Why Anwar Ibrahim’s longheld dream of becoming Malaysia PM keeps getting thwarted

Anwar’s efforts to assume the prime ministership, even if he does have the numbers in theory, will continue to face huge obstacles from three major political blocks.

James Chin, Channel News Asia

Anwar Ibrahim has come far from his days as a charismatic firebrand. Now the man who believes in an inclusive Malaysia is seen as a huge political threat, says James Chin.

Malaysia Politics
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim speaks during a press conference after meeting the nation’s king in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. Anwar met the king Tuesday in a bid to form a new government after claiming he had secured a majority in Parliament. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Anwar Ibrahim, often dubbed Malaysia’s perennial Prime Minister-in-waiting, met with the Malaysian King on Tuesday (Oct 13) and told him he had the numbers to form a new government.

At a press conference later in the afternoon, he claimed to have more than 120 MPs backing him.

You only need 112 MPs for a simple majority in the country’s 222-seat parliament. If Anwar’s claims are true, his government would be a strong and stable one and the palace should seriously look into the issue. It is widely assumed that Muhyiddin currently has 114 MPs supporting his rule.

Anwar’s meeting with the King was highly anticipated, since the former made these public claims three weeks ago.

The Malaysian police have also said earlier this week they were seeking clarifications from Anwar after undisclosed complaints were made.


An hour after Anwar’s press conference, Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin held a separate press conference. His aides positioned it as a regular media briefing.

But everyone knew it was to demonstrate Muhyiddin was in control. Such press conferences by Muhyiddin since he took over as PM have been very rare.

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