Thursday, February 14th, 2019 Anwar Ibrahim: Confronting Authoritarianism

Thursday, February 14, 20194:00PM - 6:00PMThe Vivian and David Campbell Conference Facility, 1 Devonshire Place


15th Annual Seymour Lipset Memorial Lecture


Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the leader of Malaysia’s ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition and President of the People’s Justice Party, is expected to lead the country as its eighth Prime Minister. He served as Deputy Prime Minister in 1993-98 and Finance Minister in 1991-98. Since 1998, he has led the reform movement to strengthen democracy and the rule of law in the country. For his principled stance on issues of justice and the rule of law, he has spent over ten of the past 20 years in solitary confinement as a prisoner of conscience. He received a full pardon for all of the crimes alleged against him just days after his party won the 14th Malaysian General Election on 9 May 2018.
Anwar is highly regarded for his stance against corruption and his skillful management of the Malaysian economy during the Asian financial crisis. He has called for bold reforms to Malaysia’s political economy in order for it to remain competitive in the 21st century. He believes an independent judiciary, free media, and respect for the rule of law are the foundations on which Malaysia’s economic strength can be expanded. He further believes that the government must not ignore the plight of the poor and marginalized and should take active steps to create a humane economy. The multiethnic People’s Justice Party that he leads has provided a template for how Malaysia’s diverse ethnic and religious groups can work together toward a common national objective.


Anwar Ibrahim
President, People's Justice Party of Malaysia

Clifford Orwin
Professor of Political Science, Classics, and Jewish Studies, University of Toronto

Matthew Walton
Opening Remarks
Professor, Department of Political Science


Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto

Department of Political Science, University of Toronto


Donner Canadian Foundation

National Endowment for Democracy in Washington

The Embassy of Canada to the United States

Asian Institute, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy

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