14 years ago, we featured Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on the cover of the August 2008 edition of our intellectual lifestyle magazine PASSIONS. We even made the bold move of calling him The Man of the Year.
It was an audacious move on our part, as he was not Prime Minister nor on the good books
of the government then, and we got more than a bit of flak for it. In fact, a number of government agencies cancelled advertising contracts with us.
But we stood by our editorial integrity. We are never political, we always work with everyone to promote good business reporting. But we had balls to be different. We still do. We call a spade a spade, and no one could deny that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in 2008 was “Man of the Year” because of what he managed to do, which was to spark conversations about political and institutional reforms like no one had ever managed to do.
He made people start daring to dream that change was possible. Voices that were hidden deep inside came out in full force, filling up stadiums and streets. Malaysia saw the first of its revolutions and the word REFORMASI became a buzzword.
And it had taken him a long and arduous journey to get where he is today 24 November, as he is sworn in as Malaysia’s 10th Prime Minister right now, as we write.
It is a position he has aimed for over 25 years, but from which he had been thwarted time
and time again.
Now it’s time to get the job done. The promise of ‘reformasi’ has to be fulfilled. He has to address an increasingly polarised society, revitalise the economy, and stave off the stagflation that is threatening many countries around the world – Malaysia included.
It would not be an easy task, but we believe that he has the experience, the connections, and the respect in international circles to navigate our country through these times. As he told us all those years ago, “I want to promise a new dawn for all Malaysians.
We must have a sense of confidence and trust that this is a great country, which will be able to provide for all.”
The IBR Asia Group wants to put it on record that we were there first, and this interview we did with him in 2008 is a testament to our foresight when we named him Man of the Year in 2008. Today, as he is being sworn in, we name him again Man of The Year for 2022 in this edition of International Business Review.
How many publications get to do this twice – both in bad times and in good?
Note : PASSIONS has since been transformed into Malaysia’s first ever high end intellectual lifestyle magazine in the Malay language. We are launching the inaugural edition of myPASSIONS during The International Business Review ASEAN Awards 2022 on 9 December 2022, at Sama-Sama Hotel, KL International Airport.
Please scan this QR code to be taken to the August 2008 edition of our intellectual lifestyle magazine PASSIONS and check out what we said back then in full.