Malaysia\'s Anwar Ibrahim Returns After Two Decades On The Political Sidelines

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Anwar was freed in 2004 and cleared of the sodomy charges after Mahathir retired. He led an opposition alliance to major gains in the last two elections, winning the popular vote in 2013.

But in 2015, Anwar was imprisoned again after new allegations of sodomising an aide that he and his supporters said were a government plot to crush the opposition.

"They want to end Anwar's political career, but they underestimated the wrath of the people," Anwar said at the time. "Authoritarian leaders always believe the best way to deal with dissidents is to jail them, but throughout history, it has always backfired."

His opposition alliance broke up after its Islamist ally left. It regrouped as the Alliance of Hope, but it was Mahathir's political comeback and his embrace by Anwar's party that helped seal the opposition's victory.

Mahathir was spurred out of retirement by a corruption scandal at 1MDB, a state fund that is being investigated by the US and several other countries after associates of defeated Prime Minister Najib Razak allegedly stole and laundered $US4.5 billion ($6 billion) from it. The fund was set up by Najib in 2009 to promote economic development but accumulated billions in debt.

Source : http://www.afr.com/news/politics/world/malaysias-anwar-ibrahim-returns-after-two-decades-on-the-political-sidelines-20180515-h1046b

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