Veteran politician finally secures top spot after unclear elections led to days of haggling and monarch intervention.
Anwar Ibrahim has been named Malaysia’s new prime minister, marking an incredible comeback for a man who first lined up for the job in the boom years of the 1990s before being suddenly fired and jailed.
Anwar’s Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition won the most seats in the weekend’s elections, but no party or coalition emerged with the 112-seat parliamentary majority needed to form a government.
PH and the rival conservative Malay-Muslim Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition under former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who held the second highest number of seats, both entered negotiations to form a government, pursuing smaller coalitions in the Borneo states of Sabah and Sarawak as well as Barisan Nasional (BN), the alliance that dominated Malaysia for some 60 years before suffering a historic defeat in the last election in 2018.
With neither able to achieve a breakthrough, King Sultan Abdullah met with Sultan Ahmad Shah Anwar and Muhyiddin and newly elected elected MPs to gauge their views on who should lead the new government.
Following a meeting of the royal households on Thursday, the king announced that Anwar would be prime minister and would be sworn in at a ceremony at 5 pm (09:00 GMT).