A Malaysian politician.
Mahathir sacked his heir apparent, Anwar Ibrahim, from his posts as deputy prime minister and finance minister, ostensibly after a disagreement over how to deal with the country's economic problems. In defiance, Anwar launched a reform movement attacking the government. The prime minister then jailed Anwar, who was beaten and charged with trumped-up corruption and sex crimes.
Anwar was sent back to the jail, where he had already served four years on a corruption charge, by an appeals court which upheld, in 2003, the sodomy conviction against him. Anwar's continued detention - widely decried as politically motivated - sidelined the opposition's most charismatic leader.
Anwar was wheeled out of prison and set free, in the summer of 2004, after the country's highest court quashed a sadomy charge against him. However, by court order, Anwar was banned from political office until 2008 because of an earlier corruption conviction.
The record shows that his support for human rights and a modern, inclusive Islam - encapsulated in his 1996 book The Asian Renaissance - has stood the test of time much better than the authoritarian Asian bigotry of some of his peers.
Now he is back in the centre of Malaysian politics. The coalition led by his wife Wan Azizah has become the main opposition bloc.
Anwar, a hospital porter's son from Penang was known as an Islamic firebrand in his youth and founded a Muslim youth organisation.
Compiled by:M A Sherif