Who Will Take Anwar's Seat?

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NAJIB ABDUL RAZAK, 45.The first vice president of the ruling United Malays National Organization (UMNO) is the popular choice to replace Anwar, having won by a landslide in 1996 party elections. The British-educated son of Malaysia's second Prime Minister has served since 1995 as a respected Education Minister. He led efforts to increase English study to help give Malaysia a stronger international voice. Najib initially sided against Prime Minister Mahathir in a 1987 party coup but switched at the last minute. He had hoped to become Anwar's deputy and is now hedging on the political crisis. But he has no shortage of ambition and plenty of time. Does he want the job? The post is vacant, says Najib.ABDULLAH AHMAD BADAWI, 59.The Foreign Minister, known alternatively as Mr. Clean and Mr. Nice Guy, is openly running for Anwar's former job. He championed the effort to bring Burma into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and now leads the fight to maintain the group's consensus. The former student leader and long-time civil servant was eclipsed by Anwar, and the two have long been enemies. Now UMNO's second vice president, Abdullah sided against Mahathir in the 1987 fight but is now a loyalist. With solid but unremarkable party backing, Abdullah is a strong choice should Mahathir want to become senior minister and still run the show.TENGKU RAZALEIGH HAMZAH, 61.The ultimate survivor. The former Finance Minister and Petronas chairman narrowly lost a 1987 bid to unseat Mahathir. He formed a new party and ran a good race against UMNO in 1990. Razaleigh once called Mahathir a dictator and has said that funds for megaprojects would be better spent on schools. Mahathir's decision to bring him back to UMNO in 1996 may have been the beginning of Anwar's fall. A John F. Kennedy fan, Razaleigh's study is a replica of the Oval Office. While Razaleigh is not a close friend of the Prime Minister's, Mahathir can trust him. Watch this dark horse.DAIM ZAINUDDIN, 60.If there is a secret in Malaysia, he knows it. If there is a proxy behind a Malaysian corporation, Daim probably put him there. A brilliant financial and legal mind, the former Finance Minister is Mahathir's alter ego. He led Malaysia out of the 1986-87 recession and is an influential senior economic adviser. He predicted the Asian collapse in January 1997. Daim is thought to be the Prime Minister's top choice to replace Anwar. But he may not want the job. I'm not interested, Daim says.