Jun 1, 2019 - Mar 31, 2020
To explain Anwar Ibrahim’s politics, analysts often do little more than cite known details of his youthful activism, personal charisma, tactical cooptation by Mahathir, and disastrous fallout with Mahathir (1997-98). Doing so produces superficial and static images of Anwar. Those neither show how he was affected by decades of socio-economic change and deep personal experience nor suggest how Anwar contributed to political transformation in Malaysia. This study examines Anwar’s ideas, convictions, and compromises as they were formed, practiced or modified within the contexts of his rapid rise, sudden fall, and unexpected return. The research focuses on how Anwar adaptably crafted his politics, informed by his worldview and shaped by the political fluxes of the past 20 years. The analytical result will be an ideological portrait that offers a tentative guide to the thoughts and priorities of a ‘Prime Minister-in-waiting’.