Uncertainty in Malaysia has eased slightly but politics remain in flux

GLOBAL research house Fitch Solutions Country Risk & Industry Research has slightly raised Malaysia’s score on its short-term political risk index to 67.3 (out of 100) from 64.8 previously to reflect the progress made in the formation of the new government which has eased some political uncertainty.

Nevertheless, Fitch Solutions remains cautious if the Pakatan Harapan (PH)-led government will be able to implement policies, and “if (Prime Minister Datuk Seri) Anwar (Ibrahim) will be able to prove that he has the support of more than 112 MPs (to obtain the simple majority)”.

“It also remains unclear which parties or alliances will be ultimately involved in the ruling coalition,” reiterated the research house which is independent of international credit rating agency Fitch Ratings.

“Although (PH chairman) Anwar has been appointed the PM, he will have to garner and maintain support from parties with diverse interests which will likely weigh on the policymaking process.”

To re-cap, Anwar has been appointed and sworn in as Malaysia’s 10th PM on Nov 24 by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah.

This comes after Malaysia’s tightly contested general election held on Nov 19 led to the first hung parliament in the country’s history.

“Consequently, the King was compelled to exercise his constitution powers to appoint a PM as neither PH (which won the most seats but fell short of a majority) nor its rival Perikatan Nasional (PN) could prove that they secured majority support from lawmakers,” contended Fitch Solutions in its latest commentary.

“Moreover, PN had refused to form a unity government with PH. Anwar’s PH coalition will now lead the unity government comprised of former ruling bloc Barisan Nasional (BN), regional parties from Sarawak, Sabah and a slew of independents.”

This came about as the PN chairman and opposition leader Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who claimed to have obtained signed declarations of 115 lawmakers has demanded that Anwar prove his majority in Parliament.

“Anwar has responded by saying that he plans to test lawmakers’ support for his leadership with a confidence vote on Dec 19 during which the PH-led government also plans to table the Budget 2023 which was introduced before the election was called but has yet to be passed,” added the research house. – Nov 28, 2022

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