Reformist leader Anwar close to becoming Malaysia’s next PM - BH
November 26, 2022
Asia World

Reformist leader Anwar close to becoming Malaysia’s next PM

 Malaysia’s king named reformist opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim as the country’s Prime Minister on Thursday, ending days of uncertainties after divisive general elections produced a hung Parliament.

Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah said Anwar would be sworn in later Thursday.

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

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 Islamization under Muhyiddin and spark hopes that reforms for better governance will resume.

Any agreement must still be approved by Malaysia’s king. Last Saturday’s divisive election led to a hung parliament that renewed a leadership crisis in Malaysia, which had three prime ministers since 2018. Police have tightened security nationwide as social media warned of racial troubles if Anwar’s multiethnic bloc wins.

Anwar’s Pakatan Harapan, or Alliance of Hope, topped the race with 82 parliamentary seats, short of the 112 needed for a majority. Former Prime Minister Muhyiddin’s Malay-centric Perikatan Nasional, or National Alliance, won 73 seats. The alliance led by the United Malays National Organization, which has 30 seats, hold the key that will tilt the balance.

UMNO reversed its decision to remain in the opposition, saying it will heed the king’s proposal for a unity government.

UMNO’s secretary-general Ahmad Maslan said Thursday the party’s highest-decision making body has decided to now support a unity government that is not led by Muhyiddin’s camp. He said the party will accept any unity government or any other form of government decided by the king.

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