Anwar Ibrahim makes history as Malaysia’s tenth Prime Minister

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Anwar Ibrahim makes history as Malaysia's tenth Prime Minister

Longtime Malaysian statesman Anwar Ibrahim is the country’s new prime minister after the Southeast Asian nation’s palace made the announcement on Thursday, ending a long-running election deadlock.

Following the meeting with state-makers and in accordance with the Malaysian constitution, the king appointed Anwar as the Southeast Asian nation’s tenth prime minister. The king said in an official statement that Anwar would be sworn in at 17.00 local time.

“Whether you have lost or won the election, I ask you to stand together for our beloved country,” he said, according to a CNBC translation.

“It is important that our nation is free from political instability as the country needs a strong and stable government.”

He has asked the elected Members of Parliament to continue to serve the nation well and extended gratitude to statesmen for their assistance as well as insight into the resolution of the crisis.

Anwar’s appointment ends a more than 20-year wait for the former deputy prime minister, who has served as opposition leader for two decades amid prison terms and political coups.

Malaysia-listed shares were in the green ahead of the announcement, but took another leg higher soon after with the benchmark KLCI index up 3%. Telecommunications group Axiata Group Bhd was among the top gainers, up more than 7% as rubber glove maker Top Glove rose 6%. Genting Malaysia also gained 5.16% and CIMB gained 3.45%.

The Malaysian ringgit also jumped more than one percent to 4.5070 against the dollar.

Malaysia needs to ask itself if it should tolerate 'fanatical extremist' views: Anwar

Malaysia’s general election on Saturday produced the country’s first hung parliament, prompting the king to ask leading coalitions to present their alliances by 9 p.m. 14 local time on Tuesday to form a government and appoint their preferred prime minister.

Parties and coalitions need to win a simple majority of 112 seats in parliament, out of 222 seats up for grabs, to form the government – but none of the coalitions were able to do so.

Malaysia has been in political turmoil since the opposition, Anwar’s Pakatan Harapan coalition – the largest in the country – won the 2018 election that ended the 60-year rule. National Front.

Malaysia was thrown into political chaos after former prime minister and former Barisan Nasional chairman Najib Razak fell from grace with his involvement in the multi-billion dollar 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal. Najib has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

But Anwar’s rival in the leadership race, Muhyiddin Yassin, and other members of Pakatan Harapan defected in 2020 to form Perikatan Nasional.

The defection led to the collapse of the Pakatan government.

The Southeast Asian nation had since had three prime ministers including Muhyiddin.

In Saturday’s election, Pakatan won the highest number of parliamentary seats with 82, but still fell short of 112, the number required to form a government.

The incumbent ruling coalition Perikatan Nasional was in second place with 73 seats. Party chairman Muhyiddin Yassin was one of the prime ministers in recent years after he and other members of Pakatan Harapan defected in 2020 to form Perikatan Nasional.

The defection led to the collapse of the Pakatan government.

Anwar, was deputy to former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in the 1990s before he was jailed for corruption and sodomy.

— CNBC’s Jihye Lee contributed to this report.

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