Freed Anwar Ibrahim symbolises Malaysia’s journey to true democracy
Dr Mahathir Mohamad is back in power in Malaysia. And he facilitated the process for his once bitterest arch-rival, Anwar Ibrahim, to be granted a royal pardon and released from prison. Though Dr Mahathir won the election, the people actually voted in favour of a repressed and oppressed Anwar, who is expected to be his successor. This teaches us that being in prison does not mean the end of everything. Instead, imprisonment can sometimes be a huge blessing.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of the nation of Bangladesh, was a political prisoner who rose to become prime minister. Nelson Mandela was released after 27 years in jail to become the most popular president of South Africa. The world is waiting to watch the excellent leadership of Anwar.
On May 9, Malaysia in fact got real democracy. It has been salvaged from the clutches of fake democracy. Mahathir was an autocratic ruler for 22 years. That was not democracy. Malaysia’s Barisan Nasional party was in power for six decades. That was not democracy either. Now, finally, the opposition Pakatan Harapan party has come to power. The election result has been a victory for democracy.
The people of Malaysia have finally had the moral courage to say no to the politics of deception, pretension, corruption and mockery. They have said no to the rogue culture of the politics of dynasty, the dynasty of Barisan Nasional. This beginning of a new era should transform Malaysia into a real democracy.
M.A. Hossain, Dhaka