Commentary: Malaysia PM Anwar has his hands full sorting out permutations of unity government

2 weeks ago 33

KUALA LUMPUR: After twists and turns in attempting to form a ruling coalition in Malaysia after the recent general election, Anwar Ibrahim was finally appointed prime minister on Thursday (Nov 24).

The news was welcomed with cautious optimism by some, as the public is still in the dark as to the actual shape and form of Anwar’s ruling coalition. His assumption of premiership can be described as hard-earned but nevertheless a pyrrhic victory, as he will have to deal with a slew of erstwhile rivals even within his ruling coalition.

In his first press conference after taking over the reins of power, Anwar revealed that up until his appointment by the Malaysian king, his unity government comprised his party Pakatan Harapan (PH), Barisan Nasional (BN) and Sarawak’s ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak.

He added his government also included Malaysian United Democratic Alliance, Parti Warisan Sabah and Parti Bangsa Malaysia. Anwar said the door was still open for other parties and coalitions to join his government, specifically mentioning rival Perikatan Nasional (PN) and its offshoot, Sabah’s ruling Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS).

On Friday (Nov 25), Anwar announced that GRS had agreed to join the unity government, boosting it to a two-thirds majority in the Lower House.

EXPECT DELAY IN FORMING CABINET

The final composition of Anwar's ruling coalition is yet to be determined. For a start, his Cabinet appointments will have to be delayed until after the ruling coalition is finalised. The various component ...

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