|“||Allah (God) is my witness. I will not be silent. I will never surrender.||„|
|~ Anwar Ibrahim|
|“||The will of man is stronger than iron bars.||„|
|~ Anwar Ibrahim|
Dato’ Seri Utama Haji (Dr.) Anwar Dato' Haji Ibrahim (born Anwar bin Ibrahim; August 10th, 1947 - ) is Malaysian politician who served as Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia since 1993 until 1998. He is currently the president of the People's Justice Party (PKR) and leader of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition. Anwar is also the present Member of Parliament (MP) for Port Dickson since 2018.
Anwar himself had served as the Deputy Prime Minister from 1993 to 1998 and Finance Minister from 1991 to 1998 when he was a member of United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the major party in the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition then.
However, he was removed from his post by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and jailed in April 1999. Following his release in 2004, Anwar became the leading figure in the opposition and helped coalesce the opposition parties into the Pakatan Rakyat (PR), which contested the 2008 and 2013 general elections. He was the Leader of the Opposition from 2008 to 2015.
Anwar was sentenced to a five-year imprisonment after a second sodomy conviction in 2015. He received a royal pardon from Sultan Muhammad V, and was released from prison on 16 May 2018 in the aftermath of Pakatan Harapan victory in 2018 general election. He soon made a come back as a back-bencher MP by contesting and winning the Port Dickson by-election.
Act of Villainy & Controversies
First Sodomy Conviction & Corruption Case
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". At the 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 of homosexuality, 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. The police were instructed to investigate the veracity of the claims.
On 2 September 1998, Anwar was fired from the Cabinet and reports state that he was under investigation for sodomy, an act that is illegal in Malaysia. The following day, he was expelled from UMNO. In what the Sydney Morning Herald termed a "blatantly political fix-up", Anwar was arrested on 20 September 1998 and detained without trial under the country's controversial Internal Security Act (ISA). The Home Minister at the time was also the Prime Minister, Mahathir. Weeks later, Anwar was charged with corruption for allegedly interfering with the police investigation of him. While he was in police custody in 1998, Anwar was beaten by the then Inspector General of Police, Rahim Noor. The public and the media only witnessed his black eye after he was brought to Court for the first time, and Mahathir remarked that it could have been a self-inflicted injury to garner public sympathy. Rahim was subsequently found guilty of assault and jailed for two months in 2000. He made a public apology to Anwar and paid undisclosed damages. During the trial, a mattress supposedly stained with Anwar's semen was presented to the court as DNA evidence of Anwar's sexual acts. Anwar denied having anything to do with the mattress, although the DNA tests came out positive. Lim Kong Boon, a DNA chemist, testified during the trial that DNA taken from 10 of 13 semen stains on the mattress matched Anwar's DNA. The defence team implied that DNA samples may have been taken from Anwar, while unconscious, after his beating in police custody, to create false forensics evidence to frame Anwar; however, High Court Judge Augustine Paul accepted that DNA evidence.
The High Court eventually handed down its decision in April 1999, sentencing Anwar to six years' imprisonment for corruption and sodomy. Two months later, he was sentenced to nine years' imprisonment for sodomy, which he was ordered to serve after he completed his six-year sentence for corruption. His trial and conviction were widely discredited by the international community. Amnesty International stated that the trial proceedings "exposed a pattern of political manipulation of key state institutions including the police, public prosecutor’s office and the judiciary" and declared Anwar a prisoner of conscience, stating that he had been arrested in order to silence him as a political opponent.
His conviction was overturned by the Federal Court and Anwar was finally released from solitary confinement on 2 September 2004.
In 1999, Anwar brought suit against Prime Minister Mahathir for defamation for allegedly uttering accusations of immoral acts and calling Anwar a homosexual at a news conference in Malaysia.
The sodomy verdict was partially overturned in 2004, resulting in Anwar's release from prison as he had already served his sentence for the corruption offence. Anwar successfully sued Khalid Jafri for his "50 Dalil Kenapa Anwar Tidak Boleh Jadi PM" book, but Khalid died in 2005 of complications from diabetes before the High Court found that he had committed libel and awarded Anwar millions of ringgit in compensation. The Federal Court on 8 March 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.
Although the point was by now moot, an appeal on the corruption charges was heard on 6 September 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 7 September, the court agreed to hear Anwar's appeal. However, on 15 September, the 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 14 April 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.
Second Sodomy Conviction Case
On 29 June 2008, online news portal Malaysiakini reported that a male aide of Anwar, Saiful Bukhari Azlan, had lodged a police report claiming that he had been sodomised by Anwar. Anwar said that the possibility of a prison sentence as a result of the allegations could be seen as an attempt to remove him from the leadership of the opposition following his growing support and by-election victories. He also reaffirmed his innocence and cited evidence in the form of medical reports. In July 2008, he was arrested over allegations of sodomy again, but was acquitted of the charge in January 2012 by The High Court. The presiding judge ruled that DNA evidence used in the case had been compromised and was unreliable. The prosecution filed an appeal against the acquittal. In March 2014 the appeal court over-ruled the high Court reinstating the conviction. The decision came as Anwar was preparing to contest a by-election on 23 March 2014 which he was expected to win. The conviction prevented him from standing. Human Rights Watch was critical of the decision, saying it was politically motivated.
Two years later, The Court of Appeal overturned the acquittal by unanimously deciding that the High Court failed to “critically evaluate” the evidence submitted by government chemist Dr Seah Lay Hong. As part of his overturned acquittal on 4 March 2014, Anwar was sentenced to five years in jail. Human Rights Watch and the International Commission of Jurists have accused the Malaysian government of meddling in this particular judicial matter and said the verdict was politically motivated. On 10 February 2015, the Federal Court of Malaysia upheld the decision of the Court of Appeal and affirmed the five-year prison sentence. He was sent immediately to Sungai Buloh Prison, Selangor, to serve the sentence.
He is married to Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who was the then deputy prime minister of Malaysia and they have four daughters and a son. His eldest daughter, Nurul Izzah Anwar, is also a member of Parliament for Permatang Pauh.