Friday, August 19, 2005

Anwar Ibrahim


I'd been meaning to write about this before and a recent news story gives me the excuse.
Breakfast with the FT's Victor Mallet (subscribers only ---- link )
To hear some middle-class Malaysians talk about Anwar Ibrahim, you would think he was the devil made flesh, guilty of crimes against decent society ranging from gross financial corruption and sexual deviancy to Islamic fanaticism. Such is the effect of seven relentless years of government-inspired calumny.
...
Wan Azizah [Anwar's wife ..] reminds us that the spying suggestions, never followed up in court, were inexplicably illustrated by genuine television pictures of Anwar receiving a 19-gun salute at the Pentagon in Washington, as though such public accolades were normal for secret agents.
Then, the Guardian's Simon Tisdall with "Long fight back for Malaysia's invisible Man"
"But how do you have moderation and democracy when there are no basic rights? This is a very repressive system but repressive mostly without violence. It is civilised repression. It was learned from the British."
Anyway, read both articles. The conclusions: 'Somehow, I think Malaysian politics has not heard the last of him' (Mallet); 'given a level playing field, Anwar can still hope to lead his country one day.' (Tisdall)

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