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 protracted election stalemate.
Following the meeting with state leaders and in accordance with Malaysia’s 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 5 p.m. local time.
“Whether you won or lost in the election, I ask you to unite for our beloved country,” he said, according to a CNBC translation.
“It is important that our nation be free from political instability because the country needs a strong and stable government.”
He asked the elected parliamentarians to continue to serve the nation well and expressed his gratitude to the leaders of the States for their help as well as their ideas for the resolution of the crisis.
Anwar’s appointment caps a wait of more than 20 years for the former deputy prime minister who served as opposition leader for two decades amid prison sentences and political coups.
Shares listed in Malaysia rose, with the benchmark KLCI trading up 2% after two negative sessions. Shortly after the announcement, telecommunications group Axiata Group Bhd was up 7.45% and rubber glove maker Top Glove was up 6.15% in the afternoon session. . Genting Malaysia grew by 5.16% and CIMB by 3.45%. The Malaysian ringgit strengthened slightly against the US dollar and last settled at 4.5080.
Saturday’s Malaysian general election produced a hung parliament, prompting the king to ask major coalitions to present their alliances at 2 p.m. local time on Tuesday to form a government and appoint their preferred prime minister.
Parties and coalitions need to secure a simple majority of 112 seats in parliament, out of the 222 seats up for grabs, to form the government, but none of the coalitions was able to do so.
The election – Malaysia’s 15th general election – resulted in the country’s first hung parliament after four years of political tumult. The Southeast Asian nation has had three prime ministers in three years.
Ibrahim’s Pakatan Harapan, the largest opposition party, won the 2018 election that ended the 60-year rule of the Barisan National. In Saturday’s elections, he won the most parliamentary seats with 82, but he still hasn’t reached 112, the number required to form the government.
The ruling coalition Perikatan Nasional was in second place with 73 seats. Party chairman Muhyiddin Yassin has served as one of the prime ministers in recent years, after he and other Pakatan Harapan members defected in 2020 to form Perikatan Nasional.
The defection led to the collapse of the Pakatan government.
Ibrahim, the leader of Pakatan, served as deputy to former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad in the 1990s before being imprisoned for corruption and sodomy.
Malaysia has been thrown into political chaos after former Malaysian Prime Minister and former Barisan Nasional Chairman Najib Razak fell out of favor following his involvement in the multi-billion dollar 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.
Najib was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
This is breaking news. Please check for updates.
– CNBC’s Jihye Lee contributed to this report.
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