A Malaysian opposition leader on Tuesday announced that he had submitted to the country’s monarch legitimate documents proving support from more than 120 lawmakers for him to form a new government.
“It’s more than 120. But because the king will summon the heads of parties, therefore it is rational for us to be patient and give the king space to decide,” Anwar Ibrahim said at a press conference after an audience with King Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin.
Arguing that sitting premier Muhyiddin Yassin should resign as he had lost his majority in parliament, Anwar added that the monarch was committed to uphold the spirit of the country’s constitution on this matter, vowing to form an inclusive government.
Confirming that Anwar had met with the king and briefed him on his purported support, the palace in a separate statement stopped short of verifying his claim by declaring the names of the lawmakers said to be backing him as the next prime minister.
“Anwar had submitted the total number of House of Representatives members whom he claimed supported him. However, he did not provide the list of names to support his claim,” said Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin, comptroller of the Royal Household.
Ahmad said that during the 25-minute meeting, the monarch had advised Anwar to follow and respect the legal process as stated in the Federal Constitution.
Police had earlier announced Monday that Anwar would be summoned for questioning over the list of lawmakers who supported his plan to form a new government, which had been circulating on social media.
From the list of 121 members of parliament who were allegedly supporting him, 22 were from the country’s largest national political party, the United Malays National Organization (UMNO). Fifteen legislators have denied that they were backing Anwar.
At least 112 parliamentary seats out of 222 are required to form a government.
Meanwhile, the Anwar-led opposition political coalition, the Pakatan Harapan, only has 91 seats.
* Writing by Rhany Chairunissa Rufinaldo from Anadolu Agency’s Indonesian language services in Jakarta
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