Malaysian opposition leader Anwar appointed prime minister | Inquirer News

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar appointed prime minister

/ 02:37 PM November 24, 2022
Anwar Ibrahim

Malaysia’s opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim attends a news conference outside the National Palace, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia November 22, 2022. REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia’s king appointed long-time opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister on Thursday and he will be sworn in at 5 p.m. (0900 GMT), ending five days of unprecedented post-election crisis after inconclusive polls.

Anwar’s appointment caps a three-decade long political journey from a protege of veteran leader Mahathir Mohammad to a prisoner convicted of sodomy to opposition leader and, finally, prime minister.

ADVERTISEMENT

A general election on Saturday ended in an unprecedented hung parliament with neither of two main alliances, one led by Anwar and the other ex-premier Muhyiddin Yassin, immediately able to secure enough seats in parliament to form a government.

The 75-year-old Anwar has time and again been denied the premiership despite getting within striking distance over the years: he was deputy prime minister in the 1990s and the official prime minister-in-waiting in 2018.

FEATURED STORIES

In between, he spent nearly a decade in jail for sodomy and corruption in what he says were politically motivated charges aimed at ending his career.

The uncertainty over the election threatened to prolong political instability in the Southeast Asian country, which has had three prime ministers in as many years, and risks delaying policy decisions needed to foster economic recovery.

Anwar’s coalition, known as Pakatan Harapan, won the most seats in Saturday’s vote with 82, while Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional bloc won 73. They need 112 – a simple majority – to form a government.

The long-ruling Barisan bloc won only 30 seats – the worst electoral performance for a coalition that had dominated politics since independence in 1957.

Barisan said on Thursday it would not support a government led by Muhyiddin, though it did not make any reference to Anwar.

The decision on the prime minister came down to King Al-Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, after both Anwar and Muhyiddin missed his Tuesday afternoon deadline to put together an alliance.

The constitutional monarch plays a largely ceremonial role but can appoint a premier he believes will command a majority in parliament.

ADVERTISEMENT

Malaysia has a unique constitutional monarchy in which kings are chosen in turn from the royal families of nine states to reign for a five-year term.

RELATED STORIES

Malaysia’s Muhyiddin, Anwar race to form government as turmoil drags on

Once again, Malaysia’s Anwar bids to become prime minister

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia, Politics
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.