrol prices.[116] He told a crowd of 20,000 supporters at an anti-inflation rally that the government should quit over a recent fuel price hike. The stadium was ablaze with demonstrators wearing T-shirts in red, the colour of the protest movement. The fuel price hike has heaped pressure on Abdullah after the March polls which handed the opposition its best ever result—a third of parliamentary seats and control of five states.[117]

On July 15, 2008, Anwar participated in a live televised debate with Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek entitled "Today We Form the Government, Tomorrow the Fuel Prices Will Go Down"[118]. The event was organised by online news portal Agenda Daily and was broadcast live over TV9, Astro Awani and Bernama TV. Anwar said it would only cost the Government RM5bil to bring down fuel prices by 50 sen and continued saying that RM2 billion could be saved by reducing the country’s electricity buffer of 40% to 20%, as the extra capacity only benefited independent power producers (IPP).[119]

Anwar further hit out at the recent increase in fuel prices, saying such drastic measures within a short period had pushed inflation up which is detrimental to the economy and places an unnecessary burden on the people. He said that fuel prices could be reduced if waste from corruption and inefficiency was eliminated.[120] The Minister hit back with several personal attacks on Anwar's character, including incidents which occurred during Anwar's time in office.

Chin Peng

Anwar Ibrahim has voiced support to allow the former leader of the Communist Party of Malaya, Chin Peng to be allowed to return to Malaysia.[121] His remarks have been slammed by UMNO leaders who called them regrettable. [122] to accusation as a plot to gain support of the Chinese community.[123]

Usage of the word Allah

Anwar Ibrahim has questioned the sincerity of the Malaysian Home Ministry for allowing a public demonstration against the recent “Allah” ruling. The ruling allowed the Catholic weekly Herald to use the term to describe the Christian God in their national language edition.[124] Anwar has claimed that the “Allah” issue had been blown out of proportion to cause a split in the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition and the coalition would not be divided over the issue.[125]

Publications and speeches

Anwar giving a speech in 2005.




Media and news



Notes and references

  1. ^ a b Interview with Anwar Ibrahim
  2. ^ Ian Stewart, The Mahathir Legacy: A Nation Divided, a Region at Risk, Allen & Unwin, 2003, p 22-24 :"(Anwar) used ... large cash payments to win enough support to secure the position of UMNO deputy president and replace veteran leader Ghafar Baba as deputy prime minister.... Anwar used the payment and patronage system to his advantage.... Anwar's followers - as witnessed by myself and other journalists- were handing out packets of money to acquire support of UMNO division leaders in his 1993 campaign against Ghafar Baba... They were not only working for Anwar but under his instructions."
  3. ^ Tamadun magazine, July 1998:
  4. ^ soros public enemy&st=cse&pagewanted=1
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Judge gives reasons for ruling in favour of Anwar". Daily Express. 2005-01-26. Retrieved 2010-02-03. 
  8. ^
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  10. ^ "Two judges recuse themselves from Anwar’s appeal". Malaysian Insider. 2010-03-01. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  11. ^ "New panel to hear Anwar's bid in suit against Dr M". Sun2Surf. 2010-03-01. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  12. ^ "What is RM100 million?". Malaysian Insider. 2009-05-28. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  13. ^ "Court: Anwar's sacking from cabinet posts is valid". The Malay Mail. 2010-03-08. Retrieved 2010-03-08. 
  14. ^ "Anwar's Sacking From Cabinet Posts In 1998 Is Valid, Federal Court Rules". Bernama. 2010-03-08. Retrieved 2010-03-08. 
  15. ^ "Update Anwar's sacking was lawful, rules Federal Court". TheEdge. 2010-03-08. Retrieved 2010-03-08. 
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  17. ^ Foundation for the Future Holds its First Board Meeting in Doha, Qatar, July 15, 2006
  18. ^ Ethics Committee Case No2 and President's Paper, p.102, Jun 2, 2005, World Bank
  19. ^ Malaysia's Anwar Says He Plans to Run for Parliament Nov 30, 2006, Bloomberg.
  20. ^ Wan Azizah declares she is Anwar proxy Feb 25, 2008, Channel NewsAsia
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  22. ^ "Malaysian opposition leader Anwar marks end of political ban", AFP, April 14, 2008.
  23. ^ "Malaysia Police Halt Anwar Speech", AFP, April 14, 2008.
  24. ^ Malaysia's Anwar returns to Parliament, Associated Press, April 29, 2008.
  25. ^ "Anwar confident of winning over enough legislators in September vote", Gulf Times, August 5, 2008.
  26. ^ Malaysia's Anwar eyes return to parliament in by-election July 27, 2008, Associated Press
  27. ^ Malaysia's Anwar to contest election for wife's seat July 31, 2008, Associated Press
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  31. ^, Malaysia's Anwar starts campaign
  32. ^, Malaysian government declares by-election defeat to Anwar
  33. ^, Malaysia's Anwar wins by landslide in election
  34. ^, Website says Anwar wins Malaysia vote with big majority
  35. ^, Malaysia's Anwar claims vote win
  36. ^, Malaysia's Anwar wins Parliament seat
  37. ^, Malaysia's Anwar wins seat in parliament
  38. ^ Malaysia's Anwar to be sworn in Thursday
  39. ^, Anwar sworn in as member of Malaysian parliament
  40. ^, NEWSMAKER - Malaysia Anwar sworn in, ends political exile
  41. ^, Malaysia's Anwar returns to parliament
  42. ^, 28-08-2008: Anwar sworn in, appointed as Opposition Leader
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  74. ^ "Malaysia: MPs fear change of govt, charges opposition leader". adnkronosinternational. 2008-10-17. Retrieved 2008-10-17. 
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  78. ^ "Anwar Asks PKR Leaders To Make Weekly Trips To Sarawak". Bernama. 2008-11-30. Retrieved 2008-11-30. 
  79. ^ "Sarawak Holds The Key To PKR Government, Says Anwar". Bernama. 2008-11-16. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
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  81. ^ "PKR wants to take Sarawak from Barisan". TheStar Online. 2008-11-29. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
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  86. ^ "MB vs MB verdict shows Umno is scared, says Anwar". Malaysian Insider. 2010-02-09. Retrieved 2010-02-09. 
  87. ^ "Chua Jui Meng quits MCA, joins PKR (Update)". TheStar Online. 2009-07-18. 
  88. ^ "MCA’s Jui Meng jumps to PKR". Malaysian Insider. 2009-07-18. 
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  91. ^ "PR reps got death threats". The Nut Graph. 2009-02-19. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
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  104. ^ file=/2008/6/30/nation/20080630150522&sec=nation
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  121. ^ Let Chin Peng return says Anwar - MySinchew 2009.06.13
  122. ^ Anwar’s stand on Chin Peng regrettable, says Hisham
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  135. ^ Articles at
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Other references

External links

Home pages

Affiliations and appointments

Political offices
Preceded by
Ghafar Baba
Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
1993 – 1998
Succeeded by
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Preceded by
Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
Leader of the Opposition of Malaysia
2008 – present
Assembly seats
Preceded by
Zabidi Ali
Member of Parliament for Permatang Pauh
1988 – 1999
Succeeded by
Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
Preceded by
Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
Member of Parliament for Permatang Pauh
2008 – present
Party political offices
Preceded by
Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
Leader of the People's Pact
2008 – present


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