Parti Keadilan Rakyat

Parti Keadilan Rakyat

Infobox Political party
name_english = People's Justice Party
name_native = Parti KeADILan Rakyat

leader = Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim
foundation = April 4, 1999
dissolution =
headquarters = Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
newspaper = Suara Keadilan
youth_wing = Angkatan Muda KeADILan Malaysia
membership_year =
membership =
ideology = Social Justice, Progressive
national = Pakatan Rakyat
international =
website =
footnotes =

The People's Justice Party (Malay: "Parti Keadilan Rakyat", often known simply as Keadilan) is a centrist political party in Malaysia formed in 2003 by a merger of the National Justice Party and the older Malaysian People's Party. Keadilan was led by Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and increased its parliamentary representation from 1 seat to 31 seats in the Malaysian general election, 2008 until the five-year political ban imposed on former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim was lifted on April 14, 2008.

Keadilan promotes an agenda with a strong social justice and anti-corruption emphasis. Recently the party adopted a platform that seeks to abolish the New Economic Policy and replace it with a policy that emphasises on a non-ethnic approach in poverty eradication and correcting economic imbalances.


The early years

1997 saw the economy of Malaysia affected by what is now known as the Asian Economic Crisis. The Finance Minister, Anwar Ibrahim (also Deputy Prime Minister), instituted a series of economic reforms and austerity measures in response. These actions were exacerbated when he tabled controversial amendments to the Anti Corruption Act that sought to increase the powers of the Anti Corruption Agency [Lim Kit Siang : [] ] . Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad disagreed with these measures and ultimately sacked Anwar from all his posts [Garry Rodan, Fellow, Asia Research Centre, Murdoch University, Australia [ Transparency, Asian Economic Crisis and the Prospects of Media Liberalisation] ] .

This incident and the circumstances in which it happened led to a public outcry in what became known as the "Reformasi" movement but it also resulted in the arrest and subsequent incarceration of Anwar on what many believe to be politically motivated charges of sexual misconduct and corruption [Amnesty International [ The arrest of Anwar Ibrahim and his political associates] ] .

Building on the momentum of the "Reformasi" movement, a political movement was formed as Parti Keadilan Nasional (National Justice Party in English) by Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, wife of Anwar Ibrahim, on 4 April 1999. The party was joined by the Democratic Action Party (DAP), the Malaysian People's Party (PRM) and the Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) in a broad based electoral alliance known as Barisan Alternatif (Alternative Front) to take on the ruling Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition in the 1999 general elections.


Between September 27 and 30, 1999, seven activists, including Keadilan leaders; Vice-President Tian Chua, Youth leader Mohd Ezam Mohd Nor, Mohamed Azmin Ali, Fairus Izuddin and Dr Badrul Amin Baharun; were arrested and as a result prevented from contesting in the elections [Aliran : [ The Rakyat have Awakened and They want Justice] ] . Further arrests were made on 10 April 2001 and those arrested were subsequently charged and incarcerated under the Internal Security Act [Amnesty Internation : [ Malaysia: Fear of torture or ill-treatment / incommunicado detention / prisoners of conscience] ] . They became known as the Reformasi 10 [Human Rights Watch : [ The Anwar Case and the Reformasi 10] ] .

1999 general elections

The party entered the campaign with many of its key leaders under arrest and as a result saw it winning only five parliamentary seats in the elections despite gaining 11.67% of the total votes cast. The Barisan Alternatif as a whole gained 40.21% of the total votes cast with PAS gaining 27 seats and DAP gaining ten seats.

Merger with "Parti Rakyat Malaysia"

The post election period saw negotiations between Keadilan and "Parti Rakyat Malaysia" (PRM) on a possible merger [Kyodo News Internation : [ Anwar's party sees future in merger with socialists] ] . Despite some opposition in both parties to the move [Malaysiakini : [ PRM votes to dissolve, merge with Keadilan] ] [Malaysiakini : [ Abim faction’s opposition to Keadilan-PRM merger plan triggers party split] ] , a 13 point Memorandum of Understanding was eventually signed by the two parties on 5 July 2002 [Malaysiakini : [ Leadership transition details included in Keadilan, PRM merger MoU] ] .

