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Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim wins confidence motion in parliament

The victory is a vital endorsement of Anwar’s premiership after last month’s election yielded a no-majority parliament.

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s no-confidence motion passed parliament, gaining vital backing for his tenure after elections last month yielded a no-majority parliament.

Anwar had convened parliament on Monday to demonstrate his majority, after his rival and former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin questioned his support.

The no-confidence motion passed by a simple voice vote, with lawmakers voicing their support, after the opposition argued against it because Anwar had already been officially sworn in as prime minister by the monarch.

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“The yeses have it… We have a sufficient majority, and it is two-thirds,” said Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil.

“The unity government in Malaysia remains strong with strong support and we will focus on the welfare of the people,” he added.

The opposition bloc continued to question the number of lawmakers in the 222-seat parliament who supported Anwar, saying they were ready to take over the ruling government “when the time comes.”

“It can be at any time; tomorrow, next week or the next election,” said opposition leader Hamzah Zainudin.

Anwar, 75, who is also finance minister, took steps to cement his support last week by signing a cooperation pact with smaller political parties.

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The parties agreed to ensure political stability after years of turmoil, boost the economy, foster good governance and uphold the rights of the country’s majority Malay community, and maintain Islam as their official religion.

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Anwar, who has spent more than two decades as an opposition figure, had previously been denied the post of prime minister despite being very close to him.

In between, he spent nearly a decade in jail for sodomy and corruption on what he says were politically motivated charges.

In last month’s close elections, Anwar’s bloc failed to win a simple majority. But he was appointed by the Malaysian king and proceeded to form a coalition government with the help of other political blocs.

His new government includes the former ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, which he spent much of his political career trying to topple.

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