He Is Drunk with Power

A jailed dissident denounces Malaysia's leader

While Malaysia thrived, few complained about Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's authoritarian inclinations. But the Asian economic downturn has thrown his tactics into new focus. He has come under heavy criticism for his treatment of Anwar Ibrahim, his reformist former deputy, who now sits in Sungai Buloh prison accused of sexual improprieties and corruption, charges Anwar and others in the opposition say are trumped up. President Clinton, who visits Malaysia next week, will avoid meeting Mahathir, partly in response to Anwar's detention. This interview, in which Anwar, pictured at right, responded to written questions, was smuggled out to TIME.

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