Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim

Political Reformist
Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia (1993 – 1998)

About The Speaker

Anwar Ibrahim is a prominent Malaysian politician who served as Deputy Prime Minister from 1993 - 1998 and Finance Minister from 1991 - 1998.

Since 1998 he has led Malaysia’s Justice Party in its mission to strengthen democracy and the rule of law in the country. Although he spent over eight of the last twenty years in detention as a political prisoner, his party achieved a historic electoral victory in the May 2018 Malaysian elections, shattering the ruling party’s 61-year hold on power. He was released from jail days after the election and granted a full pardon from politically motivated, trumped up charges. The new government has indicated that Anwar is the Prime Minister in-waiting and is expected to take over the premiership of the country within the next two years.

Anwar is highly respected for his principled stance against corruption and his skillful management of the Malaysian economy during the Asian financial crisis. He has called for bold reforms to Malaysia’s political economic system in order to remain competitive in the 21st century. He further believes that even as public policy seeks to develop infrastructure, attract foreign investment and grow the economy, the plight of the poor and marginalised should not be overlooked. The multi-ethnic Justice Party that he leads has provided a template for how Malaysia’s diverse ethnic and religious groups can work together towards a common national objective.

Throughout his career Anwar has held key positions in international institutions, including President of the UNESCO World Council, Chairman of the Development Committee of World Bank and International Monetary Fund, Honorary President of Accountability, and Advisory Board member of the International Crisis Group.

Leadership in the 21st Century: Winds of Change

20 September 2018

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim started by addressing the student population, and shared that the purpose and aim of education is the assimilation of knowledge for the dissemination of truth. He also regaled the audience with his journey as a politician in Malaysia, and how he overcame the many tribulations that were in his path.

Following that was a vigorous Question and Answer session moderated by SMU Chairman Mr Ho Kwon Ping. The questions flowed freely and touched on topics ranging from Singapore-Malaysia relations, to his personal mantra, including one about what keeps him up at night, which drew a candid reply from Datuk Seri Anwar. On a more serious note, he stressed that leaders must always show humility and compassion, and to always consider the needy and marginalised when forming policies.

Media Coverage

At SMU’s Ho Rih Hwa Leadership Lecture Series held at SMU Hall yesterday, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the de facto leader of Malaysia’s ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition, was quizzed on a range of issues during the robust question-and-answer session moderated by SMU Chairman Mr Ho Kwon Ping. During his lecture titled “Leadership In The 21st Century: Winds of Change”, Mr Anwar peppered his speech with quotes from poets and philosophers, and touched on ongoing trade tensions between the United States and China, the need to nurture creative minds and the need for leaders to maintain values such as humility and compassion. About 1,200 students, academics and diplomats attended the session.
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the de facto leader of Malaysia’s ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition said he was just joking when he spoke about watching Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad being sworn in as Prime Minister on May 10 and feeling that it should have been him instead. He had made this comment during the question-and-answer session at SMU’s Ho Rih Hwa Leadership Lecture Series held at SMU Hall.