Malaysia’s Anwar Ibrahim says has majority to form new government

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed said that the Parliament should also vote to decide who has majority support as prime minister

Malaysia: Opposition leader set to form new government

PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (picture) today claimed he has garnered "formidable and convincing" support from among MPs to form a new "strong" government, and said the government led by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has effectively fallen.

Malaysian politics tumbled into turmoil in February when Anwar's perennial rival, nonagenarian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad resigned in a growing power struggle within their alliance that won a surprise victory in a 2018 election.

But Muhyiddin's position has remained precarious with a single digit majority in parliament, while UMNO withdrew some of its backing after former leader and former Prime Minister Najib Razak was found guilty of corruption in the multi-billion 1MDB scandal. "But he must understand that we practise a parliamentary democracy system, so we have to uphold the Constitution as the basis for any decision", he said without referring to Anwar by name.

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Muhyiddin's government was formed based on support of individual lawmakers and that his Malay party wasn't formally part of the ruling coalition - further muddying the situation.

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Anwar was set to meet the king on Tuesday, before the meeting was postponed as the monarch went for treatment at the National Heart Institute, according to Anwar's prepared statement.

"I urge the people to reject the rash actions of some politicians who deliberately want to disrupt the political stability and country's economic recovery plan", he said.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin denounced the move on Wednesday and challenged Anwar to prove his assertion, while saying his administration remains firmly in control.

Sivamurugan added that even if Anwar does have a majority, the king would still have a few options - including the private interview process through which Muhyiddin was appointed.

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International Trade and Industry Minister Azmin Ali brandished Anwar an "incorrigible liar and political psychopath", while Science and Technology Minister Khairy Jamaluddin joked "nothing collapsed or fell". "The claims are yet another cheap publicity stunt by Anwar Ibrahim", they said.

Muhyiddin's government has had the hard task of leading Malaysia through the coronavirus pandemic, and the economy suffered its worst contraction in more than 20 years in the second quarter amid a strict lockdown.

The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index extended declines after Anwar's announcement to slide 0.6% to 1,496.48, the lowest close since Sept 10.

Mahathir, now 95, became prime minister for a second time and Anwar was released from jail, where he had been serving a sentence after being convicted of dubious sodomy charges.

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Mahathir then quit as premier, leading to the government's collapse.

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