Long-time opposition leader Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim was sworn in as Malaysia’s Prime Minister on November 24th.
He was appointed the Prime Minister by King Sultan Abdullah after days of political deadlock as the national elections produced a hung Parliament
In the elections held on November 19th, Anwar’s Pakatan Harapan (PH) party won the biggest share of 82 seats, short of the 112 majority it needed to form a government on its own
Born in 1947 to a family of politically active parents in the small town of Cherok Tok Kun in Penang, Anwar Ibrahim began his political career as a firebrand student activist
In 1971, Anwar co-founded Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia, or ABIM, the country’s Islamic youth movement. However, in the early 1980s, he was co-opted by the then prime minister Mahathir Mohammad into the UMNO
His relationship with Mahathir deteriorated when Anwar began advocating political reform within the UMNO
Mahathir sacked him from the deputy’s post in 1998
In the next two years, he was sentenced to a total of 15 years in prison for separate charges of corruption and homosexual acts, both of which he denied and described as politically motivated.
As Anwar takes charge as the Prime Minister, it remains to be seen how he tackles the problems of corruption, inequality, and inflation with his road map for a better Malaysia.