Malaysia’s Political turmoil: Anwar The saviour?


Malaysia is a federal constitutional elective monarchy. The head of the State is commonly referred to as the King. The King is elected for a term of five years. The king is elected among the nine hereditary rulers of the Malaysian states. The King’s role is mainly ceremonial. Legislative powers are divided between state legislatures and federal. There is a multi-party system in parliament. In the recent elections of 2018, the Barisan Nasional Coalition, which enjoyed an uninterrupted reign over the country since Malaysia’s independence in 1957, was voted out of power. The alliance of Pakatan Harapan won the majority. In February 2020, PM Mahathir Mohamad resigned which had put Malaysia in a political turmoil. He resigned because several MPs of the People’s Justice Party and Malaysian United Indigenous party left the Pakatan Harapan coalition. Muhyiddin Yassin, a leader from a minority party, was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Malaysia in March,2020. He had made an alliance with the UMNO party and now the UMNO party leaders are unhappy with the current Prime Minister. Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia’s opposition leader, has set his motion to claim the PM seat by formally presenting documents to the King. He has majority support in the Parliament to form a new government. A meeting was scheduled between leaders of political parties and King Al-Sultan Abdullah to assess Anwar’s claim of support of the majority. But the scheduled meetings have been postponed because of the spike in coronavirus cases in Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur. The former ruling party UNMO is a key political party which can make or break the chances of Anwar becoming the next PM of Malaysia. Anwar Ibrahim has criticised UNMO on various occasions in the past. Currently, Malaysia is in political turmoil and it will be interesting to see what happens next.


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