By S. E. Flynn, The Chicago Times
November 22, 2022
KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s king announced on Tuesday he will choose the country’s next prime minister, after the leading two candidates failed to secure a majority in last week’s election.
Last weekend’s election ended in an unprecedented hung parliament with neither front runner, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim nor former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin capturing a majority to form a government.
To end the deadlock, King Al-Sultan Abdullah had suggested the candidates work together to form a ‘unity government’, but Muhyiddin bluntly refused to work with Anwar. Muhyiddin leads the Malay Muslim conservation alliance that is in opposition to Anwar’s multi-ethnic coalition party.
King Abdullah had given both political parties until 2 pm on Tuesday to form a government. After failing to form a coalition government, the King is now obligated, under Malaysia’s constitution, to appoint a prime minister he believes can form a majority government. Both Anwar and Muhyiddin were summoned Wednesday to meet with the King, along with other lawmakers in hopes of reaching an informed decision.
At a press conference, Anwar said the King desired to form a strong government that was inclusive and focused on economic matters. Anwar’s coalition won 82 seats, but an Islamist party, that is aligned with Muhyiddin’s coalition, which supports sharia law won 73 seats. The incumbent Barisan party only won 30 seats. 112 seats are needed to form a simple majority government.