Is Malaysia Headed For Democracy?

Anwar Ibrahim, the insurgent leader in Malaysia hopes to have a new coalition of parties united behind his candidacy by the end of the week. He is dealing with a government that has ruled for over forty years and there are still fears the incumbents may not wish to depart in a graceful manner. “We want the transition to be peaceful,” said Anwar. “That’s why we are not giving an ultimatum.” He refuses to provide names of members of the ruling coalition who have decided to come over to his group in hope that a new government can ensure democracy is practiced in their nation. Among the goals of a coalition government headed by Anwar would be involving members of minorities such as the Chinese and Hindus more actively in the political process.

During his political life, Anwar has previously been written off, particularly after the government tried to convict him on trumped up charges of sodomy. He has fought against every attempt to stifle voices seeking a more democratic society. Anwar promised that once in power, “there will be no witch-hunting. What we want is to rule without corruption, detention without trial, or theft of the people’s resources.”