pcloudyn.png
Monday November 28th, 2022 6:45AM

Malaysia's nationalist block closer to forming government

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia’s next government appeared to be leaning to the religious right as a coalition of Malay nationalists won support of an influential bloc on Sunday after tightly fought general elections failed to produce a clear winner. The nation’s king still has to approve any deal.

The unprecedented hung parliament after Saturday’s divisive polls saw the rise of the the Malay-centric Perikatan Nasional, or National Alliance, led by former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. It stunned many Malaysians who had hoped for stability and unity after political turmoil that has seen three prime ministers since 2018 polls.

Muhyiddin’s alliance was an underdog that enjoyed an unexpected surge of votes with 73 out of 222 parliamentary seats. Its hard-line ally is the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, the biggest winner with a haul of 49 seats — more than double what it won in 2018. Known as PAS, it touts Sharia, rules three states and is now the single largest party. Its rise has stoked fears of greater Islamization in the country.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s reformist multiethnic alliance topped the race with 82 federal seats, but fell far short of the 112 needed for a majority.

In negotiations Sunday, Muhyiddin’s coalition edged closer to a victory after securing the backing of a political bloc in Sarawak, a state on Borneo island, that won 22 seats. He still needs a nod from another key player, the long-ruling United Malays National Organization, to muster a majority.

The arrangement, if confirmed by the king, means that Muhyiddin will return as prime minister.

UMNO President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said he hasn't held any talks with Muhyiddin on the formation of a government. He said candidates from his National Front alliance have signed a pledge to give him the mandate to decide on any political cooperation.

Zahid, who has come under pressure to resign after UMNO's second drubbing at the polls, warned that any members who violated party rules will be sacked and will have to vacate their parliamentary seat under a new law that bans switching of parties.

His statement came amid a split in the once-powerful alliance that had ruled Malaysia since independence from Britain until corruption scandals brought it down in 2018 . It won only 3 0 seats in its worst-ever performance as many Malays opted for Muhyiddin’s bloc, which has touted itself as a “caring, clean and stable” alternative.

Anwar reiterated Sunday that he had sufficient support from lawmakers for a simple majority but refused to divulge details until King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah gives his approval. The king’s role is largely ceremonial in Malaysia, but he appoints the person he believes has majority support in Parliament as prime minister.

“With the level of support, I am confident I will be given the chance to lead this country," he said.

The palace said in a statement that Sultan Abdullah asked political chiefs to submit their choice for prime minister and for the alliance that will be formed for a parliamentary majority by Monday. The monarch said his decision will be final as he urged Malaysians to accept the outcome to ensure a stable government.

“This election had reinforced identity politics. Given that no party has outright majority, the newly formed coalition government will need to unite the nation,” said Amir Fareed Rahim, director of strategy at public affairs at political risk consultancy KRA Group.

Many rural Malays, who form two-thirds of Malaysia’s 33 million people — which includes large minorities of ethnic Chinese and Indians — fear they may lose their rights with greater pluralism under Anwar’s alliance. This, together with corruption in UMNO, has benefited Muhyiddin’s bloc.

Among other key election losers was two-time former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who at 97 is leading a separate Malay movement. He suffered a shocking defeat to the National Alliance.

