Anwar sworn in as Malaysia’s PM after 25-year wrestle for reform | Politics Information

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Anwar Ibrahim has been sworn in as Malaysia’s tenth prime minister, marking an unimaginable comeback for a person who was first lined up for the job within the growth years of the Nineteen Nineties earlier than he was immediately sacked and jailed.

The 75-year-old veteran politician took the oath of workplace in entrance of King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah on the palace in Kuala Lumpur shortly after 5pm (09:00 GMT) on Thursday afternoon, hours after he had been named to the highest job by the monarch.

King Sultan Abdullah had taken management of the technique of forming a brand new authorities after Anwar’s Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition gained essentially the most seats within the weekend’s election, however not the 112 seat parliamentary majority essential to type a authorities.

PH and the rival conservative Malay-Muslim Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition below former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, which had the second-highest variety of seats, each started negotiations to type a authorities, wooing smaller coalitions within the Borneo states of Sabah and Sarawak as effectively as Barisan Nasional (BN), the alliance that dominated Malaysia for some 60 years earlier than its historic defeat within the final elections in 2018.

With neither in a position to make a breakthrough, the king met Anwar and Muhyiddin, as effectively as newly elected members of parliament to canvas their views on who ought to lead the brand new authorities.

After a gathering of the royal households on Thursday, Anwar was introduced because the chief as a result of the king was satisfied he had the help of nearly all of Malaysia’s 222 members of parliament.

Anwar stands with the leaders of the parties that make up PH after the Nov 19 election. They all have their arms raised in the air and look happy
The PH coalition made up of Anwar’s Keadilan get together, the Democratic Motion Get together, Amanah and the youth get together MUDA have a good time profitable essentially the most seats in Saturday’s election [Hasnoor Hussain/Reuters[

There are “no absolute winners and no absolute losers,” King Sultan Abdullah said in the statement, urging all politicians to work together for the benefit of the country.

King Sultan Abdullah said the 75-year-old opposition leader would be sworn in at a ceremony at the palace at 5pm (09:00 GMT).

“It is a long time coming for Anwar,” Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani, the deputy managing director at consultancy BGA Malaysia, told Al Jazeera. “All his struggles and campaigns for reform are now vindicated.”

Sodomy charges

Anwar Ibrahim started his political career as a student activist, founding the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia, known by its Malay acronym ABIM, in 1971 and later leading protests against rural poverty and on other socioeconomic causes.

His activism caught the eye of then-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad who persuaded him to join the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the dominant party in BN, which had ruled Malaysia since independence in 1957.

Anwar rose rapidly through the ranks to become finance minister and deputy prime minister, earning a reputation as a charismatic, ambitious and reform-minded politician.

But as the Asian financial crisis deepened, Mahathir turned on the man he had chosen as his successor.

In September 1998, Anwar was sacked and accused of corruption and sodomy, a crime in Malaysia.

Thousands took to the streets of Kuala Lumpur and Anwar, who maintained the charges were politically motivated, was arrested.

His trial veered from the shocking – a black eye later confirmed to be inflicted by the then-police chief while Anwar was in custody – to the absurd – a stained mattress hauled into court as evidence.

Anwar punching the air as he arrives at court in 1998. He looks defiant. His wife and eldest daughter are also watching and waving to supporters
Anwar Ibrahim’s sacking in 1998 and then trial on charges of corruption and sodomy kickstarted Malaysia’s reform movement [File: Andy Wong/AP Photo]

After being discovered responsible, Anwar was launched in 2004 and a second sodomy trial adopted because the reform motion that had begun together with his 1998 downfall gathered momentum.

In all, Anwar spent some 10 years in jail earlier than he was lastly pardoned and launched in 2018.

By that point he had once more joined forces with Mahathir – below the PH banner – in a bid to make sure BN was punished on the poll field for the multibillion greenback scandal at state fund 1MDB.

However Anwar’s path to the highest was once more thwarted when Mahathir wavered on his promise handy over energy and the PH authorities collapsed amid infighting and strain from Malay-Muslim conservatives.

Reform agenda

Chants of “reformasi” or reform continued to reverberate round PH rallies within the marketing campaign main as much as Saturday’s election, with PH supporters on the lookout for a authorities that will sort out corruption, defend democratic freedoms and make sure the independence of key establishments akin to parliament and the judiciary.

Within the face of a possible financial slowdown, Anwar informed supporters that his authorities would additionally scale back the scale of the cupboard, and minimize ministerial salaries and allowances.

Nonetheless, any strikes to reform might nonetheless be stymied by extra conservative factions.

Malaysia is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious nation the place most individuals are ethnic Malay Muslim, however there are important numbers of individuals of Chinese language and Indian origin as effectively as Indigenous communities.

The earlier PH authorities was partly undone by a reform agenda that Malay nationalists feared would undermine the privileges granted to them below the structure.

Such pressures might additionally have an effect on the brand new authorities, given the surge in help for PAS, Malaysia’s religiously conservative Muslim get together, which emerged from the election with essentially the most seats of any single get together.

Additionally it is the dominant participant in PN.

Wong Chin Huat, a political professional and professor at Sunway College exterior Kuala Lumpur, says Anwar wants “to get the politics proper” to find a way to repair the economic system.

“He must be PM for 100% of Malaysians, not only the 38 p.c PH voters and 22 p.c BN voters,” Wong defined to Al Jazeera. “He must particularly guarantee the 30 p.c of voters who help PN that their voices might be heard.”

Official figures from Saturday’s election confirmed a file variety of Malaysians casting their ballots, with PH securing 5.81 million votes, PN 4.67 million and BN 3.43 million.

The electoral roll had been enlarged after a constitutional change to offer 18-year-olds the best to vote and for automated voter registration, which additional elevated uncertainty over the consequence.

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