PKR: How Anwar’s Party Works


About the Webinar

The People’s Justice Party (PKR), led by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, is the second largest party and the first multiracial party to govern Malaysia. Yet, little has been studied about PKR and its inner workings. In fact, sceptics thought the party would not last beyond its first few years. It was multiracial in composition and outlook, which did not jibe with the country’s ethnic-based politics, its leader was in and out of prison, and it initially did not fare well with voters – losing all but one seat in its second election outing.

Since then, however, PKR has experienced a dramatic reversal of fortunes, winning a median of 31 seats and 2 million votes over the last three national elections. With a presence in a number of state governments, including helming Selangor since 2008, and now leading the Unity Government, PKR has come into its own.

However, relatively little research has been carried out on the party and how it works. Other than being a multiracial party that reflects the country’s demographics, PKR also practices the largest in-party democracy by holding direct elections. This webinar will dive into the structure of PKR and analyse its differentiating characteristics compared to other mainstream parties. Understanding the party and its leaders, including the charismatic Anwar Ibrahim, will help us foresee how the party—and by extension, the country—will evolve.

About the Speaker

Mr James Chai is a Visiting Fellow at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute. His work as a fellow and columnist has appeared on Bloomberg, TIME, Washington Post, Channel News Asia, The Straits Times and others. He is also the author of the bestselling book, “Sang Kancil: A Tale About How Ordinary Malaysians Defied the Odds” by Penguin Random House SEA.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

Please register here to receive your unique link for joining the webinar.

If you have questions for the speakers, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speaker during the Q&A session.


Jan 31 2024


10:00 am - 11:15 am

More Info