During his political tenure, Anwar was sacked for implementing IMF austerity measures while Mahathir spearheaded Malaysia’s recovery from the 1997 Asian financial crisis through currency controls and protectionist measures. After his political fall, he served as Chairman of the Development Committee of the World Bank and IMF in 1998, and later chaired the Washington-based Foundation for the Future, a US-funded think-tank established by Elizabeth Cheney, the daughter of the former US Vice President. Anwar enraged many in Muslim-majority Malaysia when he stated that he would support a policy to protect the security of Israel in an interview with the Wall Street Journal – a stark contrast to the ruling coalitions’ firm stance in support of Palestine. Anwar’s unique credentials and close ties to the US political and financial establishment make him undeniably preferred in Washington
NED is funded primarily through the US Congress, within the budget of USAID, the US agency for development assistance, which is part of the US State Department – this means that the money NED gives to foreign countries comes from public funds paid by US taxpayers. Funding mostly flows to its two main component parties, the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI). NED is required to publish its financial disbursements, but this doesn't apply to the smaller foundations that it in turn finances, such as the IRI and NDI, both the main recipients of funding in Malaysia.