COMMENT | There is a myth around Anwar Ibrahim that is understandable. A man who had to endure unjust convictions and ruthless political incursions carries with him an aura unfathomable to ordinary people like there was something untouchable – belonging to a different dimension altogether.
When Anwar walked out of prison in 2018, Malaysians from all walks of life rushed to see the man who has walked to hell and back. It all started from his meteoric ascendency en route to the prime ministership, sparking one of the greatest movements in Malaysian history, "Reformasi".
His first steps out of prison also crystalised his status as the country's first-ever prime-minister-in-waiting. "Two years"; its supporters treated the handover promise as sacrosanct. Dr Mahathir Mohamad must hand over in two years so that the myth of Anwar could finally be realised.
But it was a double-edged sword. The mythical status of post-conviction Anwar slowly evolved into a burden for well-meaning reformists. It became extremely difficult to hold onto the reform mindset when people around you were exploiting and paddling on Anwar's myth...