Fifteenth Annual Seymour Martin Lipset Lecture: Confronting Authoritarianism

February 11, 2019
06:00 pm - 08:30 pm

The Embassy of Canada and the National Endowment for Democracy present the fifteenth annual Seymour Martin Lipset Lecture on Democracy in the World.



Anwar Ibrahim, President, People’s Justice Party of Malaysia on “Confronting Authoritarianism”



The Embassy of Canada
501 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

Reception to follow from 7:30—8:30 pm



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.

Throughout his career, Anwar has articulated a compelling argument in support of greater understanding between civilizations. At a time when many have described an inevitable clash, Anwar’s view is that dialogue is necessary and vital. He has a unique ability and standing across the Muslim world to address the complex issues that hinder growth and development and to demonstrate the compatibility of democracy with Muslim peoples.

Throughout his career, Anwar has held key positions in international institutions. These include President of UNESCO’s World Council, Chairman of the Development Committee of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, Honorary President of AccountAbility, and member of the Advisory Board of the International Crisis Group. He was a Distinguished Visiting Professor and Malaysia Chair at the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, in Washington, DC. He has also taught at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and at St Antony’s College at the University of Oxford, lecturing on issues of governance, democracy, and contemporary politics in Southeast Asia.



The Embassy of Canada

Johns Hopkins University Press

Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University