Throwback: Anwar Then & Now As He Tables #Budget2023 After Over 2 Decades

It marks the first time Anwar Ibrahim has tabled a budget in 26 years, with the RM386.10 billion allocation being the highest ever in the history of Malaysia.

Cover image via Vincent Thian/AP & Parliamen Malaysia (YouTube)

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Prime Minister cum Finance Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim tabled the revised Budget 2023 in the Dewan Rakyat today, 24 February, marking the first time in 26 years that he tabled a budget

The allocation for the revised budget is RM386.10 billion, making it the highest ever in the history of Malaysia. Themed "Membangun Malaysia Madani (Developing a Civil Malaysia)", it is expected to take into account the current economic challenges, while driving the country's growth and attracting investments.

The last time Anwar tabled a budget was on 17 October 1997

At the time, Anwar, who served as the Minister of Finance, was 50 years old.

1997 was a turbulent period for Malaysia as the country had to undergo an economic crisis known as the Asian Economic Crisis. During this period, Anwar took action by introducing a series of economic reforms and austerity measures that included slashing government spending by 18%, cutting ministerial salaries, and deferring major investment projects in order to overcome the economic crisis.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, as the then-prime minister, watched over Anwar from the sidelines. He would later go on to throw Anwar out of his government over corruption and sodomy allegations.

Anwar Ibrahim while tabling the budget on 17 October 1997.

Image via Vincent Thian/AP

In reprising a role he last played 26 years ago, Anwar has come full circle, while at the same time, taking solace in the fact that he has also reached the pinnacle of Malaysian politics as the 10th Prime Minister

Anwar, who had served as deputy prime minister from December 1993 to September 1998, was briefly appointed to be acting prime minister by Mahathir between 19 May and 22 July 1997.

Touted to be Mahathir's heir apparent for the top political post, Anwar's future soon turned bleak. The then-police chief would also go on to assault Anwar, giving him a black eye, which would later become the logo of his party, PKR. In a turn of events, PKR is now part of the coalition government, with Mahathir out.

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Image via SAYS

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