Anwar Ibrahim named Malaysia’s 10th prime minister


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

Nearly a week after Malaysia’s general election suspended parliament, longtime opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim appeared There is broad support among different parties to form a government in the Southeast Asian country, preventing the rise of political parties — for now.

Anwar’s nomination as prime minister on Thursday brought a brief end to the general election season that saw the fall of political leader Mahathir Mohamad, the surprising results of a far-right Islamist party and endless fighting between suspect a friend, because most of the time. the trial of disgraced former prime minister Najib Razak on charges including money laundering and abuse of power.

After conferring with government officials earlier in the day, Malaysia’s king announced Thursday evening that he had approved Anwar’s appointment as the country’s 10th prime minister, and Anwar was sworn in. a few hours later. In Malaysia, a parliamentary democracy with the rule of law, the king appoints the head of government.

The appointment, argued by some opponents, marks the return of Anwar, 75, a man of the world who has risen, fallen and returned through the ages.

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

This Malaysian politician was arrested and condemned. He is now at the level of power.

A former deputy prime minister under Mahathir, who was later described as his worst enemy before their reconciliation, Anwar struggled for decades to reach the country’s top political position. Along the way, he received the support and friendship of world leaders such as US vice president Al Gore. He served two long prison terms for embezzlement and corruption – charges that Anwar and his supporters say are politically motivated.

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Anwar’s multiracial reformist party Pakatan Harapan (PH), or Alliance of Hope, won 82 seats after last week’s election. The joint is the largest single block, but it’s still several dozen seats shy of the 112 that should be the majority. It competed against Perikatan Nasional (PN), a right-wing party that won 73 seats, to convince voters — and the country’s king, Sultan Abdullah of Pahang — that it had the right to form a government. as follows.

Anwar’s induction was made possible after Barisan Nasional, a coalition that has ruled Malaysia for most of its post-independence history, said it would not be part of a PN government. Barisan Nasional won 30 seats in the latest elections and is in the dominant position.

Although Anwar has won, he now faces a major challenge in uniting the country’s divided constituencies, analysts say.

“Polarization [in Malaysia] it’s still going strong,” said Bridget Welsh, a research associate with the University of Nottingham-Malaysia’s Center for Asian Studies. While Anwar appears strong on the world stage, he has a “weak side” at home, he said.

Anwar opposes the anti-racism policies that characterized previous Barisan Nasional governments. The policies, which favor Malay Muslims, are considered by some analysts to create a broad middle class in the country of 32.5 million. But critics criticize the laws for inciting racial hatred, driving young people from Malaysia’s Indian and Chinese minorities out of the country, and spawning systemic corruption.

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Before the election, PN leader and former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin made the antisemitic claim that Anwar’s alliance with Jews and Christians was working to “Christianize” Malaysia.

Malaysian Council of Churches condemn it Muhyiddin’s comments and Anwar’s criticism of his opponent’s comments are very sad. “I urge Muhyiddin to be a mature leader and not use racial propaganda to divide the pluralistic reality in Malaysia,” he said on Twitter.

After the announcement of Anwar’s appointment, Muhyiddin held a press conference where he called on his opponent to prove that he has the numbers to govern. He said 115 MPs support his coalition, which would constitute a majority.

Although they supported him, the appointment of a new prime minister could put an end to two years of political turmoil, including the resignation of two prime ministers, accusations of seizure of power and the general election held in mid-autumn. it is the time of the earth’s wind. After the polls closed and it became clear that no single party could command a majority alone, confusion spread over who would lead the nation. The king summoned party leaders to the palace for hours of closed-door discussions, pushing his decision on a daily basis.

“We are waiting for some opportunity, to restore democracy, for a while,” said Adrian Pereira, a labor rights activist from the western part of Selangor. Voters are still eager to see what coalition Anwar will form and how power-sharing will work, “but for now, it’s a bit of a comfort for everyone,” he said.

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

“We must all move forward and learn to work together to rebuild Malaysia,” he added a story also encouraged Malaysians to calm political tensions by avoiding “moderate” messages and events.

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Analysis: Most people don’t know much about Malaysia and its government. Here’s what you need to understand.

Among the biggest surprises of the election was the increase in support for the Malaysian Islamic Party, known as PAS, which more than doubled its seats in parliament, from 18 to 49. The party, which ran as part of Muhyiddin’s PN., is an advocate of Islamic rule in Malaysia and has emerged as a power broker in recent years, forming alliances with other groups that support pro-Malay-Muslim policies.

Despite Anwar’s coalition as leader, PAS is the largest party in the lower house of parliament.

Before Anwar was sworn in on Thursday evening, PAS leader Abdul Hadi Awang posted a comment thanking voters for their support. “The 71st anniversary of the war in Malaysia is well received by the people,” he said.

James Chin, a professor at the University of Tasmania who studies Malaysian politics, said he was “devastated” by PAS’s election success, which he said was a reflection of the rise of Political Islam in Malaysia.

While Malaysia and Indonesia have long considered themselves moderate Muslim nations, this is changing, Chin said. PAS has been able to make inroads in rural areas, he said, and there is early evidence that it has gained support from new voters, including young Malays. Liberal and non-Muslim voters are now concerned that PAS is expanding its influence, including over national education policies.

“I knew PAS had strong support in the Malay heartland … But I didn’t know it would spread so quickly,” Chin said. “Nobody did.”

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


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