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A veteran politician aims for the top seat once again – will he be successful?

Mr. Anwar Ibrahim, has staked claim to form the government in Malaysia yet again, saying that a “strong, formidable, convincing majority” of lawmakers wanted him to form a government. He has requested for an audience with the King. Mr. Muhyiddin Yassin, the current Prime Minister, has asked Mr. Anwar, to prove his majority support “through the process and methods determined by the Federal Constitution”. The matter now rests with Malaysia’s king, to whom Mr. Anwar promises to reveal his list of supporters. The country remains in limbo, since the monarch says he is too unwell to receive visitors at the moment.

Mr. Anwar came close to power in 2018 when a coalition of opposition parties including Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) defeated the ruling party of six decades, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), in a landmark election. The job of prime minister went to Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, the leader of a smaller party in the coalition, Bersatu, on the understanding he would soon pass the baton to Mr. Anwar. The pair, who both used to belong to UMNO, had been in the same situation before: when Dr. Mahathir was prime minister in the 1990s, Mr. Anwar had been his heir presumptive until they fell out and Mr. Anwar wound up in prison.

After three stints in prison and two decades of waiting, Mr. Anwar, long the leader of multiracial opposition party PKR, seems to be making another attempt. It remains to be seen whether Mr. Anwar will rise to become premier this time around in his quest for the top job. Even if he is unsuccessful this time, we can be sure that this is not going to be the last time that Mr. Anwar attempts to fulfill his long cherished dream to lead Malaysia.



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