Thursday, 11 October 2018

Malaysia’s Anwar on an impatient comeback trail

Politician's popularity as prime minister-in-waiting will be tested at this weekend's poll, a forced contest some feel puts undue pressure on incumbent premier Mahathir Mohamad

Months after being pardoned and released from prison, the man seen as Malaysia’s prime minister-in-waiting is staging a grand comeback to propel his political ascent. Unable to contest in May’s historic general election, veteran politician Anwar Ibrahim is looking to clinch a decisive majority in Saturday’s (October 12) parliamentary by-election in the seaside constituency of Port Dickson.

While the twice-jailed former opposition leader will by nearly all projections emerge victorious, a crowded field of seven candidates are vying to win the federal parliamentary seat in Negeri Sembilan, a coastal state roughly an hour’s drive from the capital Kuala Lumpur.

Thousands flocked to a campaign rally earlier this week to see Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad publicly endorse the man tipped to succeed him, sharing a stage with Anwar for the first time in two decades. From political allies to bitter rivals and back, the two men have retaken their places at the apex of Malaysia’s politics against all odds.

Read the full story at Asia Times.

Nile Bowie is a writer and journalist with the Asia Times covering current affairs in Singapore and Malaysia. He can be reached at