Mahathir Muhammad

Tian Chua addressing Merdeka (independence) celebration in Sydney on September 1

Back in 1999, Tian Chua was one of the leaders of the Reformasi movement in Malaysia who was arrested and beaten up after mass protests against then National Front government of Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

But today he is vice-president of the Peoples Justice Party (PKR), the largest party in the new Alliance of Hope (Pakatan Harapan) government whose PM is the same Mahathir.

During a recent speaking tour of Australia, which coincided with Malaysian Independence Day celebrations, Tian Chua spoke about his new relationship with his former jailer.

Malaysia’s May 9 general elections caused a shock upset, with the Barisan Nasional (BN) losing control of the government for the first time since independence in 1957. This was a historic win for the opposition against the corrupt, authoritarian ruling party.

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