Anwar Ibrahim named Malaysia’s 10th prime minister


SINGAPORE — The wait is over. And it’s a comeback.

Almost a week after dragging parliament to Malaysia’s general election, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s term appears to be long. It has secured enough support among different parties to form the next government of a Southeast Asian country, preventing the rise of conservative political forces.

The naming of Anwar as prime minister on Thursday brought a temporary end to a tumultuous election season that saw surprise gains by the far-right Islamist party and endless attacks among allies. Disgraced former prime minister Najib Razak was indicted on charges including money laundering and abuse of power.

Malaysia’s king confirmed the appointment of Anwar as the country’s 10th prime minister after earlier talks with state-level rulers and swore in Anwar several hours later, he said Thursday afternoon. In Malaysia, a parliamentary democracy with a monarchy, the king is officially named as the head of government.

The appointment, contested by some rivals, sparked generations of political upheaval. It was a remarkable return for the 75-year-old Anwar, an international figure whose fall and comeback spanned generations.

Anwar founded the country’s Reformasi political movement, which since the 1990s has mobilized for social justice and equality. He is also known as a supporter of Muslim democracy and has previously praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was once seen as a moderate democrat. Islam is the state religion in Muslim-majority Malaysia, which has economic and security ties with the United States, but other religions are widely practiced.

This Malaysian politician was jailed and condemned. Now he is in power.

Former deputy prime minister Anwar, who was considered his bitter rival under Mahathir, spent decades trying to get the country’s top political post. Along the way, he gained the support and friendship of international leaders such as former US Vice President Al Gore. Anwar and his supporters were also given two long prison sentences for corruption and homosexuality, which they say were politically motivated.

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Anwar’s multiracial reform coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH), or Alliance of Hope, won 82 seats after last week’s election. The alliance was the single largest, but still fell short of the 112 seats needed for a majority. The right-wing coalition Perikatan Nasional (PN), which won 73 seats, and the country’s King Sultan Abdullah are competing to convince voters that they have the authority to form the next government.

This led to Anwar’s admission that Barisan Nasional, the conservative coalition that has ruled Malaysia for most of Malaysia’s post-independence history, will not be part of a PN-led government. Barisan Nasional won 30 seats in the latest polls, keeping it in the top position.

Anwar may have been victorious, but analysts say he now faces the challenge of uniting the country’s divided electorate.

“Division. [in Malaysia] It’s still going strong,” said Bridget Welsh, a research associate with the University of Nottingham’s Asia Research Institute-Malaysia. Anwar has a strong image on the world stage but has a “weak mandate” at home, she said.

Anwar opposes ethnic-based affirmative action policies that have been a hallmark of previous Barisan National-led governments. Some analysts have credited policies favoring Malay Muslims with creating a broad-based middle class in the country of 32.5 million. But critics of the laws, which incite racial hatred, blame young people from Malaysia’s Indian and Chinese minorities for driving them out of the country and fueling systemic corruption.

PN leader and former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who is leading the polls, issued a statement contradicting Anwar’s claim that Anwar’s coalition was working with Jews and Christians to “Christianize” Malaysia.

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Malaysian Council of Churches condemned. Muhyiddin’s comments and Anwar criticized his opponent’s comments as “passionate”. “I urge Muhyiddin to be a mature leader and not use racism to divide the pluralist truth in Malaysia,” he said on Twitter.

After announcing Anwar’s appointment, Muhyiddin held a press conference to prove to his opponent that he had the numbers needed to govern. He said his coalition has the support of 115 MPs and constitutes a majority.

Whether you support him or not, the appointment of a new prime minister has plunged Malaysians into two years of political turmoil, with the resignation of two prime ministers; The chaos has come amid political turmoil, including allegations of a coup and snap elections held in the middle of the tropics. Myanmar’s monsoon season. After the polls closed, it was clear that no single group could command a single majority, and confusion spread over who would lead the country. The king summoned the party leaders to the palace for hours of closed-door discussions and pushed his decision day by day.

“Stability, We have been waiting for a long time for democracy to be restored,” said Adrian Pereira, a labor rights activist from West Selangor. Voters are still eager to see how the coalition Anwar builds and how power-sharing will work out, he said. “But now it’s a relief for everyone,” he said.

Rafizi Ramli, deputy chief of Anwar’s party, said on Thursday that the new prime minister will lead a unity government.

We all need to move forward and learn to work together to rebuild Malaysia,” he added. Statement He also urged Malaysians to ease political tensions by avoiding provocative messages or gatherings.

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Analysis: Most people do not know enough about Malaysia and its government. This is what you should understand.

Among the election’s biggest surprises was the surge in support for the Malaysian Islamic Party, known as PAS, which doubled its parliamentary seats from 18 to 49., In Malaysia, advocates for Islamic governance have emerged as a power broker in recent years, forming alliances with other parties supporting a Malay-Muslim policy.

While Anwar’s coalition is in power, PAS will be the single largest party in the lower house of parliament.

PAS leader Abdul Hadi Awang, before Anwar was sworn in on Thursday evening. A statement was posted. Thank you to those who voted. The party’s “71-year struggle has become more accepted by Malaysians,” he said.

James Chin, a professor at the University of Tasmania who studies Malaysian politics, said he saw PAS’s electoral success as a reflection of the broader rise of political Islam in Malaysia.

Malaysia and neighboring Indonesia have long touted themselves as moderate Islamic states, but that may now change, Chin said. He noted that there is early evidence that PAS has made its strongest gains in rural areas and is gaining support from new voters, including young Malays. Liberal and non-Malay-Muslim voters fear that the now-powerful PAS is positioned to expand its influence, including over the country’s education policies.

“I know that PAS has huge support in the Malay heartland…but I didn’t know they could expand so quickly,” Chin said. “No one does.”

Katerina Ang reports from Seoul and Emily Ding reports from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Hari Raj in Seoul contributed to this report.


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