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Malaysia’s Anwar becomes prime minister, ending decades-long wait

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Malaysia’s new prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim, has been in office for less than a week, but he has already made headlines. On Monday, Anwar became the first Muslim to be appointed to the country’s top position, ending decades-long speculation about who would eventually take over from former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Anwar’s election is a significant milestone for Malaysia—and for Muslims around the world—because it signals that Malaysia is open for business and ready to move forward. ###

Malaysia’s Anwar becomes prime minister, ending decades-long wait

Mohamed Anwar Ibrahim was sworn in as Malaysia’s new prime minister on Monday, ending more than three decades of political waiting that had become a symbol of the country’s fractious and often impotent democracy.

The 57-year-old reformer won election on an unexpectedly strong showing two weeks ago and took the oath of office from Mahathir Mohamad, who stepped down after 22 years in power. Mr. Anwar is the first opposition leader to be named prime minister since independence from Britain in 1957.

With Mr. Mahathir still influential behind the scenes, Mr. Anwar will have to prove he has the strength and stamina to push through big changes when parliament reconvenes next month for its first session since his election. Among his priorities are addressing endemic corruption, improving Malaysia’s sluggish economic growth and reducing social inequality.

What led to Anwar’s victory?

Anwar Ibrahim’s victory in Malaysia’s general election is the end of a decades-long wait for the country’s first Muslim prime minister. Born into a modest family, Anwar rose through the ranks of the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) to become deputy prime minister in 1984 and prime minister in 1998. He was dismissed from office in 2003 after leading a campaign against corruption within UMNO. Anwar was pardoned by then-president Mahathir Mohamad and returned to parliament in 2006. In 2009, he was again arrested on charges of sodomy and corruption, but was later released after being acquitted. In 2013, he announced his candidacy for the UMNO leadership but narrowly lost to Najib Razak. Anwar formed an alliance with Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Malaysia’s largest opposition party, before winning the election on May 9 with 50 percent of the vote.

Anwar’s plans for Malaysia

On May 9th, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad stepped down as the Prime Minister of Malaysia after over three decades in power. Dr. Mahathir, 92 years old at the time, had announced his retirement from politics in October of last year. The decision to retire came as a shock to many Malaysians, as it was widely expected that he would continue to serve as Prime Minister until his successor was elected.

On May 10th, Anwar Ibrahim was appointed the new Prime Minister of Malaysia by the King of Malaysia. Anwar is a controversial figure in Malaysian politics; he has been twice imprisoned for corruption charges (the most recent conviction being in 2014), and he has been accused of being sympathetic to militant Islamist groups like ISIS [Islamic State] and al-Qaeda. However, despite these concerns, Anwar was chosen by Dr. Mahathir to be the next Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Anwar’s plans for Malaysia are still unknown, but many believe that he will seek to reduce public corruption and privatize state-owned companies. Additionally, Anwar has said that he wants to strengthen ties with China and Indonesia – two countries that have grown increasingly important to Malaysia economically – and improve relations with Thailand and India.

What the future holds for Malaysia

With the election of Anwar Ibrahim as Malaysia’s new prime minister, the country has finally come to a resolution after years of political turmoil. Ibrahim, who is popularly known as “Anwar”, is a former deputy prime minister and leader of the opposition who was jailed for five years on charges of sodomy in 1998. After his release, he became an outspoken critic of government corruption and embarked on a career in politics. Ibrahim’s victory represents a major shift for Malaysia, which has been ruled by the same party for more than 60 years.

The decision to appoint Ibrahim as prime minister signals a new era for Malaysia, which is currently facing many challenges. The country faces significant financial problems due to falling oil prices and weak global demand, and its economy ranks among the world’s most vulnerable. Additionally, Malaysia is struggling with rising violence rates, particularly against Muslim minorities. Ibrahim’s victory may provide some relief to these issues, as he will be able to draw on his experience as deputy prime minister and leader of the opposition to address these challenges.

Looking forward, Ibrahim will need to focus on rebuilding trust between the government and its citizens – something that will be difficult given the recent history of political instability in Malaysia. However, with strong leadership and dedication from Ibrahim himself, it is possible that Malaysia can overcome these challenges and emerge stronger than before.

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