pacific forum History of Pacific Forum

PacNet #41 – Anwar is not the answer

The release of Mr. Anwar Ibrahim from prison and the reversal of his conviction on sodomy charges have been heralded as a landmark in Malaysian politics. Some now look to the former deputy prime minister to lead the Malaysian reform movement. Anwar’s release has been rightfully applauded, but its impact on Malaysian politics should not be overstated; Prime Minister Abdullah Bedawi is the chief beneficiary of this surprising turn of events. The move is good for U.S. relations with Malaysia, however: freeing Anwar eliminates a major irritant and will allow the two countries to forge closer ties in the future.