Anwar Ibrahim with Richard Que

Anwar Ibrahim with Richard QueMalaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim has spent over three decades weaving in and out of the country’s complicated political state of affairs.

Having lived through two controversial imprisonments, the 71-year-old reformist official has now formed a partnership with his one-time political foe, Mahathir Mohamad, and is slated to become the next Prime Minister of Malaysia himself.

In an upcoming half-hour special with Richard Quest on CNN’s Talk Asia, Anwar Ibrahim shares the details of his jail time, his surprising partnership with Mahathir Mohamad, his future plans for Malaysia and his approach to the massive 1MDB scandal – a multibillion dollar fraud and money laundering scandal of international proportions.

Key quotes from the interview include:

Anwar Ibrahim on 1MDB and the government’s response to the scandal:

“We wanted enough resources back to serve our people. I don’t believe the country must suffer or the people must suffer – just because of the greed of some of these corporate leaders.” 

“It's appalling. It's worse than what we anticipated… We thought there was something we could handle as a nation, and we now realise it has to be an international effort.”

On his plans to become Prime Minister in two years:

“Right now, yes, the arrangement is that I become prime minister, but you're right, ultimately it is the people that decide. If I'm [a] committed democrat… I have to honor that arrangement.”

On his surprising partnership with Mahathir Mohamad:

“Well, in politics, in governance, in life - we would realise that certain overriding interests and that compassion and forgiveness is essential. You have to move on, you cannot be tied to the past, we entered under the arrangement, at least both of us believe that this country must be saved. That was the agenda.”

On his imprisonment:

“No, I was in solitary confinement, in virtually a lock up. No access to a phone, newspapers, television. But I had access to books, so it was tough, because the impression by many other colleagues in the region, they'll say 'Well you know this is special treatment,' that's what they want to portray… They treated me like a hardcore criminal.”

Talk Asia Anwar Ibrahim trailer: 

Talk Asia Anwar Ibrahim images:

Talk Asia microsite:

Airtimes for 30-minute special:

Wednesday January 23 at 1730 HKT

Thursday January 24 at 0130 HKT

Saturday January 26 at 1430 HKT

Sunday January 27 at 0330 HKT and 2030 HKT

Monday January 28 at 1030 HKT

Saturday February 2 at 2030 HKT

Sunday February 3 at 1430 HKT

Monday February 4 at 0330 HKT
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