Who else? ....They made sure he couldn't run by organising the elections one month before he becomes eligible. He sent his daughter to run and she defeated the incumbent BN candidate "reserving" a seat for him.
Anwar...? Who is he?...IMO, I think the moment that best sums up his character was what he said in a CNN interview several years back when he was asked if he felt resentment towards Mahathir for sending him to jail for so many years. His response was ..."it was all politics". Anwar is all politics and he is damn good at it. ...damn good at winning too. PAS was able to win big because Anwar persuaded them to alter their image and drop their demands for an Islamic state. He worked behind the scene to unite the fractious opposition parties to do well in the elections.
When Anwar was in UMNO, he rose quickly to be DPM. The problem was Anwar knew that the status quo had to be changed, the crony politics, the corrupt practices, and there was growing resentment in 1997 and when the Asian crisis struck, Anwar saw it as an opportunity to make major changes - the same type of changes that transformed South Korea for the past 10 years. Unfortunately, UMNO was not quite ready for change and Dr. M saw the risk to his power and acted promptly to take care of him...
It has been a short time since his release from jail and the massive victories of the Malaysian opposition. I've no doubt he will form a viable alternative to the BN by the next General Elections and that will result in a 2 party system in Malaysia. If the BN still cannot make the changes the people demand, it will risk being overthrown.
The Malaysian economy has been booming in the past few years. They have the F1, casinos, and huge shopping malls opening in the cities every other month. The problem was the wealth wasn't distributed equally - even among the bumis there was dissatisfaction that most haven't benefited from the New Economic Policy. The govt is authoritarian and depended on a compliant media to spin information in its favour. The use of the ISA, anti-sedition laws and defamation lawsuits to repress members of the opposition is perceive negatively by the people as undemocratic. The people, especially the young, yearn for more democracy, a bigger voice in govt and real freedom rejecting the social contract of the past 40 years. Now that the people have expressed their demand in the way they voted, the Malaysian govt has little choice but to reform its political process, free up the media and adopt the best democratic practices....or risk losing the next elections.
The message is very clear - as long as people get to vote, all they need to do to get the changes they want is to vote wisely.
There is no doubt the internet played a huge role is the success of the Malaysian opposition's campaign. In 2004 the BN won 91% of the seats, just 4 years later they are denied a two thirds majority in parliament. With the Internet, the main stream media spin is useless the people will eventually find the truth.