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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.

AP

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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