Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim named new Malaysia PM: Royal Palace
Malaysia's King gives consent to appoint opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim as the 10th Prime Minister of the country.
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has been named Prime Minister, the Royal Palace announced in a statement on Thursday, ending a days-long political impasse after inconclusive polls.
"After taking into consideration the views of Their Royal Highnesses the Malay Rulers, His Majesty has given consent to appoint Anwar Ibrahim as the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia," the statement indicated.
At the weekend election, Anwar's Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) coalition won the most seats, 82, but fell short of the required 112-seat majority, while former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's Perikatan Nasional (National Alliance) bloc grabbed 73.
Muhyiddin, who was backed by an Islamist party, later told reporters that since no bloc had enough numbers, the King had initially asked him and Anwar to form a "unity government".
Malaysia's King, Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah, had summoned the two rivals in a bid to break the deadlock.
The latest election witnessed veteran leader Mahathir Mohamad face his first election defeat in 53 years, marking the end of a seven-decade political career.
Since the Malaysian parliament passed a reform lowering the voting age to 18 in 2019, the electorate increased by 6 million.
In recent years, the South East Asian country has experienced episodes of instability, particularly in light of the government's struggle to address the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, but also following a recent scandal that shocked the country over a case of corruption orchestrated by former Prime Minister Najib Razak.
On August 23, Malaysian prosecutors said some $4.5 billion were stolen from the 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Berhad) state fund, which was co-founded in 2009 and was supposed to promote development when Najib was PM.
Pakatan Harapan is credited for ousting the former Prime Minister who has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.
But during Muhyiddin Yassin's mandate as Prime Minister from 2020 to 2021, the country also suffered heavily from ensuing lockdown measures, which resulted in the loss of up to 2 million jobs in 2021, and caused real salaries to decrease by 9% in 2020 compared to 2019.