KUALA LUMPUR: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Anwar Ibrahim on Sunday (Feb 23) said he has been betrayed by partners in Pakatan Harapan (PH).
This came amid growing speculation that a new ruling coalition will be formed comprising Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) and others.
In a Facebook Live broadcast of a prayer session at his residence, Mr Anwar said that while no official announcement will be made on Sunday, he was informed that the treachery was committed.
He admitted there are attempts to break up PH so that a new government can be formed.
“It involves our former friends from Bersatu and a small group from PKR who has betrayed us.”
“They have met Agong this evening, but no announcement has been made,” he said.
Earlier, at the start of the event, he expressed shock at the development, which he said was a betrayal because promises were made.
“It seems that there is going to be a change, possibly happening soonest. Maybe tomorrow. Although there is no announcement tonight but from the information I have received there is indeed such efforts.”
Mr Anwar is scheduled for an audience with the king on Monday to provide “normal updates” on politics, an aide was quoted as saying by Malay Mail, adding that the meeting was scheduled a while ago.
Meanwhile, an aide to Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said that there would be “no announcement” on Sunday.
“No announcement. No press conference tonight,” the aide was quoted as saying by Malay Mail, in response to queries about political party leaders calling on the king earlier in the evening.
On Sunday night, there was a gathering between members of parliament from both sides of the political divide, including Bersatu, UMNO, PAS and a PKR splinter faction led by Mr Azmin Ali, at Sheraton Hotel in Petaling Jaya
Gabungan Parti Sarawak, Parti Warisan Sabah and the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) were also present.
Senior political figures in attendance included Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin, Mr Azmin, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, UMNO president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and MCA president Wee Ka Siong.
READ: 'I will keep my promise’, says Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir as he denies claims of manoeuvres over PM term
More than 130 lawmakers were reportedly at the hotel, according to the Star. There are 222 seats in the parliament.
According to Malaysian media reports, top leaders of six parties had met the king at the Istana Negara earlier on Sunday evening.
The meeting came on the back of the PH Presidential Council meeting on Friday night when Dr Mahathir said "no date" had been fixed for the leadership transition to his successor, Mr Anwar, an agreement among the PH parties when they teamed up to win the May 2018 polls.
When asked if it was also agreed that Mr Anwar would be the next prime minister, Dr Mahathir said: “That (issue) doesn't arise. The position is for me to make the decision after APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation).”
Earlier in the month, Dr Mahathir had dismissed allegations and speculations on attempts to keep him as prime minister for the rest of the electoral term.
He said he will keep his promise to hand over the prime minister post to his successor after the APEC summit in November.
Describing himself as the “interim prime minister”, Dr Mahathir has reiterated that he would honour the agreement to hand over to Mr Anwar, but remained coy on when he would pass the baton.
Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu, who is Parti Amanah Negara president, said on Sunday that the PH government will continue to function as usual.
“Anyone can make all sorts of speculations. Dr Mahathir meeting with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is nothing unusual … There is no need to panic. PH will continue to function,” he was quoted as saying by the Malaysian Insight.