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Malaysia’s king names reformist leader Anwar Ibrahim prime minister

Anwar Ibrahim talks on a phone as he leaves his office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Malaysia’s king named reformist opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim as the country’s prime minister on Thursday.

Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah’s announcement ended days of uncertainties after divisive general elections produced a hung parliament.

Mr Anwar’s Alliance of Hope led Saturday’s election with 82 seats, short of the 112 needed for a majority.

United Malays National Organization President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi waves as he leaves after meeting with King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah at National Palace in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday
United Malays National Organisation President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi waves as he leaves after meeting with King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah at National Palace on Wednesday (Vincent Thian/AP)

Former PM Muhyiddin Yassin’s right-leaning National Alliance won 73 seats, with its ally Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party emerging as the biggest single party with 49 seats.

Mr Anwar emerged victorious after other smaller blocs agreed to support him for a unity government. His rise to the top will ease anxieties in the multiracial nation over greater Islamisation under Mr Muhyiddin and spark hopes that reforms for better governance will resume.

Many rural Malays, who form two-thirds of Malaysia’s 33 million people, which include large minorities of ethnic Chinese and Indians, fear they may lose their rights with greater pluralism.

This, together with corruption in the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), has benefited Mr Muhyiddin’s bloc.

Malaysia Election
Anwar Ibrahim during a press conference in Subang, Malaysia (Vincent Thian/AP)

The economy and rising cost of living were chief concerns for voters, though many are apathetic due to political turmoil that has led to three prime ministers since 2018 polls.

Anger over government corruption had led to UMNO’s shocking defeat in 2018 to Mr Anwar’s bloc that saw the first regime change since Malaysia’s independence in 1957.

UMNO bounced back as part of a new government with Mr Muhyiddin’s bloc, but infighting led to continuous turmoil.

Source By https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/world-news/2022/11/24/malaysias-king-names-reformist-leader-anwar-ibrahim-prime-minister/