26 November 2017
They are sworn enemies, but last week’s surprise visits paid by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his loyal deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to the jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in hospital have sparked chatter of a fresh twist in the country’s real-life Game of Thrones.
Both sides immediately dismissed suggestions of an entente, but the cordial demeanour of the warring leaders in photographs widely circulated on social media, as well as the timing – just months ahead of general elections – has spurred commentators to suggest there was a deeper meaning to the visits.
“Publicly visiting Anwar Ibrahim allows Najib and UMNO to project an image of Malay unity to the masses, potentially reinforcing Malay support for the party,” said Rashaad Ali, a Malaysian politics researcher at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.
IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 27/11/2017