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"The move, made by the cabinet headed by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, was first met with disbelief, but it soon sank in that an unprecedented move in Malaysian history had happened."
- Idlan Zakaria

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Malaysia

The 'Anwar Ibrahim' saga
by Idlan R. Zakaria, 22, Selangor, Malaysia
Sep 24, 1999

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When I was first approached with the idea of writing an article on the Anwar Ibrahim debacle, I backed off. It was a move made out of caution - I didn't want to step on any toes I had no right being near to in the first place.

But after thinking about it for a while, it dawned upon me that who was I going to shield anyway? The whole world practically knows about it, and whether I write about it or not perhaps makes no difference.

Still, today's a fine Sunday morning here in Malaysia and I haven't much else to do but to relax before another gruelling week at work. So I said to myself, why not? Why not take a neutral perspective on matters and contribute to the discussion? So here it is - the Anwar Ibrahim saga from where I stand.

Before I begin, perhaps it would be best to ascertain the fact that I essentially am on nobody's side. For quite a while I have been apolitical and I don't see any reason why I should cross over to either side of the fence.

For those unfamiliar with the issue, the whole debacle started when Malaysia was in the heat of the economic crisis. It was September 1998 and Malaysia was just a few weeks away from staging Asia's first ever Commonwealth Games, (16th in all). It was Sept 2, if I am not mistaken, that the decision was made to sack the then Deputy Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim. The move, made by the cabinet headed by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, was first met with disbelief, but it soon sank in that an unprecedented move in Malaysian history had happened.

At approximately the same time, neighbouring Indonesia was going through an upheaval of its own. Their people were screaming the cries of 'reformasi' - reform - a chant that was soon to be heard on the streets of KL as well.

Anwar Ibrahim had been a member of the cabinet for more than ten years, and it was obvious he had a following. As discontent over his sacking began to spread like wildfire, there were cries of a conspiracy from his corner. He claimed that he was the victim of a conspiracy to fall him because he knew too much about a government he maintains is corrupt.

Is it a conspiracy?

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