Monday, February 24, 2020

Malaysia Shocker

In surprise news, Malaysia's PM has resigned.

Those who know about the country, might be wondering why this is a surprise, as, it had been planned since the last election, for Mahathir to resign at about this time and for his successor, Anwar, to take over. After all, Anwar's party is what really won the last election, and without Anwar's support, Mahathir could have never become PM (again). In fact, if not for the false charges against Anwar, he would have simply become PM himself.

The surprise is that it seems Mahathir wants to form a coalition with the previous ruling party and shut Anwar out of office.

A month ago, the new ruling coalition had 129 seats; 26 of which belongs to Mahathir's party. Now, it has 92 seats, after Mahathir's party, and 11 members of Anwar's own party, have peeled off to join the opposition.

This would make the second time that Mahathir has bilked Anwar out of the Prime Ministership.

The decision making power over who will form the next government now seemingly goes to the Sultan. Malaysia has an interesting monarchy. Like Canada, it is a confederation, but unlike Canada, each member state has its own King, or Sultan (one state calls their Sultan the Raja and another the Yamtuan Besar, while the federal Sultan is known as Yang di-Pertuan Agong; but in colloquial conversation, the word 'sultan' is used for all). The person who holds the federal Sultan position is elected among the 9 provincial sultans for a term of 5 years. Interestingly, the previous Sultan was the first to step down early, after serving only 3 years. The current Sultan, who has served slightly over a year, is the sultan of Pahang, the largest (physically) province on the Mainland, and the 4th smallest by population.

I will keep you updated as news develops.

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