Monitor

All the News of the World Comment on the sentencing of Anwar Ibrahim to six years in prison
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AS FINANCE Minister, Anwar wanted to keep Malaysia's markets open, even if that meant interest rates would rise. That was anathema to Dr Mahathir, who was proud of Malaysia's spectacular growth under his rule. Mr Anwar, until then the likely successor to the Prime Minister, showed himself ready not only to defend his economic policies but to challenge Dr Mahathir's leadership. In this essentially political struggle, Dr Mahathir is still on top. But the cost to Malaysia's economic, political and judicial institutions is yet to be counted.

Sydney Morning Herald

THE SIX-year sentence is not particularly heavy in the circumstances of the whole affair. The indisputable fact is that in the country itself, sympathy is overwhelmingly not in Anwar's favour; popular concern being more for national stability, than in what really amounts to a vicious power struggle at the very top with Anwar losing out.Whatever the future development in this affair, Malaysia will not be the same again.

Hong Kong Standard

THE FUTURE of Anwar depends on the fate of a planned coalition of opposition parties being cobbled together to end the National Front's reign and oust Mahathir from office. Anwar is counting on a victory of the coalition of opposition parties to propel him back to power. A win could result in his obtaining a pardon and being installed as PM. That scenario is anchored on the premise that everything is dandy with the coalition. It is not.

Straits Times, Singapore

IT IS impossible to know whether the young Malaysians Anwar courts will pass judgement in his favour at the next elections. In most countries in our region citizens back moves towards democracy. Anwar's trial emphasised the position of Mahathir who is the last of a breed of Southeast Asian rulers, convinced his autocratic style of cronyism and patronage is best for his country. Anwar has emerged once from prison to become a national figure. With elections coming, and democracy in the air, he could just do it again.

Bangkok Post, Thailand

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