From Anwar Ibrahim to Lim Guan Eng: 10 power brokers in Malaysia's new political landscape

The unthinkable has happened, and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is back as Prime Minister for the second time. Unlike his first tenure from 1981 to 2003, when he and his then party Umno called the shots and brooked no dissent within the Barisan Nasional coalition, Dr Mahathir's Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia has only 13 MPs after the May 9 elections. Nevertheless, he is still "top dog" in the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition, and now that those who revolve around Umno are out in the cold, Malaysia's changing of the guard will see new power brokers stepping up to fill the void. Shannon Teoh reports.

(Clockwise from top left) Anwar Ibrahim, Tun Daim Zainuddin, Lim Kit Siang, Wan Azizah, Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud, Azmin Ali, Shafie Apdal, Lim Guan Eng, Mohamad Sabu and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. PHOTOS: EPA-EFE, THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, MALAYSIAKINI, ARLINA ARSHAD, ARIFFIN JAMAR, LESLIE LOPEZ, TRINNA LEONG, SIN CHEW DAILY
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PM-in-waiting pulls the strings in ruling coalition's largest party

Even from his hospital bed, the jailed opposition icon was pulling the strings in his Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), which is now the largest party in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government. Datuk Seri Anwar continues to do so now, with PKR leaders making frequent visits to his ward even as the ruling coalition begins appointing Cabinet ministers and other key personnel.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 13, 2018, with the headline 10 power brokers in Malaysia's new political landscape. Subscribe