KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA — Today (24 Nov) marked a historical day for Malaysia, as Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been sworn in as Malaysia’s 10th prime minister, ending the impasse of the hung parliament lasted for 5 days following the conclusion of the 15th General Election (GE15).
The 75-year-old veteran politician who was expelled from UMNO in 1998 and once arrested under the defunct Internal Security Act(ISA), ended his two-decade-long “Reformasi” political struggle and was finally appointed to the country’s top political position by the Malaysia King.
While Malaysians witnessed Anwar being sworn in at Istana Negara, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Perikatan National (PN) chairman held a press conference and insisted that he has the support of 115 MPs backing him as the prime minister.
The Malaysia’s 8th Prime Minister claimed that PN had already provided the evidence to show that it has enough seats to form the new government when the Dewan Rakyat Speaker sent a letter to all party presidents on 20 November, requesting them to name their candidate for the Prime Minister’s post.ADVERTISEMENT
“Perikatan had sent a letter from the PAS secretary-general, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman, Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) chairman and the Parti Kesejahteraan Demokratik Masyarakat (KDM) president, expressed their intention to form a government together under Perikatan.
“(Initially) 114 statutory declarations were sent to Istana Negara of MPs expressing their unconditional trust in me to be appointed prime minister,” he claimed.
“There were 73 MPs from PN, 22 from GPS, six from GRS, one from KDM, two independents and 10 from Barisan Nasional(BN).”
According to an earlier report by New Straits Times, the 10 BN MPs had withdrawn their support to Muhyiddin at the last minute before the latter’s audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Muhyiddin urged Anwar Ibrahim to show proof that he has enough support through statutory declarations (SDs).
Muhyiddin was accompanied by other PN’s component parties leaders, including PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang and Gerakan president Datuk Dr Dominic Lau.GPS said they will join the unity government
Anwar-led Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition contested in GE15 and won 82 parliamentary seats. While PN led by Muhyiddin, rose as dark house swept a total of 73 seats.
As none of the coalitions managed to achieve simple majority support, the Malaysia King summoned the Anwar and Muhyiddin on 22 November and advised them to form a strong government that is more inclusive in terms of race, religion and region.
Muhyiddin Yassin had then refused to cooperate with PH to form unity government.
But another statement from PN’s secretary-general today made a U-turn on that position, saying the coalition will “consider suggestions to form a unity government” with “like-minded parties” for the people and national stability.
Following Anwar successfully sworn in as Prime Minister, Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, Sarawak Premier officially announced that they will comply with the King’s decree and agreed to join the unity government.
“On 23 Nov, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong summoned GPS for an audience and the GPS delegation was led by Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.
“His Majesty advised the formation of a unity government to overcome the political turmoil. GPS will comply with His Majesty’s decree in accordance with his constitutional powers, ” said Abang Jo.
When asked by the media whether GPS will request a deputy prime minister post from Anwar, Abang Jo replied: “We will see, will see. you must remember we are the biggest bloc (with) 23 MPs. If you compare with the other parties, we are a big bloc.”
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