The media is widely reporting that Anwar Ibrahim, a Malaysian opposition politician linked to the global Muslim Brotherhood, has greatly benefited from the March 8 elections in that country. According to one report:
Malaysia’s political world has been upended. The March 8 election left the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi hobbled though still in power, its legalized system of preferences for ethnic Malays under attack. When the dust settles, the most powerful man in Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy may be opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, a former deputy prime minister. Anwar, 60, spent the 2004 election in prison after being ousted from the government and prosecuted on criminal charges — later overturned — of having homosexual relations.“Anwar Ibrahim is back and a political force to be reckoned with,” said Andrew Aeria, a political analyst for Enterprise LSE, the commercial arm of the London School of Economics. “This massive shift in electoral support reflected an unprecedented cross-ethnic mood for change.”
Ibrahim has many ties to the global U.S Muslim Brotherhood include helping to found the International Institute of Islamic Thought where he currently serves as a director, representing Asian youth and serving as a trustee for the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) during the 1970’s and early 1980’s, and appearances at numerous Brotherhood-linked conferences. As a previous post noted, Ibrahim was scheduled to speak last December at a conference in Istanbul that featured a large number of prominent speakers with ties to the global Muslim Brotherhood. However, local media describe what might be described as the many face of Anwar Ibrahim:
DATUK Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who started as a firebrand Islamic student activist, reinvented himself as a Malay nationalist after joining Umno in 1982 while continuing to promote and defend Islam. In 1999 after he was sacked, jailed and desperately fighting to save his political career, he had a difficult and momentous choice to make between forming a Malay-only nationalist party or a multi-racial party as his future political vehicle.Considering the need to show a united, strong political face – both to Malaysians and his legions of foreign supporters, Anwar chose a multi-racial platform. It was a “politically correct” decision and successfully piled the pressure to free him and return him to the political mainstream. But in the process Anwar lost the two main planks he had rode to come within a whisker of becoming Prime Minister – as champion of Malay nationalism and promoter and defender of Islam. Now, as a leader of a multi-racial party, he cannot speak exclusively about Malay nationalism or about Islam but has to present himself as a Malaysian leader and stand on a platform of equality, justice and fairness for all Malaysian races.
Media reports indicate that various Malay states will now be governed by combinations of Ibrahim’s PKR party in combination with the Chinese DAP and the Islamic party known as PAS. The reports also indicate that hotels and entertainment outlets in one of four states claimed by opposition parties were already making changes including changes in more conservative dress and greater discretion in the serving of alcohol. Although the PAS secretary-general said “changing lifestyles was not the party’s top priority”, his statement on the subject implied that such change might be a future priority:
“We appreciate the fact that we obtained this massive victory this time through all Malaysians in Kedah, the Malays and the non-Malays,” he told AFP. “We are not going to let down any racial groups,” he said. “We want to repay their support with policies that benefit all.” “We will … not impose overnight on the people, especially on matters like their lifestyles.”
The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) has been active in Malaysia for many years although the organization no longer lists a Malay affiliate.