HOW ANWAR FELL
MAY 1997 : Mahathir goes on a two-month leave and announces that Anwar will be the acting prime minister and
acting UMNO president.
JUNE 1997 : While Mahathir is away, the first of the poison-pen letters alleging sexual misconduct against Anwar
JULY 1997 : Mahathir returns; the currency contagion begins to spread regionwide.
AUGUST 1997 : Mahathir publicly declares that the sex allegations against Anwar are false.
DECEMBER 1998 : Mahathir and Anwar differ over monetary policy. The PM names confidant Daim Zainuddin
head of the National Economic Action Council, undercutting Anwar's position as finance minister.
MARCH 1998 : State oil corporation Petronas rescues the businesses of Mahathir's son Mirzan.
APRIL 1998 : More poison-pen letters against Anwar appear.
JUNE 1998 : The book 50 Reasons Why Anwar Can't Be Prime Minister is published. Mahathir accuses Anwar of
laying the groundwork to challenge him eventually.
JUNE 1998 : A busy month. UMNO Youth leader Ahmad Zahid Hamidi brings up nepotism and corruption. The PM
takes the remarks very personally and reveals the names of others who have benefited from government
contracts and cheap share allocations, including Zahid himself and Anwar's friends and family members. Mahathir
appoints Daim special functions minister in charge of economic development, and apparently orders fresh
investigations into the sexual allegations against Anwar. The PM starts believing them.
JULY 1998 : Anwar's friend and tennis partner, S. Nallakaruppan (named in the book as the organizer of the
sexcapades), is arrested under the Internal Security Act. Nalla, as he is known, denies any wrongdoing on behalf
SEPTEMBER 1998 : Mahathir sacks Anwar as deputy prime minister and finance minister, taking up the latter
portfolio himself. The UMNO Supreme Council expels Anwar as a member, so he loses his party deputy
12th September 1998 : PERMATANG PAUH DECLARATION