Not the cops' duty to get list of MPs backing me, says Anwar after interview at police headquarters

Not the cops' duty to get list of MPs backing me, says Anwar after interview at police headquarters

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim says he has enough support from MPs to become prime
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim says he has enough support from MPs to become prime minister but refused to hand over the list of lawmakers to police AFP/Mohd RASFAN

KUALA LUMPUR:  Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said on Friday (Oct 16) that it is not the police’s duty to obtain the list of parliamentarians backing him to form a new government, after he emerged from a Bukit Aman interview. 

He also clarified that he had presented letters from the heads of parties backing him during a meeting with the king earlier in the week, and not a list containing the Members of Parliament (MPs) who are with him.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Anwar said: “The six cases against me was basically requesting the names of those in support of me to be disclosed."

“I told them (the police) that I have already given the verification letters from the president of each party representing their parties to the king. I told them that it is my duty to present (the letters) to the king and it is neither the duty of the police nor the Home Minister who ordered the police to get the names,” he stated. 

READ: Explainer - The fight for Malaysia's premiership

READ: Malaysia opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim summoned by police over list of backers for PM bid

He added that the contents of the letters are between him and the king. 

“I am not here to cooperate with political masters to get or give their names because it is not their business. It is between me and His Highness the King,” he said. 

He also said that this was an episode of "political harassment".

Mr Anwar’s counsel Ramkarpal Singh said he is being investigated under Section 505B of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Multimedia and Communications Act. 

If found guilty of Section 505B, the offence carries a prison sentence of up to two years, a fine or both. 

As for Section 233, those found guilty are liable to a fine not exceeding RM50,000 (US$12,000) or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both. Those found guilty are also liable to a further fine of RM1,000.

On Sep 23, Mr Anwar claimed that he had the support of more than 120 MPs and added that the Perikatan Nasional government led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had fallen. 

Anwar Ibrahim and Malaysia's King
Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim and Malaysia's King, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, pose for pictures before their meeting at National Palace in Kuala Lumpur on Oct 13, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Malaysia National Palace/Handout)

He had, following his meeting with the king on Tuesday said that the monarch would be calling on party heads for input and to confirm the documents submitted by the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president.

However, Istana Negara said on Tuesday that Mr Anwar did not produce a list of names of those backing him during the royal audience.

READ: Malaysia's Mahathir says political uncertainty won't end with Anwar as PM

Mr Anwar said on Friday: “In my statement (on Tuesday), if you can recall, I said I presented letters and documents. I have never said names were presented. 

“For Parti Keadilan Rakyat, as the PKR president, I said 38 members hereby present support for Anwar. I never said names."

Asked about a timeline on when he would be presenting the list of names to the king, he said “it hasn’t been brought up but it is being managed”.

Source: CNA/aa(aw)

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