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Malaysia's King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and newly appointed Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim take part in the swearing-in ceremony in Kuala Lumpur.

Mohd Rasfan/Pool via REUTERS

Hard Numbers: Malaysian inauguration, US-Venezuela oil thaw, Ukrainians in darkness, another African coup

10: Eternal opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was (finally!) sworn in as Malaysia's 10th prime minister. Anwar — who was cheated out of the job twice by his former mentor, ex-PM Mahathir Mohammad, and spent years in prison on bogus sodomy convictions — will have a tough time keeping together a shaky multiethnic coalition.

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Egypt's Foreign Minister Samih Zhukri (l) speaks during the closing ceremony at the COP27 climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Christophe Gateau/DPA via Reuters

What We’re Watching: Climate comp fund, Malaysian coalition building

COP27 delivers on reparations but fails on fossil fuels

Two days behind schedule, the COP27 climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, finally wrapped up with a historic agreement on Sunday. Wealthy countries will pay poor nations for the economic damage caused by climate change. The so-called "loss and damage fund" will compensate the developing world for impacts like droughts and flooding, which rich nations led by the US had resisted for 30 years. But so far it's only a political statement of intentions with no financial commitment, so it'll be up to future COPs to work out the details. What's more, climate activists' joy over the much-awaited reparations deal was overshadowed by a lack of progress in cutting fossil fuels. Efforts to include stronger language on phasing out oil and natural gas on top of coal were rebuffed by top fossil fuel producers as well as by major guzzlers in the developing world who won't jeopardize their economic growth to embrace renewables. In other words, a victory for climate justice but a painful defeat for clean energy at a COP where expectations were low.

Get more COP27 insights from Eurasia Group analyst Franck Gbaguidi on our Instagram and YouTube channels.

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Malaysians wave flags during the 65th National Day celebrations parade in Kuala Lumpur.

EYEPRESS via Reuters Connect

Will elections bring more political stability to Malaysia?

Malaysia will hold early elections on Nov. 19­­, the government announced Thursday. Polls were not due until September 2023, but Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob had come under intense pressure to bring them forward from senior figures in the ruling United Malays National Organization party and its Barisan Nasional partners. Several of these face criminal prosecutions they hope a new government would quash, while others argued elections should be held earlier to deprive the opposition of time to regroup.

Malaysia has gone through significant political instability — and three prime ministers – since the shock 2018 election defeat of UMNO, which had ruled the country since independence. Amid much greater parliamentary fragmentation and shifting political alliances, the country was led by two other coalitions – Pakatan Harapan and Perikatan Nasional – until BN returned to power in 2021 with Ismail’s premiership. BN and PN have governed Malaysia together since 2020, but PN was previously the senior partner whereas BN now is.

Will the upcoming polls result in greater political stability? Will they make much difference in the policy outlook? Eurasia Group analysts Peter Mumford and Fadli Yusoff explain.

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Anwar set to stay put after missing own deadline for ousting PM

December 04, 2020 5:00 AM

​Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is unlikely to lose his position because of his failure yesterday to meet a self-imposed seven-day deadline to topple Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Anwar set to continue as opposition chief despite missing deadline to topple Muhyiddin

December 03, 2020 9:00 PM

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim's is unlikely to lose his position because of his failure on Thursday (Dec 3) to meet a self-imposed seven-day deadline to topple Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Anwar slammed by allies for failure to block Budget 2021

November 29, 2020 5:00 AM

Fiery words have been exchanged between Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and its allies after a much-anticipated showdown with the Muhyiddin Yassin administration never materialisedlast week.

Anwar's leadership under scrutiny after opposition's failure to challenge Budget 2021

November 28, 2020 6:41 PM

KUALA LUMPUR - Fiery words have been exchanged between Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and its allies after a much-anticipated showdown with the Muhyiddin Yassin administration never materialised this week.

Malaysia's Opposition unimpressed by budget, says bipartisan demands not met

November 06, 2020 8:48 PM

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's Opposition on Friday (Nov 6) said the federal budget tabled by the Muhyiddin Yassin administration lacked a clear direction for economic recovery post the coronavirus pandemic, as several bipartisan demands made by the opposition remained unfulfilled in the budget.

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