Long-time reformist leader Anwar sworn in as Malaysian PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Longtime Leader of the Opposition Anwar Ibrahim was sworn in as Malaysia’s prime minister on Thursday in a victory for political reformers who have been stuck in battle with Malay nationalists for days after the general election. divisive led to a hung Parliament.
Anwar was sworn in in a simple ceremony at the national palace broadcast on national television.
Malaysia’s King, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, has appointed Anwar, 75, as the nation’s 10th leader after saying he was pleased that Anwar was the candidate likely to receive majority support. .
“I will take on this entrusted responsibility with humility and responsibility,” Anwar wrote on Twitter afterward.
Anwar’s Coalition of Hope led Saturday’s election with 82 seats, missing the 112 seats needed for a majority. The surprise support of ethnic Malays prompted former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s right-wing National Coalition to win 73 seats, with its ally the Pan-Malaysian Muslim Party emerging as a single party. largest with 49 seats.
The deadlock was resolved after the long-ruling bloc led by the United Malays National Organization agreed to back a unity government under Anwar. Such a tie was once unthinkable in Malaysian politics, long dominated by bipartisan rivalry. Other influential groups in Borneo said they would follow the king’s decision.
“His Royal Highness reminds all parties that the winners do not gain all and the losers do not lose all,” a palace statement said. The king called on Anwar and his new government to be humble and said all opposing sides should reconcile to ensure a stable government and end Malaysia’s political turmoil, which has resulted in three prime ministers since. poll 2018.
The statement gave no details on the government to be formed. Malaysian stock and currency markets surged after Anwar’s appointment.
Muhyiddin, 75, doesn’t accept defeat. At a press conference, he challenged Anwar to prove he had the support of a majority of lawmakers to assuage doubts about his leadership.
Police tightened security across the country as social media posts warned of racial trouble if Anwar’s multi-ethnic bloc wins. Anwar’s party has urged supporters to refrain from celebrating or making sensitive statements to avoid risk of provocation.
Anwar’s rise to the top has limited his fraught political journey and will assuage concerns about greater Islamization. But he faces a noble task of healing racial divisions deepened following Saturday’s poll, as well as reviving an economy already grappling with rising inflation and a currency has fallen to the weakest level. Malays make up two-thirds of Malaysia’s 33 million people, including the large ethnic minorities of China and India.
“He will have to compromise with other actors in government, which means reform,” said Bridget Welsh, a Southeast Asian politics expert at the Institute of Asian Studies at the University of Nottingham Malaysia. will be more comprehensive. He has been seen as a bridge builder between communities, which will test his leadership in the future but at the same time offer a reassuring hand to the challenges Malaysia will face. ”
Anwar is a former deputy prime minister whose firing and imprisonment in the 1990s led to mass street protests and a reform movement that became a major political force. Thursday marked his reform bloc’s second victory — the first in a historic 2018 poll that led to the first regime change since Malaysia’s independence from Britain in 1957.
Anwar was in prison at the time on charges that he said were politically motivated. He has been pardoned and will take over Mahathir Mohamad. But this government fell after Muhyiddin defected and joined hands with UMNO to form a new government. Muhyiddin’s government was beset by internal disputes and he resigned after 17 months. UMNO leader Ismail Sabri Yaakob was later chosen by the king as prime minister.
Many rural Malays feared that they might lose their privileges to greater pluralism under Anwar. Fed up with corruption and infighting within UMNO, many chose to follow Muhyiddin’s block in Saturday’s vote.


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