Anwar Ibrahim has a legacy of promoting Islamic democracy, justice and equality for all Malaysians
KUALA LUMPUR — Anwar Ibrahim, 75, finally became the Prime Minister of Malaysia on Thursday, November 24, 2022, a role denied to him for three decades through political manoeuvring, defamation and court cases on trumped-up charges, resulting in several stints of imprisonment.
The veteran politician took the oath of office in front of King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and the Queen of Malaysia in attendance, at the palace in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday afternoon, hours after he had been named to the top job by the monarch. Anwar has become the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia.
After taking oath, Anwar said he would shoulder the duties entrusted to him with “utmost humility”.
“With my team, I will carry out this heavy responsibility based on the people’s aspirations,” he said in a Twitter post.
Anwar’s coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH) emerged as the biggest winner with 82 seats after the election held on November 18, paving the way for him to form the new government with the help of other minor parties.
Anwar with his legacy of promoting Islamic democracy, justice, pluralism, equality for all Malaysians and good governance free of corruption would be better off to reconcile with the Islamic party (PAS) with similar ideals to form a stable unity government to best serve the country.
“We have a truly convincing majority … this is a national unity government, all are welcome,” Anwar said, adding however that new entrants to the coalition government had to accept pre-conditions of incorruptibility, upholding good governance and ensuring a “Malaysia for all Malaysians”, Anwar said in his first press conference after the swearing-in ceremony.
Starting as a charismatic student activist during the 70’s and founding the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM), he was enticed by Mahathir Mohammad during the early 80’s to join the government with a rapid rise to deputy prime ministership during the 90’s.
But then, Mahathir with his serial ambition to stay in power manoeuvred to get him charged for sodomy and corruption repeatedly and finally in 2018 when both joined together to oust the ruling party, he again did not hand over the top post to Anwar against the agreement.
The recent 15th general election held last week led to a hung parliament, although Anwar Ibrahim’s reformist Pakatan Harapan (PH) alliance and the Malay-Muslim Perikatan Nasional (PH) coalition led by Malay nationalist Muhyiddin Yassin emerged as the two biggest blocs.
Constitutional monarch Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah after seeking the views of his fellow sultans made a decision on the leadership tussle “for the interests and well-being of the nation and people” inviting Anwar to form the new government.
Anwar said the first order of business when parliament reconvenes will be a vote of confidence with the backing of the 82 MPs in his PH coalition and its various allies.
Anwar Ibrahim claims the support of 30 MPs from the Barisan Nasional (BN) bloc and 23 MPs from the Gabungan Parti Sarawak having the support of 135 MPs, well over the 112 simple majority threshold to form the new government. — (With media inputs)
Cover photo: Anwar Ibrahim and his wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail during the swearing-in ceremony at the National Palace in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday. — (Taken from internet)