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Malaysia’s Anwar Ibrahim meets king in challenge for leadership

Malaysia’s opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim met the Southeast Asian nation’s king on Tuesday morning in an attempt to prove he has the parliamentary support needed to replace Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin who took power in March.Anwar added a fresh twist to the country’s political drama last month after he declared that he had secured a “strong majority” from federal politicians to form a new government.

The renewed struggle for power comes as Malaysia faces a new wave of coronavirus cases that have prompted the authorities to impose a two-week lockdown in Kuala Lumpur and the neighbouring state of Selangor, the country’s richest state, with effect from midnight on Tuesday.

Should Anwar succeed in securing the post, it would be the culmination of a decades-long quest, during which he spent nearly 10 years in jail. He would also become Malaysia’s third prime minister this year.

Muhyiddin emerged as leader in March after a week of political turmoil when several disgruntled members of the then-ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition joined forces with parties that had lost power in 2018.

The move led to the resignation of 95-year-old Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister and scuppered a promise that Anwar would become prime minister two years after the Harapan victory.

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