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Anwar

A columnist in the Saudi Arabian newspaper, Arab News, says the world is in chaos and it needed some positive news and that came with the appointment of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

The columnist, Dr Azeem Ibrahim is director of special initiatives at the Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy in Washington D.C.

He says Anwar’s appointment is also good news for the Muslim world and is one of the events that is happening across the globe that is worth stopping to mark the moment.

“One such tentative positive step was recently taken by Malaysia. Anwar Ibrahim, a perennial opposition leader, took office as prime minister last month. That he might do so seemed unlikely, even impossible, for more than two decades. In all that time, during crisis after crisis, scandal after scandal, Ibrahim toiled in the political wilderness. It was a very difficult road,” he writes.

He adds that the BBC is reminding us that Anwar will not have an easy ride since there are forces arrayed against him that threaten to render his time in office short and unsuccessful.

“But we are getting ahead of ourselves. First, a reminder of who Ibrahim is, what he represents and why his election, after all these years, is good news not only for Malaysia but for the whole of the Muslim world.

The historical role of Anwar

“In the 1990s, Ibrahim was his country’s finance minister and deputy prime minister. His long tenure and steady hands meant he was internationally respected. His time as head of Malaysia’s economy coincided with a period of remarkable growth and optimism. It was the era of the Asian tigers,” he says.

He describes Anwar as a capable finance minister who has also demonstrated throughout his political career that he is “a socially aware Muslim.”

Anwar is the co-founder of Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia, or Abim, and has been at the forefront of the Islamic revival movement in Malaysia since the 1970s.

But he gives a red card to Malaysia, saying it is a corrupt society.

All of Anwar’s plans will be central to the future of Malaysia which has many problems.

“It is a corrupt society where the rule of law is an inconsistent principle. For years, the country was run by a succession of prime ministers whose Byzantine sense of politics was accompanied by an almost imperial taste for wealth and luxury,” he says.

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