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Malaysia in transition

28-year-old Malaysian aims to upend Mahathir-Anwar game of thrones

Syed Saddiq courts frustrated youth with new party ahead of next election

Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman is the co-founder of the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance, or MUDA. Muda, in the Malay language, means young. (Photo by Wong Ying Xian)

KUALA LUMPUR -- For three decades, Malaysian politics have always circled back to two big names: Mahathir Mohamad and Anwar Ibrahim. When the men are not tearing each other down, they are trying to defeat someone else -- either by joining forces, against former leader Najib Razak, or separately, in the case of current Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

But as the country heads toward its 15th federal election -- most likely after COVID-19 vaccines become widely available -- there are rumblings of frustration with governments perpetually on the brink. "I want to vote for stability," 20-year-old student and soon to be first-time voter Jsai Dhanyaa Laaxmi told Nikkei Asia.

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