GE13 last shot at power, Anwar admits

July 04, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim may quit politics if he fails to wrest power in the 13th general elections due within a year, the opposition leader has admitted to the Financial Times (FT).
In an interview with the international business daily published today, the 64-year-old politician indicated that he is tiring of politics despite the next polls being the best shot he has ever at becoming prime minister, after being sacked as the next-in-line 13 years ago and jailed on twin charges of sodomy and corruption.
"We present our manifesto, our policies and, of course, if I get a mandate, I continue, otherwise I think I’ll go back to teaching," Anwar (picture) told FT.
The influential paper noted that Anwar seemed tired for a man facing his best shot yet of governing a 28 million multiracial population fed-up with over half a century of Barisan Nasional (BN) rule that appears unable to reform politically, socially and economically.
"Now 65, Mr Anwar admits this is 'probably' his last shot at becoming prime minister," the influential paper said.
The lynchpin holding together a disparate opposition pact now known as Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has been running a campaign to take over Putrajaya from the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition and has captivated public imagination with his talk of a non-racial, merit-based society.
“We are changing the entire political landscape of the country. I think a growing number, particularly the younger Malaysians, want Malaysia to evolve as a mature, vibrant democracy,” he told FT.
But the head of the disparate PKR-DAP-PAS opposition pact now known as Pakatan Rakyat (PR) is plagued by continuous health and legal issues that could jeopardise the group's push to Putrajaya.
Despite being acquitted of sodomy charges for the second time in his life earlier this year, the prosecution is still looking to overturn the High Court's ruling and has some 10 days to do so, which could end up with Anwar back in jail, a crushing blow for the man who dreams of being the next PM and hobbling PR's chances at the polls.
Anwar's arch-rival, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, has likened the Bersih rally to an attempt to overthrow his government.
Anwar and two other PKR leaders have also been slapped with several charges over the chaotic April 28 Bersih rally for clean elections, with new ones added yesterday, that could see them jailed up to two years if convicted, stripping him of his lawmaker status and putting him back in the political wilderness he returned from just four years ago.

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