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Malaysia’s Anwar meets king in bid to form new government

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim waves to media after meeting the nation's king in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. Anwar said last week that he would present the monarch with “strong and convincing” documentary evidence of the support he has from lawmakers, which would allow him to unseat Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim waves to media after meeting the nation’s king in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. Anwar said last week that he would present the monarch with “strong and convincing” documentary evidence of the support he has from lawmakers, which would allow him to unseat Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

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Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said he presented the nation’s king Tuesday with evidence that he has enough support among lawmakers to topple the prime minister and form a new government, an assertion the palace denied.

Anwar said he presented the monarch with evidence of the support he has from over 120 lawmakers, which would allow him to unseat Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Anwar said the monarch pledged to abide by the constitution, and would consult leaders from other parties before making a decision. He declined to give details, urging Malaysians to be patient and give the king space to review the evidence.

“These documents made it abundantly clear that we have registered a formidable and convincing majority among parliamentarians,” Anwar told a news conference after the royal meeting. “Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has lost his majority and therefore, it would be appropriate for him to resign.”

After that news conference, however, the palace released a statement denying that Anwar provided evidence of support. It said Anwar only told Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah how many lawmakers supported him but didn’t reveal their identities.

It said the king advised Anwar “to abide by and respect the legal process” based on the constitution.

Muhyiddin, who took power in March after securing enough support in Parliament to unseat Anwar’s reformist alliance, has previously dismissed Anwar’s claim to a majority. Muhyiddin currently boasts a slim two-seat majority in the 222-seat Parliament and has been grappling to maintain support amid infighting in his coalition.

Allies in Muhyiddin’s Malay-centric ruling coalition also denied supporting Anwar, and branded Anwar a “desperado” for seeking to wrest power as the country struggles with the coronavirus.

The audience with the king was slated three weeks ago, but postponed as the king was hospitalized.

“I frankly do not think it will be a smooth and easy ride for Anwar. For one, even if the king is convinced of Anwar’s command of parliamentary majority, the king still has the alternative constitutional option of dissolving the parliament,” said Oh Ei Sun, a senior fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs.

Oh, a Malaysian, said support for Anwar could also have waned as Muhyiddin’s camp may have lured back defectors in the past three weeks.

Anwar’s Alliance of Hope was elected in 2018 but collapsed after Muhyiddin withdrew his party and tied up with opposition parties to form a Malay-centric government in March. Then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad resigned in protest, saying he wouldn’t work with parties accused of corruption that he ousted in the 2018 polls.

Anwar said Tuesday that he extended an olive branch to Muhyiddin to discuss the political change

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Malaysia’s Anwar meets king in bid to topple government

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim had a long-awaited meeting with the king Tuesday, seeking to prove he has support to take power and fulfil a decades-old ambition of becoming premier.

The Southeast Asian nation has been in turmoil since a reformist government headed by Mahathir Mohamad — which included Anwar — collapsed in February amid bitter infighting.

Muhyiddin Yassin became premier without an election, but his coalition’s support is shaky and critics accuse it of lacking legitimacy.

In a shock announcement last month, Anwar said he had garnered sufficient backing from lawmakers to topple Muhyiddin but the king, who appoints the prime minister, delayed meeting him due to ill health.

Anwar, a long-time opposition leader who spent years in jail after being convicted of sodomy, has sought to become premier for more than two decades and was viewed as Malaysia’s leader-in-waiting until his government’s collapse.

The 73-year-old spent around an hour inside the national palace in Kuala Lumpur to meet the king, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, and then left in a car without addressing journalists outside.

He is due to hold a press conference later Tuesday.

A candidate to be prime minister must prove to the monarch he commands the support of a majority of Malaysia’s 221 MPs.

It is not clear whether Anwar has enough backing, however, with some MPs rumoured to be supporting him having denied it.

In addition, Muhyiddin strengthened his position last month when his allies won key elections in eastern Sabah state.

Some analysts also believe a change of government or general election is unlikely in the near future as Malaysia battles a coronavirus surge.

James Chin, a Malaysia expert at the University of Tasmania, said Tuesday’s meeting was only the first move in a potentially long fight for Anwar. 

“There is a process to becoming the prime minister… the first step is that Anwar has to convince the king he’s got the numbers,” he told AFP.

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Malaysia’s Anwar Meets King in Bid to Form New Government | World News

By EILEEN NG, Associated Press

KUALA LUMPUR (AP) — Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim met the nation’s king Tuesday in a bid to form a new government after claiming he had secured a majority in Parliament.

Anwar said he would present the monarch with “strong and convincing” documentary evidence of the support he has from lawmakers, which would allow him to unseat Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

But he did not speak to reporters gathered at the gate after spending about an hour at the palace, and instead his party said he will hold a hold a news conference “regarding an important announcement post-audience with His Majesty.”

