Anwar Ibrahim appointed as Prime Minister of Malaysia


The king of Malaysia appointed long-time opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister on Thursday.

According to the media reports, Anwar Ibrahim will be sworn in as Prime Minister of Malaysia at 5 pm (0900 GMT), ending five days of unprecedented post-election crisis after inconclusive polls. His appointment caps a three-decade-long political journey from a protégé of veteran leader Mahathir Mohamad to a prisoner convicted of sodomy to opposition leader and, finally, prime minister.

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The 75-year-old opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim 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. 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 Malaysia, which has had three prime ministers in as many years, and risks delaying policy decisions needed to foster economic recovery.

The newly appointed Prime Minister leads a multi-ethnic coalition of parties with progressive leanings while Muhyiddin’s alliance reflects more conservative, ethnic Malay, and Muslim views. His coalition won the most seats in Saturday’s vote with 82, while Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional bloc won 73.

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.