On 3 August 2003, the new merged entity was officially launched and assumed its current name [Malaysiakini : [ PKR launched, promises to be truly multi-racial] ] .

2004 general elections

As the new amendments to the party constitution had yet to be approved by the Registrar of Societies, candidates from PRM contested the 2004 General Elections using the symbol of the old National Justice Party [Malaysiakini [ PRM to contest elections under ally's symbol] ] .

The party fared poorly in the elections and only managed to defend one parliamentary seat, despite winning 9% of the popular vote. The poor showing was later attributed to malapportionment and gerrymandering in the delineation of constituencies, with one estimate suggesting that on average, a vote for the Barisan Nasional government was worth 28 times the vote of a Keadilan supporter [Surin, Jacqueline Ann (Jan. 22, 2007). [ German electoral system more democratic] . "The Sun".] .

Anwar Ibrahim freed

On 2 September 2004, in a decision by the Federal Court, Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy conviction was overturned and he was freed. This unexpected turn of events came timely for Keadilan which was facing flagging morale due to its dismal performance in the elections.

Current developments

In December 2005 Keadilan organised its second national congress [Malaysia Today : [ "keADILan akan adakan kongres kedua"] ] . Among the motions passed was the New Economic Agenda [Anwar Ibrahim : [ New Economic Agenda] ] that envisioned a non-racial economic policy to replace the race-based New Economic Policy.

Keadilan managed a breakthrough into Sarawak politics in May 2006. In Sarawak state elections, Dominique Ng, a lawyer and activist, won in the Padungan constituency in Kuching, a majority Chinese locale. Keadilan lost narrowly in Saribas, a Malay-Melanau constituency by just 94 votes. Sarawak is a traditional Barisan Nasional stronghold.

Keadilan has also pursued an aggressive strategy of getting key personalities from within and outside politics. In July 2006, Khalid Ibrahim, former CEO of Permodalan Nasional Berhad and Guthrie (Malaysia), was appointed as Treasurer of the Keadilan. K.S. Nallakarupan, a former Malaysian Indian Congress Youth, and Jeffrey Kitingan, a popular Kadazan politician and brother of Joseph Pairin Kitingan, president of the Barisan Nasional-aligned Parti Bersatu Sabah, have also recently joined the party.

2008 General Elections

In the 2008 elections, Keadilan won 31 seats in Parliament, with DAP and PAS making substantial gains as well with 28 seats and 23 seats respectively. In total, the taking of 82 seats by the opposition to Barisan Nasional's 140 seats, makes it the best performance in Malaysian history by the opposition, and denies Barisan Nasional the two-thirds majority required to make constitutional changes in the Dewan Rakyat.

Keadilan also successfully contested the state legislative elections which saw the loose coalition of Keadilan, DAP and PAS forming coalition governments in the states of Kelantan, Kedah, Penang, Perak and Selangor. The offices of the Menteri Besar of Selangor and the Deputy Chief Minister of Penang are held by Keadilan elected representatives, Khalid Ibrahim and Mohd Fairus Khairuddin, respectively.

Pakatan Rakyat

The leaders of PKR, DAP and PAS have proposed to consolidate their cooperation by forming Pakatan Rakyat. Pakatan Rakyat is to be led collectively by the three parties, would uphold the rights and interests of all Malaysians. The state governments of Kelantan, Kedah, Penang, Perak and Selangor will also be known as Pakatan Rakyat state governments. Together the three parties also won 82 of the 222 parliamentary seats at stake during the recent general elections.

PKR Members of the 12th Parliament of Malaysia

* Kedah
** P10 - Kuala Kedah - Ahmad Kasim
** P14 - Merbok - Rashid Din
** P15 - Sungai Petani - Johari Abdul
** P17 - Padang Serai - N. Gobalakrishnan
** P18 - Kulim Bandar Baharu - Zulkifli Nordin

* Kelantan
** P26 - Ketereh - Ab Aziz Ab Kadir
** P27 - Tanah Merah - Amran Ab Ghani
** P29 - Machang - Saifuddin Nasution Ismail

* Penang
** P44 - Permatang Pauh - Anwar Ibrahim *
** P47 - Nibong Tebal - Tan Tee Beng
** P52 - Bayan Baru - Zahrain Mohamed Hashim
** P53 - Balik Pulau - Mohd Yusmadi Mohd Yusuff

