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Tension escalates on Malaysian politics

Anwar Ibrahim spent almost a decade in jail after being convicted of sodomising a young male aide, allegations that supporters say were aimed at ruining his political career. (Photo: AFP/Roslan RAHMAN). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

KUALA LUMPUR, Sep 23, 2020, VNA. The Malaysian politics saw estalating tension on September 23 when opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said he has secured a ‘formidable’ majority from lawmakers to form a new government, Vietnam News Agency reported.

However, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin affirmed that he is still the legal leader of the Southeast Asian country.

“We have a strong, formidable majority,” Anwar told reporters, adding he commanded support from close to two-thirds of the legislature’s 222 lawmakers, without giving actual numbers or disclosing who had pledged support.

According to Malaysia’s constitution, to form a new government, Anwar must meet with the king, Sultan Abdullah, who plays a largely ceremonial role in Malaysia but could appoint a prime minister who in his view is likely to command a majority in parliament.

Anwar said he was scheduled to meet with the king on September 22 but it had to be cancelled as the king was unwell and had to be taken to a hospital.

Analysts said elections are more likely to end the political uncertainty.

Muhyiddin came to power in March after securing a majority with the support of UMNO, which was defeated in the 2018 election.

Anwar, 73, has had a tumultuous political career. At first a rising star of Malaysian politics and UMNO, he was jailed for sodomy and corruption after being fired as deputy prime minister by Mahathir in 1998.

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