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

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

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin speaking to Sabah residents on Sep 23, 2020. (Photo: Prime Minister's Office)

TAMBUNAN, Sabah: Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Friday (Sep 25) questioned Anwar Ibrahim’s claim that he has obtained majority parliamentary support to form a new government.

Mr Muhyiddin said the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president has not specified the number of Members of Parliament (MPs) who are supposedly backing him.

"He made a statement and when asked on the number supporting him and who have given their (Statutory declaration) SD of support, he merely said to wait for the answer.

"But until today I myself also do not know (the number). His claim may or may not be true," said Mr Muhyiddin at a Perikatan Nasional (PN) rally on Friday.

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Mr Anwar, who is Malaysia's opposition leader, announced on Wednesday that he had secured a "strong, formidable, convincing majority" of MPs to form a government to replace the current administration led by Mr Muhyiddin.

Mr Muhyiddin said all the MPs from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) have confirmed their support for his government and denied backing Mr Anwar.

Several United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) MPs said to be supporting Mr Anwar have also denied backing him, said Mr Muhyiddin.

“In the few days following (Anwar’s) announcement, many statements of denial have been issued by UMNO MPs. They are not on the list. 

“With their denials, I have become more doubtful (of his claim). Maybe it’s just a political statement,” he said.

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Mr Muhyiddin said that Attorney-General Idrus Harun has also told him that he remains as Malaysia's prime minister.

“Maybe when the king is shown evidence (of support), if there is, then His Majesty would definitely summon me for an audience but until now I have not been called,” he said.

Meanwhile, PN's secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin described Mr Anwar’s claim as nothing more than a political gimmick.

He said it was merely Mr Anwar's "September dream" to become prime minister.

“The claim was not backed by evidence, the number of seats. In fact, our leaders who were supposedly in the list supporting Anwar have denied the matter,” Mr Hamzah said.


Meanwhile, Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) has urged UMNO to explain its position following claims by UMNO president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi that "many UMNO and BN (Barisan Nasional) MPs have expressed their support" for Mr Anwar. 

Mr Ahmad Zahid had reportedly said on Wednesday that he respected the stance of these MPs. 

In a statement on Friday, PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan said if the claims were true, UMNO has acted against the Muafakat Nasional (MN) charter signed on Sep 14 last year to unite Muslims and defeat Pakatan Harapan.

"Therefore, if this switch is true, it can be considered as an act that aims at toppling the PN government built on the consensus of BN, Bersatu, PAS, GPS and several other parties over the fall of the PH government," he said. 

Mr Takiyuddin said PAS hopes to get a clear explanation from UMNO on the basis of consensus partners in MN. 

"... and then invite UMNO to re-appreciate the desire and commitment agreed upon together," he said. 

Mr Muhyiddin's Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia joined the MN alliance last month, after UMNO said it has decided not to be formally part of PN


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