Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Anwar Ibrahim has been sworn in as Malaysia’s 10th prime minister, marking an incredible comeback for a man who was first lined up for the job in the boom years of the 1990s before he was suddenly sacked and jailed.
The 75-year-old veteran politician took the oath of office in the presence of King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah at the palace in Kuala Lumpur shortly after 5pm (09:00 GMT) on Thursday afternoon, hours after he had been named to the top job by the monarch.King Sultan Abdullah had taken control of the process of forming a new government after Anwar’s Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition won the most seats in the weekend’s election, but not the 112 seat parliamentary majority necessary to form a government.
PH and the rival conservative Malay-Muslim Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition under former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, which had the second-highest number of seats, both began negotiations to form a government, wooing 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 its historic defeat in the last elections in 2018.
With neither able to make a breakthrough, the king met Anwar and Muhyiddin, as well as newly elected members of parliament to canvas their views on who should lead the new government.
After a meeting of the royal households on Thursday, Anwar was announced as the leader because the king was convinced he had the support of the majority of Malaysia’s 222 members of parliament.ment, urging all politicians to work together for the benefit of the country.
King Sultan Abdullah said the 75-year-old opposition leader would be sworn in at a ceremony at the palace at 5pm (09:00 GMT). tor at consultancy BGA Malaysia, told Al Jazeera. “All his struggles and campaigns for reform are now vindicated.”
Anwar Ibrahim started his political career as a student activist, founding the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia, known by its Malay acronym ABIM, in 1971 and later leading protests against rural poverty and on other socioeconomic causes.nant party in BN, which had ruled Malaysia since independence in 1957.Anwar rose rapidly through the ranks to become finance minister and deputy prime minister, earning a reputation as a charismatic, ambitious and reform-minded politician.
But as the Asian financial crisis deepened, Mahathir turned on the man he had chosen as his successor.September 1998, Anwar was sacked and accused of corruption and sodomy, a crime in Malaysia.
Thousands took to the streets of Kuala Lumpur and Anwar, who maintained the charges were politically motivated, was arrested.His trial veered from the shocking – a black eye later confirmed to be inflicted by the then-police chief while Anwar was in custody – to the absurd – a stained mattress hauled into court as evidence. – Al Jazeera