Anwar and Mahathir put their differences aside in 2018, agreeing to work together to oust the ruling Barisan Nasional party amid widespread graft accusations among its leaders.
Barisan’s leader Najib Razak has since been jailed over a multi-billion-dollar scandal linked to state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
After their win, Mahathir requested a royal pardon for Anwar and promised to hand power to him within two years. However, the coalition collapsed after 22 months, leaving Anwar in the cold again.
In the 2022 general election, Anwar’s Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) coalition won the most number of seats, but fell short of the required majority.
Prior to the elections, he had faced calls to step down as some believed he had held on for too long.
In a recent interview with Reuters, Anwar said he knew his limits, when asked if this election would be his last.
“Whether I am considered relevant or not in the next few years, that’s for the people to decide,” he said.
After the election resulted in a political stalemate – with rival Perikatan Nasional also claiming to have the numbers necessary to form a government – the king intervened to break the impasse by calling for a unity government.
On Nov 24, Anwar’s appointment was confirmed by the palace and hours later, he took his oath of office, fulfilling a decades-long quest to become Malaysia’s prime minister.