Anwar says new govt didn’t arise in Agong meet, appeals to end emergency

Ruler wanted to hear out the views of political leaders, says opposition chief.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said the issue of a change in government did not arise during his discussion with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah.

“The matter does not arise for now,” he told journalists when asked if he had discussed the formation of a new government after leaving Istana Negara at 11.54am today (June 9).

Instead, Anwar said the ruler wanted to hear out the views of political leaders.

“That is up to His Majesty. But based on my experience just now, His Majesty is open to hearing everyone’s views,” he added.

The Agong had summoned leaders of all major political parties in the country for separate meetings which will take place throughout the week with the first being held on Wednesday.

Anwar, who is also the PKR president, said he also appealed to the ruler not to extend the state of emergency which was imposed on Jan 11 and is set to expire in August.

“Continuing with the emergency will lead to losses for the country. It does not help in managing the Covid-19 problem and will affect the economy, particularly those lower down (in the strata of society).

“All measures that are needed (to combat Covid-19) does not need an emergency.

“Therefore, we did our best to appeal to His Majesty to prevent an extension (of the emergency),” Anwar added.

The Port Dickson MP said the ruler assured that he will act in accordance with the spirit of a constitutional monarchy based on the advice of the prime minister.

In a statement later, Anwar said he also raised concerns about the high number of Covid-19 deaths and low testing numbers.

He lauded the ruler for his wisdom and concern about the ongoing situation.

The emergency had led to a suspension of Parliament.

Even though Agong had said that the legislature can convene during the emergency, the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government had refused to do so.

The opposition had accused the PN government of using the emergency to retain power under the guise of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, amid a fragile majority.

However, the government said it needed emergency powers to better manage the pandemic.

By : M FAKHRULL HALIM – MALAYSIAKINI

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