H.E. Dr Anwar Ibrahim
Birth: 10 August 1947 (Age: 70)
Source of Influence: Political
Status: Featured in current year
Ibrahim is a Malaysian politician of global stature. He was the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia from 1993-98 and was then widely expected to succeed Mahathir Muhammad. A falling out between the two led to him being jailed on controversial charges. When the Supreme Court overturned his sodomy conviction in 2004, he was freed from jail and took up academic and other positions in the UK and USA. Once the term of his political ban had expired in 2008, he returned to Malaysia and was voted back into parliament. He was then charged with sodomy for a second time, but acquitted by the high court in 2012. In the 2013 elections, Anwar was re-elected to parliament and his coalition won 89 seats, losing to Najib Raza’s BN party, which won 133 seats. In February 2014, his acquittal was overturned and he was back in prison. His imprisonment on sodomy charges has been condemned as unjust and a travesty by many international leaders and rights organisations. Although still in prison, in July 2017 he received the backing of Mahathir Mohamad and was named de facto leader of his country’s opposition coalition – Pakatan Harapan.