© Reuters. Malaysia’s newly appointed Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and his spouse Wan Azizah Wan Ismail participate within the swearing-in ceremony on the Nationwide Palace in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia November 24, 2022. Mohd Rasfan/Pool through REUTERS
(Reuters) – Malaysia’s new prime minister, 75-year-old Anwar Ibrahim, was sworn in on Thursday, bringing to an in depth his three-decade quest for the job that had eluded him again and again and led to him spending almost a decade in jail.
HOW DID HE RISE TO THE TOP?
As opposition chief, Anwar led tens of hundreds of Malaysians in road protests within the Nineteen Nineties towards his mentor-turned-foe Mahathir Mohamad.
Anwar began off as a firebrand Islamic youth chief earlier than becoming a member of then prime minister Mahathir’s United Malays Nationwide Organisation (UMNO), which leads the Barisan Nasional alliance.
His strained relationship with the veteran chief formed Anwar’s personal profession, in addition to Malaysia’s political panorama, for almost three a long time.
Anwar’s appointment as prime minister brings an finish to a political disaster after an election on Saturday ushered in an unprecedented hung parliament. Whereas Anwar’s progressive bloc received essentially the most seats in parliament, it fell in need of a majority.
WHY WAS HE IN JAIL?
Between stints as deputy prime minister within the Nineteen Nineties and as official prime minister-in-waiting in 2018, Anwar spent almost a decade in jail for sodomy and corruption on fees he says had been politically motivated.
Mahathir had referred to as Anwar his pal and protege, and anointed him his successor, however later, amid felony fees and disagreements over how you can deal with the Asian monetary disaster in 1998, he stated Anwar was unfit to guide “due to his character”.
The 2 buried the hatchet briefly in 2018 to oust from energy the political alliance they as soon as belonged to – solely to fall out once more inside two years, ending their 22-month-old authorities and plunging Malaysia right into a interval of instability.
WHAT IS HIS MANIFESTO?
Anwar advised Reuters in an interview earlier than the election that he would search “to emphasise governance and anti-corruption, and rid this nation of racism and spiritual bigotry”.
For many years, Anwar has referred to as for inclusiveness and an overhaul of the political system within the multi-ethnic nation.
About 70% of the inhabitants of almost 33 million includes ethnic Malays, who’re primarily Muslim, and indigenous teams with ethnic Chinese language and Indians account for the remaining.
Anwar referred to as for the removing of insurance policies favouring Malays and an finish to a patronage system that had stored Malaysia’s longest ruling coalition, the Barisan Nasional, in energy.
His rallying cry of ‘reformasi’, or reforms, resonated nationwide, and continues to be the principle promise of his alliance. HOW HAVE MALAYSIANS REACTED?
Anwar’s supporters expressed hope that their charismatic chief’s authorities would head off a return to historic stress between the ethnic Malay, Muslim majority and ethnic Chinese language and Indian minorities.
“All we would like is moderation for Malaysia and Anwar represents that,” stated a communications supervisor in Kuala Lumpur, who requested to be recognized by her surname Tang.
“We will not have a rustic that’s divided by race and faith as that may set us again one other 10 years.”
Authorities warned after the weekend vote of an increase in ethnic stress on social media and quick video platform TikTok stated it was on excessive alert for content material that violated its tips.
“At all times considered the person who may unite all warring factions, it’s becoming that Anwar emerged throughout a divisive time,” stated political analyst James Chai, a visiting fellow on the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in neighbouring Singapore.