Muhyiddin, who took power in March after securing enough support in Parliament to unseat Anwar’s reformist alliance, has dismissed Anwar’s claim to a majority. Muhyiddin currently boasts a slim two-seat majority and has been grappling to maintain support amid infighting in his coalition.

Allies in Muhyiddin’s ruling coalition have denied supporting Anwar, and branded Anwar a “desperado” for seeking to wrest power as the country struggles with the coronavirus.

The audience with the king was slated three weeks ago, but postponed as the king was hospitalized. Anwar has been tight-lipped and said he would only reveal details after meeting the king.

“I frankly do not think it will be a smooth and easy ride for Anwar. For one, even if the king is convinced of Anwar’s command of parliamentary majority, the king still has the alternative constitutional option of dissolving the parliament,” said Oh Ei Sun, a senior fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs.

Oh, a Malaysian, said support for Anwar could also have waned as Muhyiddin’s camp may have lured back defectors in the past three weeks.

Before leaving home Tuesday morning, Anwar tweeted a picture of himself and his wife. “Hopefully it will be a smooth affair today,” he wrote.

Anwar’s Alliance of Hope was elected in 2018 but collapsed after Muhyiddin withdrew his party and tied up with opposition parties to form a Malay-centric government in March. Then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad resigned in protest, saying he wouldn’t work with parties accused of corruption that he ousted in the 2018 polls.

If Anwar succeeds, it will mark a dramatic comeback after his roller-coaster political journey since the 1990s.

Once a high flyer in the ruling party, Anwar was convicted of homosexual sodomy and corruption after a power struggle with Mahathir in 1998. He was imprisoned for a second time for sodomy in 2014.

Anwar and his supporters have long denied the sodomy allegations, saying they were concocted to destroy his political career.

Rather than give up, Anwar ended his feud with Mahathir from his prison cell to forge a the Alliance of Hope, which in the 2018 polls defeated the coalition that had led Malaysia for 61 years.

Mahathir became premier a second time. Anwar was freed with a royal pardon days after the polls and was Mahathir’s designated successor before their alliance fell apart.

Copyright 2020 The Associated

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Malaysia’s Anwar meets king in bid to form new government

KUALA LUMPUR (AP) — Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was to meet the nation’s king Tuesday in a bid to form a new government after claiming he had secured a majority in Parliament.

Anwar said last week that he would present the monarch with “strong and convincing” documentary evidence of the support he has from lawmakers, which would allow him to unseat Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Anwar spent about an hour at the palace before leaving. He did not speak to reporters gathered at the gate.

Muhyiddin, who took power in March after securing enough support in Parliament to unseat Anwar’s reformist alliance, has dismissed Anwar’s claim to a majority. Muhyiddin currently boasts a slim two-seat majority and has been grappling to maintain support amid infighting in his coalition.

Allies in Muhyiddin’s ruling coalition have denied supporting Anwar, and branded Anwar a “desperado” for seeking to wrest power as the country struggles with the coronavirus.


The audience with the king was slated three weeks ago, but postponed as the king was hospitalized. Anwar has been tight-lipped and said he would only reveal details after meeting the king.

“I frankly do not think it will be a smooth and easy ride for Anwar. For one, even if the king is convinced of Anwar’s command of parliamentary majority, the king still has the alternative constitutional option of dissolving the parliament,” said Oh Ei Sun, a senior fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs.

Oh, a Malaysian, said support for Anwar could also have waned as Muhyiddin’s camp may have lured back defectors in the past three weeks.

Before leaving home Tuesday morning, Anwar tweeted a picture of himself and his wife. “Hopefully it will be a smooth affair today,” he wrote.

Anwar’s Alliance of Hope was elected in 2018 but collapsed after Muhyiddin withdrew his party and tied up with opposition parties to form a Malay-centric government in March. Then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad resigned in protest, saying he wouldn’t work with parties accused of corruption that he ousted in the 2018 polls.

If Anwar succeeds, it will mark a dramatic comeback after his roller-coaster political journey since the 1990s.

Once a high flyer in the ruling party, Anwar was convicted of homosexual sodomy and corruption after a power struggle with Mahathir in 1998. He was imprisoned for a second time for sodomy in 2014.

Anwar and his supporters have long denied the sodomy allegations, saying they were concocted to destroy his political career.

Rather than give up, Anwar ended his feud with Mahathir from his prison cell to forge a the Alliance of Hope, which in the 2018 polls defeated the coalition that had led Malaysia for 61 years.

Mahathir became premier a second time. Anwar was freed with a royal pardon days after the polls and was Mahathir’s designated successor before their alliance fell apart.

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Malaysia’s Anwar Set to Meet King in Bid to Form New Government

(Bloomberg) — Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim will meet the king on Tuesday in a bid to prove he’s got the numbers to form a new government, even as the current ruling bloc says the move will fail.