Muhyiddin took power in March 2020, defecting from Anwar’s alliance and joining hands with the UMNO-led coalition in a move that triggered the government’s collapse. The partnership was beset by infighting and he resigned after 17 months.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Election News, AP World News
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
World Cup Viewer's Guide: USA ready to play, injuries abound
The first World Cup in the Middle East finally began Sunday night with a flashy opening ceremony and a match between Qatar and Ecuador without any beer for sale in the stadium
9:53AM ( 7 minutes ago )
American Mikaela Shiffrin wins 2nd WCup slalom in 2 days
Overall World Cup champion Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States claimed a slalom event for a sweep of the two season-opening races
9:52AM ( 8 minutes ago )
Top 25 Takeaways: Contenders live on edge, where TCU thrives
College Football Playoff contenders lived on the edge in Week 12, with the top four teams all teetering to varying degrees and at various points
9:32AM ( 27 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Justices asked to hear dog toy dispute. Will they bite?
The company that makes Jack Daniel’s is howling mad over a squeaking dog toy that parodies the whiskey’s signature bottle
7:49AM ( 2 hours ago )
VP Harris to visit front-line Philippine island in sea feud
Vice President Kamala Harris is visiting the Philippines to underscore America’s commitment to defend its treaty ally
6:38AM ( 3 hours ago )
Malaysia's nationalists seen on track to form new government
Malaysia’s next government appeared to be leaning to the religious right after a coalition of Malay nationalists won support of an influential bloc after tightly fought general elections failed to produce a clear winner
6:32AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Malaysia faces new crisis as poll delivers hung Parliament
Malaysia has tumbled into fresh political turmoil after Saturday's tightly-contested general election delivered a hung Parliament with no clear winner and a surprising surge of support for an Islamist party
3:59PM ( 18 hours ago )
NC Democrats' parity in Congress delegation may be fleeting
Democrats celebrated winning North Carolina's lone toss-up race for the U.S. House this month as Wiley Nickel won the 13th District seat
2:40PM ( 19 hours ago )
House GOP pushes Hunter Biden probe despite thin majority
Even with their threadbare House majority, Republicans doubled down this week on using their new power to investigate the Biden administration and in particular the president’s son
2:21PM ( 19 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Incumbent expected to win Kazakh presidential election
Kazakhstan’s incumbent president is widely expected to secure an easy victory in Sunday’s snap election that comes after bloody unrest shook the country this year and he moved to stifle the influence of his authoritarian predecessor
4:06AM ( 5 hours ago )
Malaysia's old party, Mahathir lose ground to poll rivals
Malaysia’s graft-tainted coalition that had ruled the country for decades is losing ground to rival Malay blocs but could still return to power depending on post-election alliances
12:52PM ( 21 hours ago )
Malaysia's old party, Mahathir, lose ground to poll rivals
Malaysia’s graft-tainted coalition that had ruled the country for decades is losing ground to rival Malay blocs but could still return to power depending on post-election alliances
12:37PM ( 21 hours ago )
AP Elections
Special counsel in Trump cases vows independent judgment
The newly named special counsel picked to lead investigations related to Donald Trump says he plans to conduct the probes “independently and in the best traditions of the Department of Justice.”
2:59PM ( 1 day ago )
California Democratic Rep. Porter reelected after tough race
Democratic Rep. Katie Porter has survived a bitter reelection fight in Southern California
8:57PM ( 2 days ago )
The AP Interview: Whitmer has 'no interest in going to DC'
In an Associated Press interview, Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she will remain focused on her post and not on growing national speculation she could mount a future presidential run
2:07PM ( 2 days ago )
General Election News
Turkey strikes in Syria, Iraq a week after Istanbul bombing
The Turkish Defense Ministry says it has launched airstrikes over northern regions of Syria and Iraq, targeting Kurdish groups Ankara holds responsible for last week’s bomb attack in Istanbul
8:10AM ( 1 hour ago )
2 volcanoes rumble into action in Russia's far east
Towering clouds of ash and glowing lava are spewing from two volcanoes on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula and scientists say major eruptions could be on the way
7:21AM ( 2 hours ago )
Man dies at UK migrant center criticized over conditions
A man being held at a much-criticized center for migrants in Britain has died after falling sick
6:40AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP World News
World Cup Viewer's Guide: USA ready to play, injuries abound
The first World Cup in the Middle East finally began Sunday night with a flashy opening ceremony and a match between Qatar and Ecuador without any beer for sale in the stadium
9:53AM ( 7 minutes ago )
American Mikaela Shiffrin wins 2nd WCup slalom in 2 days
Overall World Cup champion Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States claimed a slalom event for a sweep of the two season-opening races
9:52AM ( 8 minutes ago )
Top 25 Takeaways: Contenders live on edge, where TCU thrives
College Football Playoff contenders lived on the edge in Week 12, with the top four teams all teetering to varying degrees and at various points
9:32AM ( 28 minutes ago )
Qatar to open Mideast's first World Cup before leaders, fans
Qatar is preparing to open the Middle East’s first FIFA World Cup before global leaders and fans now pouring into this energy-rich nation after being battered by a regional boycott and international criticism
8:46AM ( 1 hour ago )
McIlroy clinches Race to Dubai title as Rahm wins in UAE
Rory McIlroy finished the year as Europe’s top-ranked golfer for the fourth time - and first since 2015 - despite Jon Rahm winning the DP World Tour Championship
8:27AM ( 1 hour ago )