103 Facts About Anwar Ibrahim


Anwar bin Ibrahim is a Malaysian politician who serving as the 10th and current prime minister of Malaysia since November 2022.


Anwar Ibrahim served as the 12th and 16th Leader of the Opposition from August 2008 to March 2015 and again from May 2020 to November 2022.


Anwar Ibrahim has been the chairman of the Pakatan Harapan coalition since May 2020,2nd President of the People's Justice Party since November 2018 and the Member of Parliament for Tambun since November 2022.


Anwar Ibrahim served as Deputy Prime Minister and in many other Cabinet positions in the Barisan Nasional administration under former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad from 1982 to his removal in 1998.


Anwar Ibrahim was Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister during the 1990s and was prominent in Malaysia's response to the 1997 Asian financial crisis.


Anwar Ibrahim was jailed in April 1999 after a trial for sodomy and corruption that was criticised by human rights groups and several foreign governments, until his release in 2004 after his conviction was overturned.


Anwar Ibrahim made a comeback as Leader of the Opposition from 2008 to 2015 and coalesced opposition parties into the Pakatan Rakyat coalition, which unsuccessfully contested in the 2008 and 2013 general elections.

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Anwar Ibrahim disputed the results of the 2013 elections and led a protest in response.


Mahathir outlined a plan for Anwar Ibrahim to take over from himself as Prime Minister after an unspecified interim period.


Anwar Ibrahim received a royal pardon from Yang di-Pertuan Agong Muhammad V and was released from prison in May 2018.


Anwar Ibrahim returned to parliament in the 2018 Port Dickson by-election while his wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail served as the Deputy Prime Minister in the PH administration.


On 2 December 2022, Anwar Ibrahim appointed various members of Parliament from Pakatan Harapan, Gabungan Parti Sarawak, and UMNO to serve as ministers in the cabinet of the newly-formed unity government.


Anwar Ibrahim has long been an advocate for Islamic democracy and for reforms to Malaysia's political system.


Outside of politics, Anwar Ibrahim has held positions at various academic institutions.


Anwar bin Ibrahim was born in Cherok Tok Kun, Bukit Mertajam, Penang, Malaya.


Anwar Ibrahim's mother, Che Yan binti Hussein, was a housewife active in UMNO grassroots politics in Penang.


Anwar Ibrahim undertook his secondary education at the Malay College Kuala Kangsar.


Anwar Ibrahim was educated at the University of Malaya, where he got a bachelor's degree in Malay Studies, and worked on his Masters in Literature through the National University of Malaysia while in prison from 1974 to 1975.


From 1968 to 1971, as a student, Anwar Ibrahim was the president of the National Union of Malaysian Muslim Students.


In 1974, Anwar Ibrahim was arrested during student protests against rural poverty and hunger.


Anwar Ibrahim was imprisoned under the Internal Security Act, which allows for detention without trial, and spent 20 months in the Kamunting Detention Centre.


Anwar Ibrahim is the co-founder of the International Institute of Islamic Thought in the USA.


Anwar Ibrahim has been one of 4 acting directors, a board member of IIIT and a trustee.


Anwar Ibrahim was a chancellor of International Islamic University Kuala Lumpur between 1983 and 1988.


In 1982, Anwar Ibrahim, who was the founding leader and second president of an Islamic youth organisation called Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia, by joining the United Malays National Organisation, led by Mahathir Mohamad, who had become prime minister in 1981.

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Anwar Ibrahim rapidly rose to high-ranking positions; his first ministerial office was that of Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports in 1983; after that, he headed the Agriculture Ministry in 1984 before becoming Minister of Education in 1986.


In 1988, Anwar Ibrahim became the second President of International Islamic University of Malaysia.


Anwar Ibrahim backed free-market principles and highlighted the proximity of business and politics in Malaysia.


Anwar Ibrahim advocated greater accountability, refused to offer government bail-outs and instituted widespread spending cuts.


In March 1998, Anwar Ibrahim was selected as the Chairman of the Development Committee of World Bank and International Monetary Fund from March 1998 until September 1998.


In May 1997, Mahathir had appointed Anwar Ibrahim to be acting Prime Minister while he took a two-month holiday.


In Mahathir's absence, Anwar Ibrahim had independently taken radical steps, which directly conflicted with Mahathir's policies, to change the country's governing mechanisms.


Anwar Ibrahim obtained a court injunction to prevent further distribution of the book and filed a lawsuit against the author for defamation.


