Muhyiddin, who heads both the Bersatu party and the broader Malay-majority opposition bloc Perikatan Nasional, revealed his intention to step aside and allow new leaders to assume control of Bersatu during its elections slated for the end of 2024.
Under his leadership, the opposition made significant strides in provincial polls last August and in the nationwide vote the previous year.
The absence of Muhyiddin at the helm of Bersatu is expected to diminish the opposition’s strength vis-à-vis Anwar.
Political analysts, such as Tunku Mohar Tunku Mohd Mokhtar from the International Islamic University of Malaysia, highlight that the stature and experience Muhyiddin possesses are pivotal.
His departure leaves a leadership void that could potentially grant Anwar more stability, at least until the upcoming general elections.
This development transpires a year after a critical error on Muhyiddin’s part facilitated Anwar’s ascent to the position of prime minister.
Recently, four Bersatu lawmakers shifted their allegiance to Anwar, granting him a parliamentary supermajority.
Muhyiddin’s announcement heralds a significant transition within Malaysian politics, hinting at potential shifts in power dynamics and strategies within the opposition as Anwar solidifies his standing in the political landscape.