Malaysia king to study documents and consult party leaders, says Anwar amid bid to form new government
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said on Tuesday (Oct 13) that the king will study relevant documents he has presented on the members of parliament (MPs) backing his bid to form a new government, while consulting the leaders of various political parties.
Speaking at a press conference after an audience with King Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah at the Istana Negara, Mr Anwar said: "With these documents, it is abundantly clear that we have registered a formidable, convincing majority among parliamentarians.
"I would appeal to Malaysians to exercise patience, wisdom and to allow the king to digest, decide based on the spirit of the Constitution and the discretion of his Highness."
Mr Anwar also stressed that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has lost his parliamentary majority and it would be appropriate for him to resign.
He added that his audience with the king was not about victory or defeat, but to build a country that is "progressive and fair" to overcome COVID-19 and boost the economy.
Mr Anwar added that he was aware of some concerns expressed that the list of MPs backing him were mostly Malay-Muslim bumiputera.
In addressing this, Mr Anwar said: "Let me reiterate and categorically assure Malaysians at large - this is Malaysia and we have to accord rights to every single citizen in this country."
Responding to questions from journalists, Mr Anwar also confirmed that he has more than 120 MPs backing his bid.
He added that his government will be "an inclusive government" and that there was no "political or personal vendetta" against anyone.
However, he maintained that there has been no "deals" made with any individuals.
"It's very important to appreciate that I have already made it abundantly clear that we are committed to institutional reform, judicial independence and the rule of law. So there's no question about cutting deals with individuals, as alleged by some parties - that's completely irrelevant and irresponsible," said Mr Anwar.
However, Istana Negara issued a statement on Tuesday indicating that while Mr Anwar had presented the number of MPs who he claims are in support of him, he did not present a list of names to the king.
Meanwhile, Democratic Action Party's secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has also confirmed that he has been summoned to the palace to meet the king.
Mr Anwar's meeting with the king came almost three weeks after he announced on Sep 23 that he has a “strong, formidable, convincing majority” of MPs to oust Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
His scheduled audience with the king a day earlier had to be postponed as the latter was hospitalised for food poisoning. The king was later discharged on Oct 2.
The king plays a largely ceremonial role in Malaysia but he could appoint a prime minister who in his view is likely to command a majority in parliament. He could also dissolve parliament and trigger elections on the premier's advice.
Mr Anwar had said he commanded support from close to two-thirds of parliament's 222 lawmakers, without giving actual numbers or disclosing who had pledged support.
Mr Muhyiddin, whose seven-month-old coalition has survived on a razor-thin majority, has cast doubt over Mr Anwar's claims and has called for him to prove his majority.
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.