Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has been appointed Prime Minister of Malaysia. The king announced this after a special consultation, the Singaporean newspaper reports The Straits Times. The appointment puts an end to the political uncertainty the country has been in since last Saturday’s elections. It is the first time that no coalition has won a majority in the Malaysian elections.
Earlier, Malaysia’s two rival prime ministerial candidates, Anwar Ibrahim and former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, both claimed to have won the election. But both did not win the necessary 112 seats: Anwar’s progressive coalition won 92 seats, Muhyiddin’s conservative coalition 73. Working together was not an option for the coalitions. Another party, the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), ultimately prevailed. After the UMNO, with thirty seats, initially refused to join one of the coalitions, the party announced on Thursday that it supported Ibrahim.
The appointment of 75-year-old Anwar follows decades of attempts to become prime minister. He came close on a number of occasions, such as in the 1990s when he was deputy prime minister. He was subsequently convicted of sodomy twice – politically motivated charges according to Ibrahim – until he was pardoned by the king in 2018. On Thursday afternoon at 5 p.m. local time (10 a.m. Dutch time), Anwar will be officially sworn in as the tenth prime minister of Malaysia.
Also read this analysis: Young Malaysians have had enough of corruption and old politics