Shakespeare was Anwars best companion in jail, he says – Business Insider

Posted: September 26, 2019 at 11:42 am


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For 10-and-a-half long years, while jailed for alleged sodomy, Anwar Ibrahim was busy singing songs and reading.

The current Peoples Justice Party (PKR) president sustained himself on music and the musings of prolific writers and thinkers, such as French economistThomas Piketty known for his books onwealth and income inequality and international affairs expert and Singaporean academic Kishore Mahbubani, he revealed during a dialogue at the Milken Institutes Asia Summit in Singapore on Thursday (Sept 19).

Also on his reading list were titles by Indian philosopher Sri Aurobindo, a politican-turned-yogi, andRussiannovelist FyodorDostoevsky who incidentally, also spent10 years in prison and exile, and whose books examine the human psyche.

Anwar, who joked that he had to include the Quran in the list to be politically correct, added that his favourite author while behind bars was none other than famed English playwrightWilliamShakespeare.

Shakespeare makes still the best companion, unrivalledin challenge, he said, adding that his extensive reading had taught him to be human, and humane.

(Reading taught me that) politics is just not about power, but about integrity, about legacy, about defending the rights of the people, the common man, he added.

Read also:20 years later, Dr Mahathir says he shouldnt have dealt with Anwar by complying fully with law

Anwar added that while he had lost precious time with his wife, children and grandchildren, he had chosen to forgive the gross injustice committed against him as needs of the nation took precedence over his personal suffering.

Calling himself a happy man, the prime minister-in-waiting said he could now talk about prison and even make jokes on it.

We need to move on.People ask me: Do you really forgive Mahathir? Look, he did his part. You cant deny the fact that he did contribute to the last phase of this change to unseat Najib at the last elections.

You have to decide what is best and best is to move on, forget the past, forgive, Anwar added. Otherwise it is a disease of the heart.

To great laughter from the audience, he added that the biggest shock he experienced upon being freed was learning about Trumps presidency.

Read also:From prison to palace: a recap of Anwars first day as a free man after being granted a full royal pardon

Constant successionquestions embarrassing for Mahathir: Anwar

When pressed to confirm a May 2020 handover date, the PKR head was noncommittal and saidhe did not appreciate the constant questioning around handover details.

He added it was quite embarrassing to see PM Mahathir slapped with questions on his retirement at every media session, adding that the premier had been consistent and unambiguous about a government transition and identifying Anwar as his successor.

Sometimes hell say: in three years, or two years, but that is Mahathir. You cant change him at 94, Anwar said. I dont believe it is fair to go harping (on it), knowing it is next year.

Read also:I will not go beyond three years, Mahathir says of PM post, confirming that Anwar will succeed him

He added that he had the majority support needed to become PM, and that Mahathir was aware ofparty leaders sentiments.

The former deputy PM also suggested that Mahathir was reluctant to announce a specific date for the handover to avoid becoming a lame-duck Prime Minister.

The term refers to an outgoing politician who has lost power due to the election of a successor.

Anwar said he had no reason to question Mahathirs sincerity, adding that he would patiently wait for the role.

I happen to be one of the most patient people I have been known as the Prime Minister-in-waiting since 1999, he added,again to laughter.

Waiting for a few more months or years is not a question,he added. Inshallah (God wiling), it will happen.

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Shakespeare was Anwars best companion in jail, he says - Business Insider

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September 26th, 2019 at 11:42 am

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