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The Evolution of a Muslim Democrat

The Life of Malaysia’s Anwar Ibrahim

Series:

Charles Allers

Long before the recent «Arab Spring», when the topic of democracy with in many Muslim countries took center stage internationally, Malaysia’s Anwar Ibrahim, an energetic and charismatic politician, had been one of the most vocal global proponents of the compatibility of Islam and democratic principles. Anwar, who at one time was asked to be secretary-general of the United Nations, has lived a life that is a compelling testimony of the growth and evolution of his love for his country and his faith. Anwar has been active at the highest levels of Malaysian politics for over thirty years, and though he has been jailed for his activism on several occasions, he continues to be a dynamic, passionate voice for the diverse cultures, religions, and peoples of Malaysia. Anwar’s life story is told in a factual, impartial way, and his one-on-one interviews with this book’s author add a personal component. This volume is essential reading for scholars and students interested in Islamic politics and South East Asian studies.

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7 - Anwar: Political Renaissance (2004 – 2013)

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This chapter, consisting of six sections, covers events beginning with Anwar’s release from prison in early September through the present (2013). The first section documents Anwar from his prison release to his self-appointed return to Malaysian politics in June 2005; the second section picks up in mid–2005 and notes events which transpired just prior to the general election in March 2008; and the third highlights the election, new sodomy allegations made against him and Anwar’s by-election victory (March-August 2008). While section four (September 2008–December 2009) covers a second sodomy trial for Anwar and the political maturation of Pakatan Rakyat, the last two sections deal with both the conclusion of the trial and events leading up to Malaysia’s thirteenth General Election in May 2013. September 2004–July 2005 Anwar underwent successful back surgery at the Alpha Klinik in Munich, Germany on 6 September. Dr. Thomas Hoogland performed the procedure and stated Anwar would be near normal in a month’s time. Along with recuperating and spending time with family, Anwar’s stay in Munich consisted of speaking about the conditions of his incarceration and the time afforded him to both read and think (what he would eventually call “splendid isolation” in 2007). In interviews conducted following his surgery he recounted a prison regimen which forbade interaction with television, radio, ANWAR IBRAHIM 164 other inmates, and even prison officials who were discouraged from fraternization via a twenty-four-hour surveillance camera installed in Anwar’s cell (however in September 2004 a Far Eastern Economic Review...

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