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Friday, November 25, 2022

Anwar Ibrahim is Malaysia's fifth Prime Minister in less than five years

 

Anwar Ibrahim is Malaysia’s 5th PM in less than 5 years


In the late 1990s, when he led thousands of people on the streets of Malaysia to protest his sacking as part of a widely alleged "political conspiracy," he gave democracy its most stunning image. On Thursday, he became the highest-ranking official in the country, raising both the markets and people's hopes.


In a national palace ceremony, 75-year-old Anwar Ibrahim was sworn in as Malaysia's 10th Prime Minister—his fifth in less than five years—breaking the impasse brought about by a hung parliament in the general elections.When political impasse was broken, markets surged.Equities gained 3%, and the ringgit currency experienced its best day in two weeks.


It marked the culmination of a stunning comeback for Anwar, who had previously held the position of longtime opposition leader, served time as deputy prime minister, and been sentenced to two years in prison for crimes that were deemed to be politically motivated.


Over the course of more than two years of political turmoil, economic hardships, and corrupt leaders, the nation of over 33 million people of multiple racial and ethnic backgrounds eagerly awaited King Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah's selection of Anwar and his coalition, Pakatan Harappan, to lead the country.The king met with the royal heads of the nine states on Thursday in accordance with the provisions of the constitutional monarchy and unanimously appointed Anwar as the new prime minister.In point of fact, "the country needs a stable government that is able to stimulate the economic landscape and development of the country," according to a statement released by the palace. "People cannot be burdened by endless political turmoil."


Anwar stated in his first news conference that he would form a unity government with his Pakatan Harapan, which won 82 seats, the National Front, which won 30 seats, and a group from the eastern state of Sarawak, which won 23 seats.He stated that this would give him a majority of 135 seats, with additional smaller blocs anticipated to join.He likewise said his administration will propose a demonstration of positive support when parliament reconvenes Dec 19.Anwar assured the majority of Malay Muslims that they have nothing to fear and expressed his hope that his victory would restore hope to Malaysians who are yearning for a nation that is more just.He stated that his top priorities will be to combat rising inflation and strengthen the economy in anticipation of a slowdown next year.


When Anwar was a member of the Malay nationalist UMNO, which has prioritized the indigenous Malay population over the country's minorities, he achieved political prominence.However, Anwar has advocated for equal treatment of the country's minorities, primarily Indian and Chinese, following a disagreement with the party.After casting her vote for Pakatan Harapan, Mahaysyhaa Shriedhaa A/P Gopal, a Malaysian of Indian descent, stated, "Being a minority here, I feel like this is the one sliver of hope that we have left."Anwar is charismatic and urban, and he frequently discusses the significance of democracy and quotes from Gandhi and the Quran.


Anwar was Mahathir Mohamad's likely successor for a long time, and he led UMNO.However, at the end of the 1990s, Anwar objected to what he perceived as a UMNO culture of cronyism, which led to a deterioration in their relationship.Later, they disagreed about how to deal with the Asian financial crisis.When he was abruptly dismissed and even derided, we had a young leader who was a fiery and dynamic force. He belonged to a Muslim fundamentalist party but was completely untainted. As finance minister, he helped the nation weather the Asian financial crisis.A Ravendiran Arjunan, a Malaysian Indian businessman and vice president of GOPIO Malaysia, who, like many other Indians, rallied around Anwar during his imprisonment, stated, "The nation was shocked."It is interesting to note that nearly 60% of the members of Anwar's People's Justice Party, also known as the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) back in 2003, were Indian.


Anwar was expelled from the cabinet in 1998.He started the Reformasi (Reform) protest movement, which called for more social justice and the end of corruption.Anwar was imprisoned for sodomy and corruption for two lengthy terms.On September 20, 1998, he was incarcerated for the first time under the Internal Security Act, which sparked a flurry of protests across the nation.He was charged with sodomy again in 2008, which resulted in additional jail time.Anwar taught abroad following his release from prison before returning to his home country to run for office once more.He defeated UMNO in a by-election and was arrested again that year on sodomy charges, which he denies.Anwar received a five-year prison term in 2014.In a few years, however, Anwar would be back in the prime ministerial circle.He and Mahathir had reconciled.They successfully overthrew Najib Razak's UMNO government, but they had another disagreement about succession plans.Anwar has been waiting a long time to sit in the seat.

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