Anwar Ibrahim

Anwar Ibrahim is the former deputy prime minister of Malaysia and the current leader of Keadilan, the People's Justice Party. Before becoming deputy prime minister in 1996, Ibrahim held various cabinet positions, including minister of agriculture, culture, education, and finance. During his tenure as finance minister, Malaysia earned recognition as an "Asian tiger" and Newsweek named him its 1998 "Asian of the Year" for his role in steering Malaysia's economy out of the Asian financial crisis. Later that year, Ibrahim spearheaded a reform movement that eventually led him to criticize Prime Minister Mahathir - of his own party - for corruption. Ibrahim was subsequently removed from office, arrested, and sentenced to six years in solitary confinement. He was released from prison in 2004, whereupon he became a consultant for the World Bank and also a professor. After lecturing for several years on accountability, democracy, governance, and Islam at St. Anthony's College at Oxford, Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, and Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, he reentered Malaysian politics. In 2008, he won a landslide election to become a member of the Malaysian Parliament. Today, Ibrahim is working to form a new government that would break more than 50 years of one-party rule.