Whatever you may think of Anwar, he did manage to reduce the country’s budget deficit (as a percentage of GDP) and later even presided over surplus years.
Anwar was appointed Finance Minister in 1991 in the Mahathir administration and deputy PM in 1993. He was ousted from power in 1998.
Some (including me) may have reservations about what they perceive to be his neo-liberal inclinations, but it has to be said that we haven’t seen a surplus since Anwar was unceremoniously thrown out of office.
In fact, those five years of surpluses are the only years the government has achieved a surplus from 1970 until now.
No kidding – look at the figures from 1970 (figures from Bank Negara).