* Perak
** P58 - Bagan Serai - Mohsin Fadzli Samsuri
** P62 - Sungai Siput - Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj
** P71 - Gopeng - Lee Boon Chye

* Negeri Sembilan
** P132 - Teluk Kemang - Kamarul Bahrin Abbas
* Pahang
** P82 - Indera Mahkota - Azan Ismail
** P83 - Kuantan - Fuziah Salleh

* Selangor
** P94 - Hulu Selangor - Zainal Abidin Ahmad
** P97 - Selayang - William Leong Jee Keen
** P98 - Gombak - Mohamed Azmin Ali
** P99 - Ampang - Zuraida Kamarudin
** P104 - Kelana Jaya - Loh Gwo Burne
** P105 - PJ Selatan - Hee Loy Sian
** P107 - Subang - Sivarasa Rasiah
** P109 - Kapar - Manikavasagam a/l Sundaram
** P112 - Kuala Langat - Abdullah Sani bin Abdul Hamid

* Federal Territory
** P115 - Batu - Tian Chua
** P116 - Wangsa Maju - Wee Choo Keong
** P121 - Lembah Pantai - Nurul Izzah Anwar
** P124 - Bandar Tun Razak - Abdul Khalid Ibrahim

* Wan Azizah Wan Ismail relinquished the seat to make way for her husband, Anwar Ibrahim, a seat in the parliament. He won the Permatang Pauh by-election on 26 August, 2008.

Anwar's return to politics

On April 14, 2008, Anwar celebrated his official return to the political stage, as his ban from public office expires a decade after he was sacked as deputy prime minister. One of the main reasons the opposition seized a third of parliamentary seats and five states in the worst ever showing for the Barisan Nasional coalition that has ruled for half a century, was due to him leading at the helm. [ [ "Malaysian opposition leader Anwar marks end of political ban"] April 14, 2008, "AFP"] A gathering of more than 10,000 supporters greeted Anwar in a rally welcoming back his return to politics. In the midst of the rally, police interrupted Anwar after he had addressed the rally for nearly half an hour and forced him to stop the gathering. [ [ "Malaysia Police Halt Anwar Speech"] April 14, 2008, "AFP"]

Malaysia's government has intensified efforts on March 6 2008 to portray opposition figure Anwar Ibrahim as a political turncoat, days ahead of Malaysian general election, 2008 on March 8 2008 that will determine whether he poses a legitimate threat to the ruling coalition. [] Campaigning wrapped up March 7 2008 for general elections that could see gains for Malaysia's opposition amid anger over race and religion among minority Chinese and Indians. [] . Malaysians voted March 8 2008 in parliamentary elections. [] . Election results showed that the ruling government suffered a setback when it failed to obtain two-thirds majority in parliament, and five out of 12 state legislatures were won by the opposition parties. [] Reasons for the setback of the ruling party, which has retained power since the nation declared independence in 1957, are the rising inflation, crime and ethnic tensions. []

Permatang Pauh by-election

Anwar Ibrahim on July 31, 2008 said he would contest a by-election for the parliamentary seat of Permatang Pauh vacated by his wife in order to expedite his return to political office. His wife Wan Azizah said she handed her letter of resignation to the parliament speaker on Thursday 31 July. Party officials said the by-election must be held within 60 days. [ [ Malaysia's Anwar to contest election for wife's seat] July 31, 2008, "Associated Press"] The Election Commission (EC) has fixed the nomination day for the Permatang Pauh by-election on Aug 16, with polling to be held ten days later on Aug 26. Some 58,459 voters in the Permatang Pauh constituency would be eligible to vote on Aug 26, a working Tuesday, adding that the figure also include 490 postal voters. [cite news |title=Polling for Permatang Pauh on Tuesday, Aug 26 |url=|work=Yong Min Wei |publisher=TheEdgeDaily |date=2008-08-06 |accessdate=2008-08-06 ]

