KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s king has named Anwar Ibrahim as the nation’s 10th prime minister, ending five days of political uncertainty after the general election on Saturday ended with no single coalition earning enough seats to form the government.
Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, the country’s constitutional monarch, said he was satisfied that Anwar and his Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition had secured enough support from fellow elected representatives to lead Malaysia for the next five years.
The king “made a decision to appoint a member of the Dewan Rakyat who to his understanding may hold the support of the majority of Dewan Rakyat members as prime minister”.
“After going through the views of the other Malay rulers, HRH has granted his consent to appoint DS Anwar Ibrahim as Malaysia’s 10th prime minister,” the palace said in a statement.
“HRH reminds all parties that the winners do not win all and the losers do not lose everything. Hence … reach out your hands to each other and come together as members of the Dewan Rakyat for the future of our beloved nation.”
The swearing in will take place today.
Earlier, the king has called for royal rulers to meet on Thursday to resolve a political impasse that left the country without a prime minister days after inconclusive polls, the palace said.
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin remained the frontrunners for the top job.
Malaysia’s king, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, has the discretionary power to appoint a premier whom he believes has the majority of lawmakers’ support.
The palace said Wednesday the meeting of the country’s Malay rulers is aimed at helping the king “make the decision for the benefit and well-being of the country and the people”.
Largely Muslim Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy, with a unique arrangement where the throne rotates every five years between rulers of the nine Malaysian states headed by centuries-old Islamic royalty.
The system has been in place since Malaysia’s independence from Britain in 1957.
While their role is largely ceremonial, Malaysia’s Islamic royalty command great respect, especially from Muslim Malays, and criticising them is strictly forbidden.
At the weekend election, Anwar’s Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) coalition won the most number of seats at 82 while Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional (National Alliance) grouping grabbed 73, but both missed the simple majority of 112.
The once mighty Barisan Nasional — dominated by jailed ex-leader Najib Razak’s United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party — trailed far behind with 30 seats.