KUALA LUMPUR: UMNO president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said on Wednesday (Sep 23) he received information that many UMNO and Barisan Nasional (BN) Members of Parliament have stated their support for opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to form a new government.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also BN chairman, said UMNO and BN are not component parties of Perikatan Nasional (PN), so any support for the PN government comes from individual MPs.
“UMNO and BN are not able to stop MPs supporting Anwar from meeting the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to make known his intention," he said in a statement.
“I was told that many UMNO and BN MPs have voiced their support (for Anwar). I respect their decision.”
READ: Muhyiddin says Anwar needs to prove he has parliamentary majority; stresses he remains the 'legal prime minister'
Anwar had earlier on Wednesday announced that he has garnered a "strong, formidable, convincing majority" of MPs to form a new government.
Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president and Port Dickson MP claimed that he was supposed to have an audience with the king, but that it was postponed because the king was hospitalised.
Meanwhile, MCA president Wee Ka Siong stressed that the party, together with BN, will continue to support the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
“In my capacity as MCA president, I wish to stress that our stance is clear and that MCA and BN fully stand by Muhyiddin. Under his leadership, the government has been able to function well and successfully contained the COVID-19 pandemic in the past six months.
"At the same time, we have revived the country's economy during these difficult times as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said in a Facebook post on Wednesday.
Wee likened Anwar’s announcement to sabotaging the country at a time when it is trying to revive its economy.
He added that Anwar is back to using his old tactics, like when he claimed to have the support of 30 MPs and was "headed for Putrajaya on Sep 16, 2008”.
"While speaking to reporters today, he (Anwar) can be seen to avoid touching on the total number of MPs who are with him," said the MCA president.
"As a senior political leader, Anwar should be more responsible, especially when the Sabah state election is taking place. The country's stability is far more important than his ambition to become prime minister."