Renowned Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim lauds Erdoğan as the ‘most vocal leader in the Muslim world
Ersin Çelik24 JUNE 2018, 03:07Yeni Şafak
Prominent Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim, who was convicted in 2015 in a case that he said was politically motivated and released with a full pardon from the king in May 2018, lauded Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during a recent visit to Turkey.
After Mahathir Mohamad’s election in May as Malaysia’s new prime minister, he secured a royal pardon for Anwar and has promised to step aside for his friend-turned-foe-turned-ally to become prime minister. Anwar has said that it had been accepted that he would be the next prime minister after Mahathir steps down, but he wants to ensure a smooth transition.
Anwar spoke exclusively to Emeti Saruhan from Gerçek Hayat magazine.
Muslim world lacks strong leaders
“We [Muslims] do not have good leaders. They do not have the courage to speak up. Just look at the Palestine matter. There are very few [leaders] who raise their voices. The matter that must be evaluated is governing. Before, there was Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz. He was able to accomplish great things in two years and three months because of his character. There should be mutual trust between the people and leaders. Democratic elections should be conducted to ensure this,” Anwar said.
Turkish president has an “effective voice”
“Erdoğan is the most vocal leader in the Muslim world. He has courage and represents an important country like Turkey. Turkey is a great country and has a strong economy. People will of course criticize, but I do not doubt Erdoğan’s sincerity. He told me he was doing the best he can. He’s honest. He follows through on his promises,” Anwar added.
Anwar in Turkey to “speak about the truth”
Anwar had been invited by Erdoğan to visit Turkey in 2015, and has been criticized for making his visit prior to Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections held on June 24.
“They say ‘We know why you came.’ I came to speak about the truth. To speak about how I feel. I am someone who spent 10.5 years in prison. I cannot be told to not speak about what I believe in,” Anwar said.