Indonesian scholar lauds PM Anwar inspiring political journey

Indonesian scholar lauds PM Anwar inspiring political journey

JAKARTA, Sept 10 (Bernama) — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s recent interaction with youths both from Malaysia and Indonesia in Jakarta during the “Meet Anwar” programme drew the attention of many in Indonesia, including a scholar who admired the Malaysian Prime Minister’s inspiring political journey.

The event held while Anwar was there to participate in the 43rd ASEAN Summit in Jakarta recently prompted University of Indonesia (UI) researcher Yanuardi Syukur to write on the Malaysian prime minister’s remarkable political journey and the insights he shared during the interaction.

In his article in Majelis Ulema Indonesia (MUI)’s website, he wrote: “We all know that the journey of this 76-year-old man was a difficult one. Over a decade spent behind bars but his spirit to persevere burned brightly, ultimately leading him to become prime minister in 2022.”

Yanuardi also cited another scholar Dr Nurul Isnaeni, an International Relations expert at UI, who said Anwar’s challenging political journey has shaped him into a resilient politician and a leader who survived the odds stacked against him.

During the programme Anwar recounted a conversation with Indonesia’s third President B.J. Habibie in Jakarta in 2015, just a day before the highest court in Malaysia jailed him.

Despite Habibie’s deep concern over the fate awaiting Anwar, he was resolute in his decision to return to Malaysia and continue his struggle even if it meant going to prison once more.

Yanuardi, who is also the Indonesian Ulama Council’s foreign relations and international cooperation manager, noted this reflected the strength of the human spirit like seen in the past where freedom fighters resisted colonisers in defence of human dignity and their homeland.

Also, based on observations, Yanuardi sees Anwar maintaining a close relationship with his wife and children. He said this was also obvious in Anwar’s message during the interaction when he stressed the importance of family support during challenging times.

According to Yanuardi, Anwar advocates using time wisely, and prioritising faith and knowledge.

While in prison, Anwar memorised the Quran and Hadith, reading books received from global friends and emphasised self-enrichment through learning and sharing knowledge with society.

“His lectures introduce influential authors like Alexis de Tocqueville and Muhammad Iqbal, inspiring positive thinking and actions,” he noted as Anwar had alluded to many of the philosophers and Muslim scholars in his insights and replies to the questions from audience.

Yanuardi pointed out that Anwar’s many advice, whether explicitly stated or implied, serves as a profound source of inspiration not only for Malaysians who are guided by the Rukun Negara but also Indonesians guided by the Pancasila.

Anwar reminded the participants from both countries the significance in strengthening the bilateral bonds and as part of the larger ASEAN community.

This, is also resonates with Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s own perception who also likened ASEAN to a harmonious, cohesive, and high-achieving family.

‘Meet Anwar Programme’ in a nutshell highlighted Anwar being not only a charismatic and accessible leader back home but also abroad where he has a strong following as well.


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