Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction lowers the bar on the Malaysian legal system

A masked supporter of Malaysia's opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, stands in front a police barricade during a protest demanding his release in Kuala Lumpur on 28 March 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Amanda Whiting, University of Melbourne

These are dangerous times for the rule of law in Malaysia. The Federal Court’s decision on 10 February 2015 to affirm Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s criminal conviction for ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature’ is shocking, but entirely predictable. Read more…

How will the jailing of Anwar Ibrahim impact Malaysia’s foreign relations?

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim arrives at a court house in Putrajaya, Malaysia. Ibrahim began a 5-year prison sentence on 10 February 2015 after being found guilty of sodomising a former male aide in 2008. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: Murray Hiebert and Nigel Cory, CSIS

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s seven-year fight against sodomy charges ended on 10 February 2015. His five-year prison sentence was widely seen as a victory for his political opponents in using the law to silence him (again). Read more…

Anwar jailing could hurt both opposition and Najib

Thousands gather outside the Masjid Jamek LRT station on March 7, 2015 for a giant street rally to pressure the government to free jailed opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahimi in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Yang Razali Kassim, RSIS

The jailing of Anwar Ibrahim following a second sodomy conviction could trigger a chain of events that could shake up Malaysian politics. Unlike after his first jailing in 1998, the opposition, which he leads, is already split and could crumble. But this may well play out as Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is currently under siege within his ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), fights for his own survival. Read more…

Some Malaysian inequality measures more equal than others

A boy runs at a temple casted with shadows of traditional Chinese lantern decorations ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Tuesday, 17 Feb 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Hwok-Aun Lee, University of Malaya

Is inequality in Malaysia going up or down? Answers differ. Official statistics unambiguously show household income inequality going down in the past decade, but almost everyone seems to think it has gone up. So what’s going on? Read more…

Malaysia’s ASEAN chairmanship priorities all in order

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad presents a souvenir to visiting Indonesian President Joko Widodo as Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak looks on at the head office of automaker Proton Holdings Bhd. in Shah Alam outside Kuala Lumpur on 6 February 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Daniel Wu, Pacific Forum CSIS

ASEAN needs a ready and capable steward in 2015 and Malaysia looks to be in the right place at the right time. Malaysia has made clear that realising the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by the end of the year will be its main goal for its 2015 chairmanship of ASEAN. Read more…

Political preference crowding out enterprise in Malaysia

Author: Hwok-Aun Lee, University of Malaya

Malaysia’s government-linked companies (GLCs) are, relatively speaking, among the most extensive and powerful in the world in terms of capitalisation, market presence and socio-political mandate.

GLCs reportedly comprise 36 per cent of the Malaysian stock exchange’s capitalisation and 54 per cent of the entities that make up the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index. Read more…

The tricky economic tasks facing Najib Razak

Malaysia army personnel loading food and goods inside a boat in the Kuala Krai district of Kelantan, Malaysia, 28 December 2014. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Shankaran Nambiar, MIER

After a year of solid achievement on the economic front, Malaysia’s leaders will face difficult circumstances as they implement reform in 2015.

One of the more impressive achievements of the Malaysian government in 2014 was the resolve it demonstrated in trying to balance the budget. Read more…