“If he overcomes the government’s smear campaign and returns to parliament, Anwar Ibrahim could usher in an era of reform”
From The Guardian
by Bridget Welsh
Next Tuesday’s by-election in Penang in the constituency of Permatang Pauh will determine the future of Malaysian politics. Voters in the largely semi-rural constituency will decide whether to return their controversial favourite son, Anwar Ibrahim, to parliament. The former deputy prime minister was beaten and jailed in 1998 on charges of corruption and sodomy.
He served six years, and subsequently the sodomy charges were dismissed. He now leads an opposition coalition, the People’s Alliance, comprised of three disparate political parties – his own People’s Justice party, the Islamic party PAS and the secular, largely Chinese-based Democratic Action party â€“ which won a record number of parliamentary seats and five of the state governments in the March 2008 polls.