Global media is widely reporting that Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, closely tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood, has said that he now has sufficient parliamentary backing to “bring down the government.” According to one report:
Malaysia’s insurgent opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, said Tuesday that he had secured enough parliamentary backing to bring down the government but that he hoped to negotiate a quiet departure by Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi. Postponing a self-imposed deadline Tuesday, and declining to name the defectors from the ruling party, Mr. Anwar said, “We want the transition to be peaceful. That’s why we are not giving an ultimatum.” Mr. Abdullah, whose disastrous electoral setback in March has given Mr. Anwar an opening, scoffed at the idea, calling it “Anwar’s mirage” and asserting that he would not cede power. But support within his party, the Barisan National, has been eroding since the election on March 8, when it slipped below its two-thirds margin for the first time. On Monday, the minister for legal affairs quit and said he would not rule out joining the opposition. Mr. Anwar’s challenge is the most serious threat to the ruling coalition since it took power in 1957, when Malaysia gained independence from British colonial rule. One of the most stable countries in the region, it has been plunged into political turmoil, alongside its neighbor Thailand, where the government is in disarray after three weeks of protests. Mr. Anwar’s plans, as he outlines them, would overturn some of the central pillars of government and open Malaysia to the possibility of democratic reforms. He says he will scrap the internal security act that allows detention without trial, abolish special economic status for ethnic Malays and cleanse the government of corruption and nepotism.
Ibrahim has many known ties to the global U.S Muslim Brotherhood including helping to found the International Institute of Islamic Thought IIIT) 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 Brotherhood. Another recent post also discussed Ibrahim’s appearance at a Saudi economic forum. The current media coverage on Ibrahim appear to be ignoring this history which may be explained by a recent article from the Malaysian media on how Ibrahim has reinvented himself:
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.
Previous posts have discussed Ibrahim’s recent electoral successes.