Final results announced by the Election Commission reveals Anwar Ibrahim (PKR) won 31,195 of the estimated 47,000 votes cast in the district in the northern state of Penang, while rival Arif Shah Omar Shah (UMNO-BN)got only 15,524 votes and a third candidate, Hanafi Mamat (AKIM) had 92 votes. [ [, Malaysia's Anwar wins Parliament seat] ] [ [, Malaysia's Anwar wins seat in parliament] ] [cite news| title = Anwar wins seat; calls it 1st step to toppling Malaysian government| publisher = The Canadian Press| date = 2008-08-26| url =| accessdate = 2008-08-26]

Malaysia's government and ruling coalition declared defeat in a landslide victory in by-election by Anwar Ibrahim. Muhammad Muhammad Taib, information chief of the United Malays National Organisation which leads the Barisan Nasional coalition stated: "Yes of course we have lost . . . we were the underdogs going into this race." [ [, Malaysian government declares by-election defeat to Anwar] ] Malaysia's Election Commission officials announced Anwar won by an astounding majority against Arif Shah Omar Shah of National Front coalition and over Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi's United Malays National Organisation (UMNO). [ [, Malaysia's Anwar wins by landslide in election] ] Reuters reported "Anwar Ibrahim has won with a majority of 16,210 votes, according to news website Malaysiakini ( Anwar won 26,646 votes, while the government's Arif Omar won 10,436 votes. [ [, Website says Anwar wins Malaysia vote with big majority] ] Anwar's People's Justice Party spokewoman Ginie Lim told BBC: "We won already. We are far ahead." [ [, Malaysia's Anwar claims vote win] ]

On August 28, 2008, Anwar, dressed in a dark blue traditional Malay outfit and black "songkok" hat, took the oath at the main chamber of Parliament house in Kuala Lumpur, as MP for Permatang Pauh at 10.03 a.m. before Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia. He formally declared Anwar the leader of the 3-party opposition alliance. With his wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and his daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar, also a parliamentarian, Anwar announced: "I'm glad to be back after a decade. The prime minister has lost the mandate of the country and the nation." [ [, Anwar sworn in as member of Malaysian parliament] ] [ [, NEWSMAKER - Malaysia Anwar sworn in, ends political exile] ] Anwar needs at least 30 government lawmakers especially from Sabah and Sarawak MPs' votes to defect in order to form a government. [ [, Malaysia's Anwar returns to parliament] ] [ [, 28-08-2008: Anwar sworn in, appointed as Opposition Leader] ]


Keadilan's constitution has as one of her core principles [PKR : [ Core Principles] ] , the establishment of "a society that is just and a nation that is democratic, progressive and united". In practice, the party has primarily focused on promoting social justice [PKR : [ KeADILan questions progress of gender equality] ] , economic justice [PKR : [ Fair share of oil revenue for Sabah: Jeffrey] ] [The Sun : [ Time for a non-race based agenda] ] , eliminating political corruption [PKR : [ Education Expenditure & Contracts] ] and human rights issues [PKR (AP) : [ Malaysian opposition politician arrested at protest over village demolition] ] within a non-ethnic framework.

Current developments

At 11.03pm on June 29 2008, online news portal Malaysiakini reported that an aide of Anwar Ibrahim had lodged a police report claiming that he had been sodomised by Anwar. The news has since been updated with reports that SMS messages are being distributed claiming that the person who made the report is Anwar's aide, Saiful Bahari, who was arrested earlier today and allegedly forced to make a false confession. The same SMS message also claimed the possibility of Anwar being arrested later today [cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Aide alleges sodomy: Report lodged |url= |work=Malaysiakini |publisher=Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd |date=2008-06-28 |accessdate=2008-06-28 ] .

Anwar has since denied the allegations claiming that that it was a complete fabrication and made in retaliation against him due to his recent acquisition of evidence that implicates the current Inspector General of the Police, Musa Hassan, and the Attorney General, Abdul Gani Patail, in misconduct including fabrication of evidence used against him during the 1998-1999 trials for corruption and sodomy [cite press release |title=Press statement on police report |publisher=Parti KeADILan Rakyat |date=2008-06-29 |url= |format=HTML |accessdate=2008-06-29 |quote= ] .

ee also

*List of political parties in Malaysia
*Politics of Malaysia
*Pakatan Rakyat

Notes and references

External links

* [ Parti Keadilan Rakyat Malay website]
* [ Parti Keadilan Rakyat] Sarawak Site (English/Chinese/Malay)

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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