Malaysia’s Arab Spring happened in September 1998 when former Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was arrested. By refusing to go quietly then, he precipitated a movement whose effects are still reverberating through the country.
The Reformasi was born, and the empowerment felt by those involved has not disappeared but has instead grown and spread. The significance of that movement was more than a simple show of support for Anwar. Instead of a dam bursting, the game change in Malaysia has been more like an avalanche down a gradual slope.
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