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GBO_Malaysia PM Anwar Ibrahim

Malaysia’s new PM Anwar Ibrahim sets his eyes on cost of living crisis

Anwar Ibrahim hasn’t announced his Cabinet, but reports indicate that he will have two deputy prime ministers

Newly-appointed Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has his task cut out as he takes over the office amid the country facing an economic slowdown and a deeply split society post a closely-contested election.

The 75-year-old has a three-decade political journey. From being a protege of veteran politician Mahathir Mohamad, Anwar Ibrahim became a protest leader.

Anwar Ibrahim hasn’t announced his Cabinet yet, but reports indicate that he will have two deputy prime ministers.

Former PM Muhyiddin Yassin had earlier refused to concede defeat. However, he later said that his bloc would sit at the opposition’s corner.

Anwar Ibrahim’s progressive, multi-ethnic coalition took on Muhyiddin Yassin’s conservative ethnic-Malay, Muslim alliance in the polls. Neither got the majority. However, the country’s constitutional monarch, King Al-Sultan Abdullah, defused the crisis by appointing Anwar Ibrahim as the next PM.

Anwar Ibrahim was denied the premiership several times before. While markets surged after Anwar Ibrahim’s appointment, investors will be monitoring the situation for the next few days.

Anwar Ibrahim’s coalition, known as Pakatan Harapan, won the most seats in the polls (82), while Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional bloc won 73. The magic figure was 112.

The long-ruling Barisan bloc won only 30 seats, its worst electoral performance. However, the coalition and another bloc of political parties from Malaysian Borneo extended support to Anwar Ibrahim’s government. Now, it has the support of over two-thirds of the members of the 222-seat Parliament.

Anwar Ibrahim also needs to deal with the 2023 budget, which was proposed before the polls but hasn’t been passed yet.

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