Malaysia’s king appointed Long-standing leader of the opposition Anwar Ibrahim As prime On Thursday, minister ending Five days of unprecedented crisis post-election after inconclusive votes.

Anwar’s appointment caps a three-decade long political journey from a protege of veteran leader Mahathir Mohamad to protest leader, to a prisoner convicted of sodomy, to opposition leader and, finally, prime minister.

After the political deadlock was over, markets surged. The ringgit currency saw its highest day in two weeks while equities increased 3% on Kuala Lumpur’s stock exchange.

On Saturday, a general election ended in an unprecedented hung parliament without either of the main alliances, one led By, and one led By. Anwar together with the ex-premier Muhyiddin Yassin were immediately able secure enough seats in parliament for a government to be formed.

The 75-year-old Anwar He was repeatedly denied the premiership, despite being within striking distance throughout the years. prime minister in the 1990s, and the official prime 2018 minister-in–waiting

Marc Lourdes reported on the Malaysian election in The Sunday Review 2018

Between then and now, he was in prison for nearly a decade for sodomy & corruption. These were politically motivated charges that he claims were aimed at him. ending His career.

Uncertainty over the election could prolong political instability in the Southeast Asian nation, which has already had three elections. prime Ministers could be in office for as long as 10 years. This puts at risk delaying important policy decisions that will help to stimulate economic recovery.

Anwar leads a multi-ethnic coalition of parties with progressive leanings while Muhyiddin’s alliance reflects more conservative, ethnic Malay, Muslim views.

His supporters expressed their hope for the future. Anwar’s government would head off a return to historic tension between the ethnic Malay, Muslim majority and ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities.

“All we want is moderation for Malaysia and Anwar represents that,” A Kuala Lumpur communications manager asked to be identified as Tang.

“We can’t have a country that is divided by race and religion as that will set us back another 10 years.”

Anwar Interview with Reuters before the election, he told Reuters that he would seek out “to emphasize governance and anti-corruption, and rid this country of racism and religious bigotry” If appointed premier.

His coalition, known as Pakatan Harapan, won the most seats in Saturday’s vote with 82, while Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional bloc won 73. They needed 112 – a simple majority – to form a government.

The long-ruling Barisan bloc won only 30 seats – the worst electoral performance for a coalition that had dominated politics since independence in 1957.

Barisan stated on Thursday that it would not support a government headed by Muhyiddin. However, it didn’t make any mention to Muhyiddin. Anwar.

Muhyiddin’s bloc includes the Islamist party PAS, whose electoral gains raised concern among members of the ethnic Chinese and ethnic Indian communities, most of whom follow other faiths.

After the weekend’s vote, authorities warned of an increase in ethnic tension via social media. Short video platform TikTok stated that it was on high alert for any content that would violate its guidelines.

Social media users reported numerous TikTok postings since the election. These posts mentioned a riot that occurred in Kuala Lumpur on May 13, 1969. It was a violent incident in which 200 people were killed.

Police advised social media users not to post on the internet. “provocative” posted that they had set up 24 hour check-points along roads across the country in order to maintain public safety and peace.

The decision about the prime minister came down to King Al-Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, after both Anwar Muhyiddin missed the Tuesday afternoon deadline for forming a ruling coalition.

Although the constitutional monarch is primarily ceremonial, he can appoint a premier that he feels will be able to command a majority of parliamentarians.

Malaysia A unique constitutional monarchy exists in which kings are selected from nine royal families to rule for a five year term.

As premier, Anwar While the economy recovers from the coronavirus epidemic, it will need to deal with soaring inflation as well slowing growth. It will also need to calm ethnic tensions.

The budget for next year will be the most pressing issue. It was submitted before the election, but has not yet been passed.

Anwar He will also need to negotiate with lawmakers from other blocs in order to retain majority support in parliament.

“Anwar is appointed at a critical juncture in Malaysian history, where politics is most fractured, recovering from a depressed economy and a bitter Covid memory,” James Chai, visiting fellow at ISEASYUSof Ishak Institute in Singapore.

“Always regarded as the man who could unite all warring factions, it is fitting that Anwar emerged during a divisive time.”