Anwar's gambit shakes up Malaysian politics

Claim that he has backing to form new govt exposes Muhyiddin's fragile hold on power, PN rivalries

Mr Anwar Ibrahim's latest move has sent shockwaves through Malaysia's already troubled political landscape.
Mr Anwar Ibrahim's latest move has sent shockwaves through Malaysia's already troubled political landscape.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Since dropping the mid-week bombshell that he had garnered enough support to form a new government, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has unleashed a clutch of forces that have laid bare the brittle state of politics in Malaysia.

His latest and most audacious make-or-break gambit for the premiership has exposed Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's fragile hold on power and brought to the surface the bitter rivalries within the ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition, in particular the simmering struggles in the long-established Umno. It is yet to be seen how the win in Sabah by Tan Sri Muhyiddin's alliance might change the political picture.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 27, 2020, with the headline 'Anwar's gambit shakes up Malaysian politics'. Print Edition | Subscribe