On 2 September 1998, Anwar Ibrahim was fired from the Cabinet, and many reports state that he was under investigation for sodomy, an act that is illegal in Malaysia.


In what the Sydney Morning Herald termed a "blatantly political fix-up", Anwar Ibrahim was arrested on 20 September 1998 and detained without trial under the country's controversial Internal Security Act.


Weeks later, Anwar Ibrahim was charged with corruption for allegedly interfering with his own police investigation.


Anwar Ibrahim made a public apology to Anwar and paid undisclosed damages.


Anwar Ibrahim denied having anything to do with the mattress, although the DNA tests came out positive.


The Federal Court overturned his conviction and Anwar Ibrahim was finally released from solitary confinement on 2 September 2004.


Shortly after Anwar Ibrahim was dismissed as deputy prime minister by the then prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, Anwar Ibrahim and his supporters initiated the Reformasi movement.


In 1999, Anwar Ibrahim brought suit against Prime Minister Mahathir for defamation for allegedly uttering accusations of immoral acts and calling Anwar Ibrahim a homosexual at a news conference in Malaysia.


However, on 15 September, the Court of Appeal ruled unanimously that its previous decision to uphold a High Court ruling that found Anwar Ibrahim guilty was in order, relegating Anwar Ibrahim to the sidelines of Malaysian politics until 14 April 2008.


The only way for Anwar Ibrahim to have been freed from this structure would have been for him to receive a pardon from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.


In July 2006, Anwar Ibrahim was elected Chair of the Washington-based Foundation For the Future.


Anwar Ibrahim was one of the signatories of "A Common Word Between Us and You" in 2007, an open letter by Islamic scholars to Christian leaders, calling for peace and understanding.

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In November 2006, Anwar Ibrahim announced he planned to run for Parliament in 2008 after his disqualification expired.


Anwar Ibrahim was critical of government policies after his release from prison, most notably the New Economic Policy, which provided affirmative action for the Bumiputras.


Anwar Ibrahim was at the forefront in organising a November 2007 mass rally, called the 2007 Bersih Rally, which took place at Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, to demand clean and fair elections.


On 14 April 2008, Anwar Ibrahim celebrated his official return to the political stage, as his ban from public office expired a decade after he was fired as Deputy Prime Minister.


Anwar Ibrahim was victorious in the Permatang Pauh by-election held on 26 August 2008.


Anwar Ibrahim formally declared Anwar the leader of the 3-party opposition alliance.


On 26 August 2008, Anwar Ibrahim won re-election in the Permatang Pauh by-election and returned to Parliament as Leader of the Opposition.


Anwar Ibrahim has stated the need for liberalisation, including an independent judiciary and free media, to combat the endemic corruption that he considers pushes Malaysia close to failed state status.


Anwar Ibrahim continued to attack Najib on his first day as prime minister, stating he found inconsistencies in the latter's decision to release 13 Internal Security Act detainees.


Anwar Ibrahim said as long as the ISA existed, Barisan Nasional could still detain citizens at will.


Anwar Ibrahim has made numerous remarks about a supposed conspiracy among the Malaysian government, APCO, Israel, and the United States.


Anwar Ibrahim condemned the Malaysian government for seeking advice from APCO.


Anwar Ibrahim further implied that changes in Malaysian foreign policy could only be explained if Jews were manipulating Malaysia for the United States.


On 22 April 2010 Anwar Ibrahim was censured by Malaysia's parliament for remarks he made during a press conference in parliament on 30 March 2010.


However Anwar Ibrahim retaliated against the Malaysian government attacks by producing two documents to support his claims of links between APCO and 1Malaysia.


Anwar Ibrahim has missed several deadlines he personally set for the transfer of power.


Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi too pointed out that Anwar Ibrahim had missed his own deadline, and dismissed his claim to have secured the defection of 30 MPs.


On 24 October 2008, Anwar Ibrahim admitted problems with his stalled bid to topple the UMNO's majority, saying that Pakatan Rakyat is running out of options to create a majority.


Anwar Ibrahim, who has taught at Oxford and Georgetown University, said he would return to academic life if he lost the next election to incumbent prime minister Najib Razak.


Al Jazeera reported that Anwar Ibrahim came close to winning the election on 5 May 2013 but refused to admit defeat, and therefore did not step down.

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On 7 May 2013, Anwar Ibrahim vowed to lead a "fierce movement" to reform the country's electoral system and challenge the results of an election he lost.


Anwar Ibrahim immediately launched electoral petitions for over 30 disputed parliamentary seats in July 2013.


Anwar Ibrahim described the decision as a bad decision and disgraced the name of the country's judicial institution.


