Anwar Ibrahim – Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2007

Time Magazine has honoured our very own Anwar Ibrahim by recognising him as one of the worlds most influential people of 2007. The criteria for selection is not merely people with power. Rather, as Time Editor Richard Strengel explains:

Influence is hard to measure, and what we look for is people whose ideas, whose example, whose talent, whose discoveries transform the world we live in. Influence is less about the hard power of force than the soft power of ideas and example. Yes there are Presidents and dictators who can change the world through fiat, but we’re more interested in innovators like Monty Jones, the Sierra Leone scientist who has developed a strain of rice that can save African agriculture. Or heroes like the great chessmaster Garry Kasparov, who is leading the lonely fight for greater democracy in Russia. Or Academy Award winning actor George Clooney who has leveraged his celebrity to bring attention to the tragedy in Darfur

I believe our leader Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim is the first Malaysian to be given this singular honour. I am proud of him and proud to be associated with him. More great things to come I am sure.


By Paul Wolfowitz

During the 1990s, Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and a group of U.S. Senators organized a forum to exchange views among East Asians and Americans. Asked at one session about the role of Islam in politics, Anwar replied, “I have no use for governments which call themselves Islamic and then deny basic rights to half their population.”

This devout Muslim leader was an impressive and eloquent advocate of tolerance, democracy and human rights. So we were shocked by his arrest and trial in 1998 on charges of corruption and sodomy. I felt his real “crime” had been to challenge Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, whose impressive record will be forever stained by his treatment of Anwar. I joined Senator Sam Nunn and others to speak out in Anwar’s defense. When he was finally released from prison in 2004, U.S. policy on Iraq was unpopular in Malaysia, and Anwar was harshly critical. It would have been easy for him to disown our friendship, but he is not that kind of person. He kept the channels of dialogue open, even while making clear our disagreements.

Anwar, 60, is back in the center of Malaysian politics. The coalition led by his wife Wan Azizah has become the main opposition bloc. His future role can be determined only by Malaysians. One can hope that they will embrace his brand of tolerance, valuing dialogue across political differences, and that this courageous leader will continue to play a leading role on the world stage.

Wolfowitz is a former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense

4 thoughts on “Anwar Ibrahim – Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2007

  1. Heartiest congratulations to Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim and fellow “rakan-rakan seperjuangan” from the People’s Justice Party. May this success and his inclusion in the TIME 100 most influential people list spur the party’s ambitions to greater heights.

    Proud of you too, Din. As you’re part of Anwar’s team, his success reflects on you as well. I am proud to be associated with you and the rest of the “Asian Renaissance” team including Anwar, Khalid Jaafar, Dato Salehuddin Hashim, William Leong, Prof Tay Kheng Soon, Yusmadi Yussoff, Fahda Nur and many more comrades.

    Anwar Ibrahim deserves all this honour. I say that because during the last elections Anwar created the winds of change, and the voters responded with a political tsunami that humiliated Badawi and cohort. Do you know that Anwar is a voracious reader, his latest read being Princeton University Philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah’s “Cosmopolitianism: Ethics in a World of Strangers”. Contrast that with our great leader from Kepala Batas who cannot even finish a BEANO comic book.

    We in PR are working hard to deliver on our Election manifesto and with the help of Malaysians,we can transform our wonderful country. All help, ideas, suggestions and proposals are welcome. For you in Penang, you should work for MP Yusmadi, ADUNs Sim and Malik, and also Jeff Ooi and Tony Pua. Make Penang the place to be for study, work, holiday, medical treatment and recuperation with an excellent transportation system (not RAPID Penang, Jambatan Kedua and Monorel!!) and a clean environment.

    Have you not noticed that Badawi is helping PR to implement some of things we promised we would do for the rakyat? Note that Badawi government has not raised prices of petrol and related products, although the crude oil (Brent Crude) price is now above US110 per tong !!I am fine and in fact, excited about the future.

    Anwar appeals to young and dynamic among us; reactionaries feel threatened by his ideas and programmes.—Din Merican

  2. That’s a good point of view Din. It is also refreshing that you noted abdullah is helping PR to implement some of these things, which is good to hear… Is abdullah changing for the better and starting to listen to what the rakyat wants? I’m all for a better Malaysia 🙂

  3. Pingback: Tiga soalan dalam Dewan Rakyat untuk Anwar belum dijawab lagi « The “thirteen million plus Ringgit” guy rambles….

  4. Pingback: Saiful sumpah muhabalah untuk selamatkan dunia Islam dari Anwar « The “thirteen million plus Ringgit” guy rambles….

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