Anwar Ibrahim Plays Down Setback After Apparent Snub at Royal Meeting

Though Anwar claimed the support of 120 MPs, he did not give their names, Istana Negara clarified.

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Malaysia's leading Opposition figure Anwar Ibrahim visited the King on Tuesday, formally staking claim to form the next government. However, Anwar's quest for the premiership has apparently suffered a setback, although he claimed the support of 120 MPs.

The leader of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), or People's Justice Party, said last month that the government of Muhyiddin Yassin had lost the majority.

However, despite the claims of Anwar, who narrowly lost the prime ministership at least twice in his chequered political career, the King did not make a favorable decision on Tuesday. Malaysian media said that Anwar was not able to present the names of the MPs supporting him in order to help Istana Negara verify his claim.

Anwar Ibrahim
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During the meeting with the king, which lasted 25 minutes, Anwar presented the total number of Dewan Rakyat members whom he claimed supported him, Istana Negara spokesperson said. "However, he did not present the list of names of the Dewan Rakyat members to support his claim ... Therefore, Sultan Abdullah had advised Anwar to follow and respect the legal process as stated in the Federal Constitution," Comptroller of the Royal Household Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said, according to the Malaysia Star.

'Give King the Space'

Meanwhile, Anwar played down the setback, saying that Tuesday's meeting was not the final bid to form the government and that everyone should give the King the space to make the decision.

"It is abundantly clear that we have registered a formidable, convincing majority in Parliament. I would appeal to Malaysians to exercise patience and wisdom, and allow the King to exercise his discretion based on the spirit of the Constitution," Anwar said.

He reiterated that he has the support of 120 MPs, adding that Tuesday's meeting was not about winning or losing. "It's more than 120. But because the Yang di-Pertuan Agong will summon the heads of parties, therefore it is rational for us to be patient and give the King space to decide, " he said.

He also said he would patiently wait until the King makes the decision after studying the constitutional matters. Anwar, however, called on Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to resign as he has lost his majority.

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