Anwar Ibrahim's candidacy was originally to propel him to become Selangor's Menteri Besar.


Anwar Ibrahim was able to continue using the "Datuk Seri" title because it had been conferred on him by several other Malaysian states.


Anwar Ibrahim said that the possibility of a prison sentence as a result of the allegations could be seen as an attempt to remove him from the leadership of the opposition following his growing support and by-election victories.


Anwar Ibrahim reaffirmed his innocence and cited evidence in the form of medical reports.


The conviction was viewed by some as a politically motivated attempt to prevent Anwar Ibrahim from contesting in the 2014 Kajang by-election, which he was expected to win and becoming Selangor's chief minister.


Anwar Ibrahim was sent immediately to Sungai Buloh Prison, Selangor, to serve the sentence.


Anwar Ibrahim was designated to take over the reins from interim Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad as planned and agreed by the coalition before GE14.


Anwar Ibrahim added that he was keen to travel and honour speaking engagements.


Anwar Ibrahim indicated that he initially had reservations about Mahathir's "reconciliation efforts", but he eventually forgave his former enemy after Mahathir showed "compassion and concern which thought was absent in the past".


Anwar Ibrahim returned to Parliament through the Port Dickson by-election on 13 October 2018, after receiving a royal pardon for a sodomy conviction he maintained was politically motivated.


Anwar Ibrahim won the by-election with an increased majority, returning to Parliament for the first time in three years.


In September 2020, Anwar Ibrahim claimed to have gathered support from a "formidable" majority of MPs for his appointment as Prime Minister.


In July 2022, Anwar Ibrahim said he had the chance to lead the country when a majority of MPs signed statutory declarations backing him as prime minister.


Anwar Ibrahim says that if the recording is genuine, then there is no problem as there is no evidence of treachery or corruption.


In July 2021, Zahid Hamidi has admitted that it was his voice in a recording of a phone conversation with Anwar Ibrahim, which exposed his cooperation with the PKR leader.


Anwar Ibrahim announced he will contest the Tambun parliamentary seat in the 2022 general election.


Anwar Ibrahim has picked Tambun as one of the seats to contest in the upcoming general election as a message that treachery in politics is not acceptable.

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Anwar Ibrahim was sworn-in as Malaysia's 10th Prime Minister on 24 November 2022, by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah, after consulting with the Conference of Rulers of Malaysia.


However, Muhyiddin continued to insist that he had the support of a majority of 115 MPs to form the next government and called on Anwar Ibrahim to prove his majority by showing his Statutory Declarations.


Anwar Ibrahim pledged to hold a vote of confidence on 19 December 2022, once MPs had been sworn into the Dewan Rakyat.


Anwar Ibrahim took on the role of Minister of Finance concurrently with prime minister, while head of Barisan Nasional Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Fadillah Yusof were appointed deputy prime ministers.


In January 2023, Anwar Ibrahim travelled to Kota Kinabalu to address a political crisis in Sabah.


Anwar Ibrahim has advocated for Islamic democracy and has expressed hope that Malaysia be an example of democratic practices in the Muslim world.


Anwar Ibrahim has called for judicial independence, good governance and rejection of authoritarianism.


Anwar Ibrahim believes that there are good and bad Jews, just as there are good and bad Muslims.


In May 2010, B'nai B'rith International, a prominent Jewish human rights organisation, argued that Anwar Ibrahim has used his position in Malaysian parliament to spread anti-Semitic propaganda, such as his claim that Israeli spies are "directly involved in the running of the government".


Anwar Ibrahim later clarified his stance, saying that the remarks were consistent with the two-state solution adopted by the United Nations and Malaysia itself.


Anwar Ibrahim has condemned US bias over the Israel-Palestine conflict, and called for Malaysia to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.


Anwar Ibrahim has stated that he opposes gay marriage and upholds the sanctity of marriage between men and women.


In December 2022, he has filed a defamation suit to Perak PAS chief Razman Zakaria over his claim in a speech that Anwar Ibrahim is an LGBT supporter.


Anwar Ibrahim married Wan Azizah Wan Ismail on 26 February 1980.


Anwar Ibrahim's eldest daughter, Nurul Izzah Anwar, was an MP for Permatang Pauh.


Anwar Ibrahim once appeared in court with a black eye.


Anwar Ibrahim has professed an interest in the works of William Shakespeare, and said that he read a copy of his complete works four and a half times during his imprisonment.


Anwar Ibrahim presented a paper to the World Shakespeare Congress in 2006.