SINGAPORE (May 21): Anwar Ibrahim has been pardoned and released from prison. Lim Guan Eng has been appointed Minister of Finance, subject to the clearing of graft charges against him. The Auditor-General’s report on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) has been declassified. Police have been seen searching the home of former Prime Minister Najib Razak. And, it has been only a week since Pakatan Harapan (PH), led by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, swept aside Barisan Nasional (BN) in a stunning election victory.
For many Malaysians, it all feels like the end of a bad dream. We now know that the hanky-panky at 1MDB began within months of Najib’s becoming prime minister in 2009.
We know that billions of dollars were stolen. And, we know that Malaysia’s top officials lied and lied and then lied some more. But Malaysians who voted on May 9 did not just boot BN out. They also brought an end to old rifts that left them vulnerable to being manipulated and humiliated by their own government. Najib’s time in office was just the darkest hour in a long night before dawn finally broke.