King to study relevant documents and consult party leaders, says Anwar after audience to demonstrate parliamentary majority

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.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaks during a press conference at Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur October 13, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa (MM)

“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’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.

Anwar leaves Istana Negara after meeting with the King on Oct 13, 2020. – Reuters

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.

What I assured them is that there is no political vendetta, but you must accept the due process, the rule of law and independence of the judiciary,” said Anwar Ibrahim at his press conference this afternoon.

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 beensummoned by the police to give a statement.

By : Amir Yusof – CNA

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