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Anwar challenges opposition to file no-confidence motion amid rumours of plot to topple government

Malaysia's next parliamentary sitting is on May 22.

Anwar challenges opposition to file no-confidence motion amid rumours of plot to topple government

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim attends a wreath-laying ceremony at Rizal Park, in Manila, Philippines on Mar 2, 2023. (File photo: Reuters/Lisa Marie David)

SEREMBAN, Negeri Sembilan: Malaysia Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has challenged those in the opposition who are purportedly plotting to topple the federal government to file a motion of no-confidence in the next parliament sitting. 

Mr Anwar, who was speaking during the Malaysia Madani Hari Raya open house in Seremban on Sunday (May 7), stressed that proving his parliamentary majority would halt talk of political instability and allow the government to then focus on helping the people.

Madani is Mr Anwar’s slogan about reforming Malaysia into a country that believes in humanity and good values such as fair, just and effective governance.

“We must preserve political stability. Parliament will sit within the next two weeks and I challenge anyone or any party who wants to table a no-confidence motion, please do so. We will face off in parliament to see who has the strength,” said Mr Anwar.

“It has been disruptive. Whispers here and there of 126, 114, what are these? We are open to (the motion of no confidence) … We will fight in parliament. Why? Because I want to end this question of political instability so we can focus on helping the people." 

The next parliamentary sitting is on May 22.

Local media have recently reported on talk that opposition leader Hamzah Zainudin has clinched enough statutory declarations (SDs) from Members of Parliament (MPs) backing him as the next prime minister. 

News portal The Vibes on April 24 alleged that there were plans to remove Mr Anwar from his position via by-elections among Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs who did not support him.

According to the report, several BN MPs were being wooed and persuaded to quit their parties and sacrifice their seats. The MPs would then reportedly seek re-election under the opposition Perikatan Nasional (PN) banner.

Mr Anwar stressed previously that the parties in his unity government are strong enough to defend against any plot to topple the government. 

“As far as we can see, the position (of the government) is quite strong,” Mr Anwar was quoted last Monday as saying by Bernama. 

He also told reporters that the four political coalitions in the unity government - BN, Pakatan Harapan (PH), Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) - have expressed their commitment to defend the unity government. 

In December, Mr Anwar secured a vote of confidence during his first parliament session, confirming the legitimacy of his leadership and the unity government he leads. The vote of confidence was done via a voice vote only, with no call for a bloc vote.


In his speech on Sunday, Mr Anwar also called for some former political leaders who have been critical of his leadership to sell off their assets to help Malays in the country. 

He cited how these leaders, including former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad and former government adviser Daim Zainuddin, have criticised his government for not sufficiently protecting the rights of the Malays. 

“There are many Tan Sri and Tuns, who are rich, popular, who say that Anwar cannot be relied upon to preserve the rights of the Malays in this country,” said the Tambun MP. 

“But I believe I have done so over the last six months, through many projects and initiatives including flood mitigation projects and other initiatives.

“I’d like to ask them, whether it's Tun Mahathir or Tun Daim, these rich Malays, yes you should go ahead and fight for the rights of the Malays.

“But your wealth which is worth billions, your private planes, your ships, your overseas bank accounts, why not liquidate all of that and give the money to the Malays in Malaysia. Then it's correct, you are worthy of being called warriors of the Malays in Malaysia." 

On Friday, Dr Mahathir filed a RM150 million (US$33.8 million) defamation lawsuit against Prime Minister Anwar after the latter allegedly accused him of enriching himself while in power and calling him a racist. 

The former prime minister said that Mr Anwar’s claims during his speech at a Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) congress in March were untrue and he intended to damage his reputation and image.

Dr Mahathir said that Mr Anwar’s statements had tarnished his image as a statesman who was also twice a former prime minister, and one that has a reputation as a respected leader throughout Malaysia and the world.

Without mentioning any names, Mr Anwar, at the political event, alluded that a former leader - in his two stints as prime minister for “22 years and (another) 22 months” - had used his position to enrich himself, his family and his children.

Dr Mahathir was Malaysia’s prime minister from July 1981 to October 2003 and again from May 2018 to February 2020.

In his speech, Mr Anwar said that the leader only complained about Malays losing their dominance in the country after he was no longer in power.

Dr Mahathir said that as prime minister, Mr Anwar’s statement would get more media attention in and out of the country.

He also wanted Mr Anwar to retract all the alleged defamatory statements made against him and to apologise for the remarks.

Dr Mahathir had said on Mar 28 that Anwar had seven days to retract his statements.

Source: CNA/am(sn)


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