Malaysian election decoded

by Tim Newton
Don’t be under any phantasm what has simply occurred in Malaysia. The nation hasn’t been free of the bonds of a corrupt and draconian long-term authorities and about to soar into a new era of democracy, progress and prosperity.
That a 92 12 months old former premier, who nurtured both his current deputy Anwar Ibrahim and the ousted PM Nazib Razak, can win an election is more a sign of the country’s problems than a prospect of latest hope.
The current Malaysia, together with its political corruption and ethnic tensions, is as much Mahathir Mohamad’s fault as anyone else’s. His driving into historical past because the saviour of modern Malaysian politics is proof that Malaysians have a really short reminiscence. Or maybe they have been just THAT determined to get rid of Najib Razak, who by no means quite shook the stain of the IMDB corruption scandal.
A fast history. Anwar Ibrahim was Malaysia’s deputy PM and finance minister who has been credited, and lauded, for steering Malaysia through the 1997 asian financial crisis. In 1998 Newsweek journal named Anwar the “Asian of the Year” however later that year issues turned very prickly between Anwar and Mahathir simply before the UMNO General Assembly. (UMNO was the main party in the Barisan Nasional coalition that held sway in Malaysian politics for six many years.)
“At the General Assembly, a e-book, “50 Reasons Why Anwar Cannot Become Prime Minister”, was circulated containing graphic allegations of homosexuality, as well as accusations of corruption towards Anwar. The guide was written by Khalid Jafri, an ex-editor of the government-controlled newspaper Utusan Malaysia. Anwar obtained a court docket injunction to prevent further distribution of the guide and filed a lawsuit towards the author for defamation. Police charged the creator of the book with malicious publishing of false news. The police were instructed to analyze the veracity of the claims.”

He ended being tried in 1998 in what has internationally described as a ‘political repair up’. What was really taking place behind these dramatic and salacious allegations? Anwar was pushing for a polite and respectful transition into the top job however Mahathir (who had already been Malaysia’s PM for 17 years at this stage) would have nothing of it and threw his deputy underneath the political bus.
Mahathir isn’t the brand new begin that Malaysia craves and wishes. Well respected is the battered and bruised Anwar, who at 70 years of age, has born the brunt of the excesses of brute pressure and political expediency of his former, and now current, Prime Minister. He has plenty of past political baggage.
At this stage a royal pardon has been sought and, reportedly, granted, to launch Anwar from jail. Anwar would nonetheless need to contest a parliamentary by-election (which he would easily win) and then, THEN, his former mentor/foe/friend/conspirator-to-topple-Najib has to step aside and allow Anwar to be the Malaysian PM.
This long political saga is a long way from being over but nobody should consider that this is something other than a power grab by an ageing ‘disruptor’ and political expediency-over-integrity for Anwar..

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