Anwar Ibrahim’s release proves Malaysia is shifting from effective dictatorship to vibrant democracy
The reaction to Anwar Ibrahim’s release in Malaysia has mostly been one of jubilation. (AP: Andy Wong)
It was the most extraordinary moment.
A week ago, we didn’t think that the Pakatan Harapan Coalition would win government, let alone that Anwar Ibrahim would be free, let alone he would be one to two years away — we think — of becoming the next prime minister of Malaysia.
After chaotic scenes in Kuala Lumpur, Mr Anwar is off to the palace where he will meet the King.
He will hold a press conference where he will explain what’s going through his mind.
Tonight there will be a rally for his supporters, while Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, is getting rid of bureaucrats from the old regime.
There is a difference in Malaysians after the election compared to before the election, and people are more willing to talk to the media — the media is suddenly free.
Many articles are being written about both sides of politics.
It was a state-controlled media and it’s now not, it’s a vibrant democracy.
I don’t think Malaysia has ever been one before.
There was 61 years of one-party rule and effective dictatorship under Dr Mahathir’s original rule. All of that is over.
The country is a real democracy, it seems, and it’s really encouraging.
People are speaking openly about it.
“A breath of fresh air” is the way people describe it over and over again. They are ecstatic.