People’s Justice Party

Published 15th April, 2013

The People’s Justice Party or PKR was founded in 1999 and was the merger of the National Justice Party and the older Malaysian People’s Party (PRM). The party was also the key instigator in the formation of the coalition Alternative Front (Barisan Alternatif; BA) which was formed in 1998 and lasted until 2004 before being replaced by the People’s Pact (Pakatan Rakyat; PR).

Keadilan was launched by Wan Azizah Wan Ismail after the prosecution of her husband, former Deputy Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim after his falling out with the leadership of the ruling UMNO.

The party describes itself as a Centrist Party and believes in Social justice, progressivism and liberal democracy.

Anwar Ibrahim was sentenced to six years imprisonment in 1999 for corruption and a further nine years in 2000 for sodomy, although the second conviction was quashed by the Federal Court. The party was originally set up as a pressure group to press for his release but quickly became a political movement.

The party only won five seats in the 1999 general election and dropped to one seat in the 2004 election. In the 2008 general election the party won 31 seats and in August 2008 Anwar Ibrahim won the Permatang Pauh by-election and returned to Parliament as leader of the opposition.

The People’s Justice Party is an observer member of Liberal International.

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