Malaysian election decoded

by Tim Newton
Don’t be underneath any illusion what has simply occurred in Malaysia. The country hasn’t been freed from the bonds of a corrupt and draconian long-term authorities and about to soar into a model new era of democracy, development and prosperity.
That a 92 yr previous former premier, who nurtured both his current deputy Anwar Ibrahim and the ousted PM Nazib Razak, can win an election is extra an indication of the country’s issues than a prospect of new hope.
The present Malaysia, along with its political corruption and ethnic tensions, is as a lot Mahathir Mohamad’s fault as anybody else’s. His riding into historical past as the saviour of recent Malaysian politics is proof that Malaysians have a really quick memory. Or maybe they have been just THAT determined to do away with Najib Razak, who never quite shook the stain of the IMDB corruption scandal.
A quick history. Anwar Ibrahim was Malaysia’s deputy PM and finance minister who has been credited, and lauded, for steering Malaysia through the 1997 asian monetary disaster. In 1998 Newsweek magazine named Anwar the “Asian of the Year” but later that year things became very prickly between Anwar and Mahathir simply before the UMNO General Assembly. (UMNO was the principle party within the Barisan Nasional coalition that held sway in Malaysian politics for six many years.)
“At Under the table , a book, “50 Reasons Why Anwar Cannot Become Prime Minister”, was circulated containing graphic allegations of homosexuality, in addition to accusations of corruption in opposition to Anwar. The e-book was written by Khalid Jafri, an ex-editor of the government-controlled newspaper Utusan Malaysia. Anwar obtained a courtroom injunction to forestall further distribution of the guide and filed a lawsuit towards the writer for defamation. Police charged the writer of the book with malicious publishing of false information. The police were instructed to research the veracity of the claims.”

He ended being tried in 1998 in what has internationally described as a ‘political fix up’. What was actually occurring behind these dramatic and salacious allegations? Anwar was pushing for a well mannered and respectful transition into the highest 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 needs. Neither 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 lots of previous political baggage.
At this stage a royal pardon has been sought and, reportedly, granted, to launch Anwar from jail. Anwar would still 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 apart and permit Anwar to be the Malaysian PM.
This long political saga is a good distance from being over but no one should consider that that is anything apart from a power seize by an ageing ‘disruptor’ and political expediency-over-integrity for Anwar..

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