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Malaysia's elections… the first suspended parliament and a “historic” loss for Mahathir Mohamad

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Malaysia’s elections… the first suspended parliament and a “historic” loss for Mahathir Mohamad

As Malaysia heads into its first hung parliament, after none of the three main coalitions managed to secure enough seats to form a majority, Kuala Lumpur is on the cusp of political uncertainty.

Although the latest results announced by the Election Commission showed that the new parliament is without a majority, former Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said that he won enough seats in parliament during the general elections to form a government.

Former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin of the Brikatan National Coalition said he would talk to parties in Borneo to try to get a majority, adding that his alliance would not work with Pakatan Harapan.

This comes, while opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said that the Pakatan Harapan coalition has spoken to other members of parliament from outside his coalition and has more than 111 seats, which is enough to form the next government.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim confirmed that his coalition has enough support from MPs to form a government, and Anwar did not reveal which MPs or political parties support him.

The biggest surprise

Results from the Election Commission showed that longtime opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s coalition won the most seats in Saturday’s general election.

The biggest surprise came from former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who led his Brekatan National Bloc to a strong performance, drawing support from the traditional strongholds of the current government.

Muhyiddin said he hoped to conclude the discussions on Sunday afternoon, noting that he would present a letter to Malaysia’s King Sultan Abdullah detailing his support.

Malaysia has 222 parliamentary seats, but elections were held for only 220 seats on Saturday.

The Election Commission said Anwar’s multi-ethnic Pakatan Harapan coalition won a total of 82 seats, while Muhyiddin’s Perikatan National Alliance won 73 seats and Ismail’s Barisan coalition won 30 seats.

bipartisan system

“The main result of this election is that Brekatan has succeeded in disrupting the two-party system,” said Adeeb Zalkabli, director at Power Group Asia, a political consultancy. Barisan and Bakatan have long been the main blocks in Malaysia.

Barisan said he accepted the decision of the people, but he did not accept defeat. The coalition said in a statement that it remained committed to forming a stable government.

Meanwhile, veteran leader Mahathir Mohamad received his first electoral defeat in fifty-three years, in a blow that may indicate the end of a political career that lasted seven decades, and he lost his seat to Muhyiddin’s coalition.

expected slowdown

A record number of Malaysians voted on Saturday, hoping to end a wave of political uncertainty that has led to three prime ministers amid uncertain economic times and the coronavirus pandemic.

The economic outlook and mounting inflationary pressures were major issues for Malaysians in Saturday’s election, which comes amid an expected slowdown in growth.

Malaysians are frustrated by the recent political instability, which they believe has diverted politicians’ focus from the economic development of a country that, since 2018, has seen three prime ministers and the collapse of two coalitions due to factional power struggles.

Malaysia was facing a hung parliament for the first time in its history, as the backing of a conservative Islamist coalition prevented major coalitions from winning a simple majority in a general election.

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