See More on Facebook


Former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Anwar to contest PKR presidency

Pardoned in May, the de facto leader of PKR hopes to become the political party’s president at its upcoming polls.

Written by

Updated: +00

Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim announced on Sunday (July 15) that he plans to contest the People’s Justice Party (PKR) presidency in September after discussing the matter with his wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, and party leaders.

“After discussing with Azizah, the deputy president and the leadership, and after taking into account every view and need for the continuity of PKR… I hereby offer myself to contest the position of PKR president.

“God willing, if I receive the mandate from the party grassroots throughout the whole country, I will steer the party as president after the completion of PKR’s national congress which will be held in November 2018,” Anwar said in a statement, according to The Star.

Anwar’s decision to the contest comes after spending three years in jail for sodomy, a charge he claims was politically motivated.

It was the second time the former Islamist student leader had been jailed for the offence. Anwar was first accused of sodomy in 1998, when he was deputy prime minister to then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Widely viewed as Mahathir’s heir apparent, his abrupt dismissal – and subsequent conviction – led to the reformasi movement and the formation of PKR.

Anwar was unable to run for the presidency earlier due to the Societies Act prohibiting those convicted of an offense from contesting or holding office in society.

Now, the former rising star of Malaysian politics seems poised to make a comeback, having struck a bargain with his erstwhile enemy, Mahathir.

A former leader of Malaysia’s largest party UMNO, Mahathir teamed up with his one-time rivals in the opposition Pakatan Harapan coalition earlier this year. In a surprise twist, he was named their presidential candidate on the condition that he make way for Anwar to assume the role should he be released from jail and receive a royal pardon.

Anwar pardoned shortly after Pakatan Harapan’s surprise win over the Barisan Nasional coalition on May 9, paving the way for his return to politics.

In an interview at Komtar last week, PKR youth chief Dr Afif Bahardin said that the growing call for Anwar to contest the party’s presidential post is nothing new, The Star reported.

“We were unable to do that due to the Registrar of Societies restriction. PKR was founded and formed because of reformasi movement inspired by what happened to Anwar. And now ‘is the right time’ to put him in his rightful place as the leader of reformasi movement and ‘catalyst for change in Malaysia,’” he said.

“There is a lot of support and talk within the party, including grassroots, who would like Anwar to lead the party as president.

“We have to prepare him for the eventuality so that when he takes over as the PM, he would be ready,” Afif is quoted as saying in The Star.

Anwar will first have to become a member of parliament before he can become prime minister. Mahathir has said he will continue to lead the country for an estimated two years – though he has remarked that it could be more.

Johor PKR expressed its support for Anwar after he announced that his decision to contest the presidency.

Johor PKR chief Hassan Abdul Karim said that Anwar, if given the mandate by the members, would be able to unite the party and help strengthen Pakatan Harapan, The Star reported.

“We believe that he can bring the party to greater heights which will earn the respect and admiration of our friends and foes.

“Anwar is not just an influential leader in the party but can be regarded as an institution whereby his ideology, thoughts and struggles are close to us,” he said in a statement on Sunday (July 15), according to The Star.

Enjoyed this story? Share it.

Nadia Chevroulet
About the Author: Nadia is an Associate Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia

Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.

By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here


Ghosn charged with falsifying reports

Ghosn and an associated remain in jail on charges of tax avoidance and falsifying reports. Carlos Ghosn, former chairman of Nissan Motor Co., his aide Greg Kelly, former representative director of Nissan, and the automaker itself were charged on Monday with falsifying the firm’s securities reports. Also on Monday, Ghosn, 64, and Kelly, 62, were rearrested by the special investigation squad of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office on suspicion of underreporting more of Ghosn’s income. Ghosn and Kelly were initially arrested on Nov. 19 on suspicion of violating the law by allegedly conspiring to underreport Ghosn’s executive remuneration in the company’s securities reports by a total of about ¥5 billion from the business year ending March 2011 to that ending March 2015. Prosecutors believe the actual amount of his pay was about ¥10 billion. The pair denied the allegations during qu

By The Japan News
December 11, 2018


Air crash investigation could take up to six months

Preliminary report to be out in about a month, as search for black boxes continues. Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) said its probe into the crash of Lion Air Flight JT610 may take up to six months, as the search for the black box flight recorders continued into its third day yesterday. A preliminary report of the investigations, however, will be released in about a month, said KNKT chief Soerjanto Tjahjono. A complete study may take up to six months, he added. Dr Soerjanto’s comments yesterday came amid widespread anticipation that divers might have recovered a black box from the ill-fated flight, after news broke that a part of the fuselage was found in the search area earlier in the day. Indonesian Armed Forces chief Hadi Tjahjanto had said a large object, suspected to be a key part of the Boeing 737 Max 8 jet that crashed

By The Straits Times
November 1, 2018


22 overseas workers rescued from Denmark, Philippine government says

Twenty-two overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have been rescued from dire living conditions by authorities in Denmark, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said. The DFA said the rescued OFWs were truck drivers who had been living and working in “deplorable conditions” in the southern part of the Scandinavian country. DFA officials expressed gratitude to Copenhagen for helping the afflicted Filipinos. The 22 truck drivers were rescued after Danish police raided their camp in the town of Padborg early Tuesday morning, the DFA said in a statement late Tuesday night. The Philippine Embassy in Norway had been closely coordinating with the Danish government for the past weeks in regard to the situation of the Filipinos. “Ambassador Batoon-Garcia flew to Denmark with a team to determine the status of the d

By Philippine Daily Inquirer
October 31, 2018


Indonesia orders checks on all Boeing 737 Max planes after Lion Air crash

Search and rescue crews are still searching the area using sonar to recover debris and material. Indonesian transport minister Budi Karya has ordered local airlines Lion Air and Garuda to inspect their Boeing 737 Max airplanes as the authorities continue to investigate and search for survivors of Monday’s Lion Air crash in which 189 people are feared dead. “We sent a letter to Lion Air and Garuda yes

By The Straits Times
October 31, 2018


Grieving company pays tribute to founder Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha

Thai billionaire who built duty-free empire lauded for his kindness, good heart. Tourists chatting in Mandarin roam the gleaming corridors of this retail haven, browsing the Breitlings and Rolexes after picking up vacuum-packed banana chips. Workmen potter around the domed duty-free complex in downtown Bangkok. Except for the black-clad reporters camped out in front – and two bouquets placed on its grass verge – there were few clues yesterday that duty-free giant King Power had just lost its chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in a helicopter crash in Leicester, England. In a statement issued yesterday, King Power thanked the public for its support. “The world has lost someone who was kind and always had a good heart, one who was generous, one who devoted his whole life to his family and others, and who sacrificed himself for our beloved Thailand,” it said.

By The Straits Times
October 30, 2018


[UPDATE] Lion Air crash near Indonesian capital

Bank books, mobile phones, aircraft seats found as divers search for survivors. The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (Basarnas) received a report on Monday morning that air traffic control had lost contact with a Lion Air flight from Jakarta to Pangkalpinang in Bangka Belitung. The Boeing 737 MAX aircraft was carrying 189 people when it lost contact with air traffic controllers shortly after take-off. A vessel traffic service officer in Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta, Suyadi, told The Jakarta Post that at 6:45 a.m. he received a report from a tugboat, AS Jaya II, that the crew had seen a downed plane, suspected to be a Lion Air plane, in Tanjung Bungin in Karawang, West Java.  

By Cod Satrusayang
October 29, 2018