Anwar and Zahid’s strange union is Malaysia’s best shot at political stability

Zahid’s deputy prime minister appointment sews up Umno’s loyalty to PH

Malaysian PM Anwar Ibrahim (left) has appointed Umno chief Zahid Hamidi as deputy prime minister. ST PHOTOS: JASON QUAH
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As expected, Zahid Hamidi, Umno president and leader of the Barisan Nasional (BN), was appointed deputy prime minister in Malaysia, in addition to assuming the post of federal minister of rural and regional development.

Many Malaysians, especially those among the urban middle class, had hoped he would be denied a role in Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s Cabinet, given his 47 outstanding corruption charges. Banking on Mr Anwar’s long-held mantra and the Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) professed general election manifesto objective of resetting Malaysia and ridding the establishment of corruption and abuse of power, many Malaysians might feel frustrated and come to see this move as an indictment of Mr Anwar, or think that the new Malaysian government is simply more of the same that has come before.

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