Home / Anwar Ibrahim says he has a “strong majority” to form a new government in Malaysia

Anwar Ibrahim says he has a “strong majority” to form a new government in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim announced on Wednesday (September 23) that he has received a “strong, formidable, convincing majority” of parliamentarians to form a new government.

Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) party president said at a news conference that the current government under Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin as such has fallen.

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“I was supposed to have an audience with the king on Tuesday at 1

1 o’clock but it was postponed because His Majesty was in hospital,” said Anwar, adding that he had spoken to the king on the phone on Tuesday night.

On Tuesday night, Istana Negara said that Malaysian King Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah had been admitted to the National Heart Institute.

Malaysian king

Malaysian King Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah will give a royal speech to Parliament on May 18, 2020. (Photo: Bernama)

When asked to reveal the list of MPs who are with him, Anwar replied that he would only reveal this to the royal audience.

He claimed to have a close two-thirds parliamentary majority. “Not four, five or six … I’m talking about a lot more than that,” he said.

Those who supported him, he said, must respect integrity, good governance, anti-corruption and the rule of law.

“Of course it is a Malaysian Bumiputera majority, but one (government) that includes race and religious denominations in the country. It is a very clear position that I am not prepared to compromise with. I am happy to say, those with me have decided and has strongly endorsed this position, “he noted.

Earlier, Anwar was tipped to take over from Dr Mahathir, who became the country’s seventh prime minister after Pakatan Harapan (PH) defeated the Barisan National (BN) coalition in the 2018 election.

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Mr Anwar, who was serving a prison sentence for sodomy, was granted a royal pardon days after PH’s shock victory.

The transition plan from Dr Mahathir to Anwar had been a significant source of tension in PH, as the former had repeatedly refused to provide a concrete timetable for when he would step aside for Anwar to take the reins.

Mahathir Anwar Muhyiddin

Dr Mahathir Mohamad (right), Anwar Ibrahim (center) and Muhyiddin Yassin leave after a press conference in Kuala Lumpur on June 1, 2018. (File photo: Mohd RASFAN / AFP)

Dr Mahathir resigned suddenly in February and defectors from PH then worked with BN to form the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.

Mr Muhyiddin, president of the Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia Party (Bersatu), became prime minister after the king met with all MPs and found that Muhyiddin was likely to command the support of the majority of lawmakers.

Dr Mahathir and his allies were then removed from Bersatu. They later announced that they would form a new party called Pejuang.

PH politicians have shouted nasty over the PN’s political coup to break federal power, although the COVID-19 pandemic and the government’s movement control scheme to stop the infection temporarily reduced much of the political feud.

United Malaysia’s national organization, which has always held the prime minister’s position before the fall of the BN and is now part of the PN government, has repeatedly demanded that a general election be held to get rid of the “back door government” impression.

Mr Muhyiddin, campaigning in the ongoing Sabah state election, said a general election could be called if the state coalition he formed won the Sabah polls on September 26.

Mr Anwar is currently facing a trial that has been launched to question the legality of a royal pardon he received two years ago, with the date of the trial and trial set for 2021.


In his press conference on Wednesday, Anwar revealed that Dr Mahathirs Pejuang was not part of the majority support he has ordered.

“He may decide later, but now, no,” he said.

Party Amanah Negara, a PH party party, has promised its support for Anwar.

“All eleven Amanah Negara MPs fully support the leadership of Datuk Seri Anwar as PH chairman and trust him to form a new government,” Amanah President Mohamad Sabu said in a statement issued shortly after Anwar’s press.

Muhyiddin was scheduled to give a live address at 2.30pm on Wednesday.

In a clear response to Anwar’s announcement, Science and Technology Minister Khairy Jamaluddin tweeted a photo of a cabinet meeting at noon. “Just concluded the Council of Ministers meeting. Nothing has toppled or fallen,” he said.

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