Leader of the opposition Anwar Ibrahim has welcomed 15 new members to his pact, most of whom appear to be Muslim leaders.
Three individuals who were formerly a part of the Malaysian Islamic Party PAS, along with academic researcher Azis Jakfar Soraji and preacher Ariffin Omar, were among new members of Anwar’s People’s Justice Party, or PKR, it was announced today. The rest included university lecturer Shamsul Azhar Yahya and former Islamic court judge Baharum Hasbullah.
“I feel optimistic that the presence of these Islamic leaders would prove that the People’s Justice Party is inclusive, and for everyone like professionals, artists, religious figures, and others,” Anwar, 73, wrote on Facebook. Prior to this, his party mainly consisted of people from various backgrounds including former actor Fahmi Fadzil, who is now PKR’s communications officer, and former human rights activist Chua Tian Chang. PKR is viewed as a progressive party, which is a reputation that often doesn’t sit well with conservative Malaysians.
“God willing, more [religious figures] would join the People’s Justice Party after this. Welcome to our big family,” Anwar added.
Razali Hassan, Nor Azman Mohamad, and Mohd Rais Mustafa Kamal used to be youth leaders under the PAS party.
Anwar leads Malaysia’s opposition, the Pakatan Harapan coalition, as well as his People’s Justice Party.
Today’s press conference came days after a leaked audio placed him and Zahid Hamidi, leader of Malaysia’s largest political party UMNO, in the spotlight. When asked what he thought about Minister of International Trade and Industry Azmin Ali’s claim that the audio was real, Anwar said: “That’s his opinion.”
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This article, ‘Islamic leaders’ join Anwar Ibrahim’s People’s Justice Party, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.