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Friday, February 3, 2023

Malaysia Election: Tight Race Indicates Hung Parliament for First Time Ever

Without a clear winner, political uncertainty could persist as Malaysia faces rising inflation

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MALAYSIA: The support for a conservative Islamic alliance prevented major coalitions from achieving a simple majority in a general election, resulting in Malaysia’s first-ever hung parliament.

Political ambiguity might linger if there is no obvious victor, especially given Malaysia’s sluggish economic development and growing inflation. In as many years, it has had three different prime ministers.

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If none of the major parties receives a majority, a coalition of them would need to forge a majority alliance to create a government.

The constitutional monarch of Malaysia might also intervene since he has the authority to name a lawmaker as prime minister if he thinks the lawmaker can win a majority.

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The biggest shock came from former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who led his Perikatan Nasional bloc to a strong showing and attracted support from the current administration’s traditional bastions.

An Islamist party that has promoted shariah, or Islamic law, and a conservative party with a strong Malay component make up Muhyiddin’s coalition.

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In Malaysia, where ethnic Chinese and Indians and Muslim ethnic Malay people make up the majority and minority populations, respectively, race and religion are contentious problems.

Anwar and Muhyiddin each asserted to have the backing necessary to establish a government.

Muhyiddin stated that he hoped to wrap up talks by Sunday afternoon. His coalition is a junior partner in the government led by the current prime minister, Ismail Sabri Yaakob, and they may collaborate once more.

Anwar promised to send King Al-Sultan Abdullah a letter outlining his support.

If Anwar wins the position, it will be the culmination of an amazing journey for a politician who, in 25 years, went from being the prime minister’s deputy and expected successor to being imprisoned for sodomy and then being the head of the opposition in the nation.

Only 220 of Malaysia’s 222 parliamentary seats were up for election on Saturday.

The electoral commission said that Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional coalition won 73 seats, while Anwar’s multiethnic Pakatan Harapan party won a total of 82 seats. 30 went to Ismail’s Barisan bloc. As of 2100 GMT, one seat was unclaimed.

Also Read: Malaysian Politicians Commence Election Campaigns in Tight Race

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