Wither Malaysia after the Jailing of Anwar Ibrahim?

Presented by ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

The conviction of long time popular figure cum opposition leader of Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim has certainly raised the eyebrows of international concern on the withering state of democracy in Malaysia.

Anwar Ibrahim, once again convicted under sodomy charge since his removal from public office by then Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir in 1998 were widely seen as political motivated persecution. Mr. Anwar has always been seen as a serious threat to ruling regime as he managed to form a strong coalition, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) with three main opposition parties in Malaysia.

In 2008, not long after the acquittal of Anwar Ibrahim, his coalition successfully denied Barisan Nasional(BN) two-third majority in Federal Parliament and garnered five states' ruling power. Moreover, Anwar's return to PR posted a serious threat to the regime in 2013's General Election when the the opposition coalition unprecedentedly gained 52% majority popular votes.

Malaysia, known of its infamous racial politics, attracts the attention international community when the government high-handedly oppress the opposition politicians and social activists with the unjust Sedition Law.

After the departure of late Karpal Singh (DAP), Nik Abdul Aziz (PAS) and the imprisonment of Anwar Ibrahim (PKR) in recent 12 months, how will Malaysia's political dynamic evolve? Will Pakatan Rakyat remain intact? Will there be a unitary government between PAS and UMNO?

About the Speaker

Wan Saiful Wan Jan is the CEO of the Institute of Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS). Prior to establishing IDEAS Wan Saiful spent 17 years in the United Kingdom where he was active in British politics, working in organizations such as the Social Enterprise London, the British Conservative Party’s Research Department and the Commonwealth Policy Studies Unit Think Tank.

Inspired by the liberal vision of Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra al-Haj, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, IDEAS was established on 8th February 2010. IDEAS is a leading think tank in Malaysia, and Wan Saiful’s views are widely sought in both the domestic media and international press.