Anwar Ibrahim

Malaysian opposition leader and former deputy prime minister

Anwar Ibrahim is the 10th prime minister of Malaysia, the former deputy prime minister, and the former leader of KeADILan, the People’s Justice Party. Before becoming deputy prime minister in 1996, Ibrahim held various cabinet positions, including minister of agriculture, culture, education, and finance. In 1998, Ibrahim spearheaded a reform movement that led him to accuse Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad—from his own party—of corruption, for which he was subsequently jailed. In 2004, the Malaysian Supreme Court overturned the conviction, and he was freed after six years in prison. Upon his release, Ibrahim worked to form a new government that would break more than 50 years of one-party rule while still facing threats of politically motivated charges from the ruling regime. In 2008, he was charged with sodomy and stood trial in 2010–11, eventually leading to his acquittal in 2012. His acquittal was overturned in March 2014. After appealing to the federal court, his conviction was reaffirmed in March 2015, and he was ordered to finish his five-year sentence and subsequent five-year ban on participating in elections. In 2017, Ibrahim’s lawyers submitted a formal demand for his release to the government. In 2018, he received a royal pardon and was released from prison.

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