Anwar Ibrahim, Nathan Nguyen are posing for a picture: Anwar Ibrahim in Petaling Jaya on Feb. 26.


© Bloomberg
Anwar Ibrahim in Petaling Jaya on Feb. 26.

Anwar last month announced he commanded a “formidable majority” of the nation’s 222 lawmakers to oust Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who took power in March by the thinnest of margins after another coalition government collapsed. Anwar’s initial meeting with the king, known as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, was delayed because the head of state was ill.

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“Frankly, I do not think it will be a smooth and easy ride for Anwar,” said Oh Ei Sun, senior fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs. It’s unlikely Anwar will succeed as the government would’ve used resources to lure back defectors from the time Anwar first staked claim to power three weeks ago, he said.

The king has several options if he’s convinced that Anwar has the backing of a majority in parliament, including a dissolution of parliament, ordering a confidence vote or appointing him as the new prime minister. The monarch played a key role in interviewing lawmakers back in February after former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad resigned, triggering the instability that has gripped Malaysia for much of the year.

Why Malaysia’s Politics Are Messy and What’s at Stake: QuickTake

Malaysia ruling parties have dismissed Anwar’s move as a tactic to destabilize the country’s politics. Over the weekend, they closed ranks around Muhyiddin.

“PAS is very confident that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong won’t entertain this desperate move,” Parti Se-Islam Malaysia, a coliation partner, said in a statement Sunday.

The Barisan Nasional coalition supports Muhyiddin as prime minister and won’t work with Anwar, its secretary-general Annuar Musa wrote on Facebook. Annuar is also a party leader of the United Malays National Organisation, which Muhyiddin counts among his biggest supporters.

The Malaysian Chinese Association, one of the grouping’s members, in a separate statement said the party will not join or participate in any plans by Anwar to form a new government.

Movement Curbs

A snap election risks worsening Malaysia’s coronavirus outbreak. New infections surged to record-highs weeks after a state election held in Sabah last month, fueled by politicians who failed to follow social distancing guidelines when campaigning in the eastern state.

The government Monday imposed curbs on movement in its capital city of Kuala Lumpur, administrative capital Putrajaya and in the states of Selangor and Sabah, as the virus spread. The restrictions also pulled the nation’s key stock index down 0.8% at the close.

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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Judge rejects John Bolton bid to dismiss government lawsuit seeking book proceeds

“The government has the power to prevent harm to the national security,” Lamberth wrote in a 26-page opinion. “While the government may not prevent Bolton from publishing unclassified materials, it may require him to undergo a reasonable prepublication review process. The . . . agreements are thus consistent with the First Amendment.”

In a statement, lead Bolton attorney Charles J. Cooper said, “The Court’s decision, which we are still studying, means that the case will now move forward to the phase in which the parties will develop and present their evidence to the Court.”

Legal analysts said Lamberth’s opinion underscored that Bolton is in serious legal jeopardy, and made it more difficult for other national security professionals to publish without risk of being sued by the government.

“This is a horrible new precedent,” said Mark S. Zaid, a lawyer who specializes in national security and whistleblower cases. “Before this case the U.S. Government had never pursued anyone for simply sharing a draft manuscript with lawyers, literary agents or publishers, even though by law it was improper to do so. As long as the manuscript was approved before actual publication, the U.S. Government was satisfied. But now the rules have changed, and any dissemination can create liability.

Bolton has alleged that Trump appointees took unprecedented steps to hijack the prepublication review by erroneously claiming it contained classified information after the National Security Council’s career senior director for information security completed her own months-long review and declared it did not.

Bolton asserted that the White House sought to block the book to protect Trump from political embarrassment before November’s election.

Justice Department attorneys acknowledged they were unaware of past instances in which political appointees have conducted a second prepublication review. However, they argued, and Lamberth appeared to agree, that if Bolton was dissatisfied, his recourse was to sue the Trump administration on First Amendment grounds, rather than unilaterally publish without approval.

The government sued to prevent the sale of already distributed books, but Lamberth refused to halt publication in a June 20 ruling, saying the government acted too late.

Still pending before the judge are a government motion for a summary ruling to place Bolton’s proceeds in a constructive trust because the book contained classified information, and Bolton’s motion that he first be permitted to investigate whether the government improperly politicized that determination.

Lamberth’s opinion gave a close reading to the terms of agreements Bolton signed. The opinion rejected Bolton’s assertion that the government had to prove he knowingly disclosed materials that “are, relate to, or purport to be” Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information — the highest level of classification, concerning intelligence sources and methods — “or describe activities that produce or relate to SCI.”

Instead, the court found that the requirement to submit his work for review was triggered simply by his decision to draft a work for publication describing his tenure as the president’s top security aide.

“Bolton wrote a memoir of his time serving as National Security Advisor — a

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