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Malaysia opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim leaves Istana Negara after audience with king

Malaysia opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim leaves Istana Negara after audience with king

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim waves from a car as he leaves after meeting with Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah at National Palace in Kuala Lumpur on Oct 13, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Mohd Rasfan)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has left Istana Negara after an audience with the king on Tuesday (Oct 13) to present his case on commanding a parliamentary majority

He had earlier entered the palace at 10.25am, according to Bernama. He left about an hour later.  

On Tuesday morning, Mr Anwar had posted a photo of him and his wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail on his Facebook page with the caption of: "May all of today's tasks be eased." 

Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim (right) and wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. (Photo: Facebook/Anwar Ibrahim)

Mr Anwar’s Tuesday meeting with Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah came after he announced on Sep 23 that he has a “strong, formidable, convincing majority” of Members of Parliament (MPs) to form a new government.

His scheduled audience with the king a day earlier had to be postponed as the king was hospitalised for food poisoning

The king was later discharged on Oct 2. 

READ: Malaysia PM Muhyiddin casts doubt on Anwar's claim of majority parliamentary support

Mr Anwar, who is the president of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), was elected MP for Port Dickson in a by-election in October 2018, five months after Pakatan Harapan (PH) dethroned Barisan Nasional (BN) in the general election to form the federal government. 

Mr Anwar, who was serving a jail term for sodomy at the time the general election was held, was granted a royal pardon days after PH’s shock victory. 

He was tipped to be Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s successor for the prime minister’s post under the PH regime, but it had collapsed earlier this year when a group of MPs from PKR and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) defected to join forces with rival MPs.

Mr Muhyiddin Yassin, president of Bersatu, is currently leading the Perikatan Nasional (BN) government comprising the defectors as well as lawmakers from BN and Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS). 

Mr Anwar, in his Sep 23 announcement, had declined to name the MPs who are now aligned with him. 

Several politicial parties in the ruling camp, such as Malaysian Chinese Association and PAS, have publicly denied supporting him. 

United Malays National Organisation president Ahmad Zahid Hamid said he was aware that MPs from his party as well BN have voiced their support for Mr Anwar and that he respects their decision. 

However, PN secretary-general Hamzah Zainuddin said in a statement on Monday that MPs from BN, Gabungan Parti Sarawak and Parti Bersatu Sabah have pledged their strong support for Mr Muhyiddin as Malaysia’s eighth prime minister.

READ: Mahathir says he will not contest Malaysia’s 2023 general election

A list of 121 MPs who purportedly backed Mr Anwar was widely circulated, which led to a police investigation following the lodging of six police reports. 

Police said an investigation has been initiated under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code over “the spread of rumours that can cause fear and alarm to the public” and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 for the sharing of false, offensive or menacing content.

Mr Anwar has been summoned by the police to give a statement, but the appointment on Monday morning has to be postponed to a later date. 

Source: CNA/zl(aw)

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