Kuala Lumpur, Sep 23 (efe-epa).- Malaysia’s opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on Wednesday claimed that he has the majority support to form a new government, declaring that the administration of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin “has fallen.”
“With a clear and indisputable support and majority behind me, the government led by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has fallen,” the People’s Justice Party president said in a prepared statement and press conference convened at short notice.
The move looks to spark more political turmoil in the country and could pave the way for a snap election, which Muhyiddin, who took power by a slim majority earlier this year, has said he may hold if his coalition wins the Sabah state polls on Saturday.
Anwar said he had been granted an audience with the king at 11 am on Tuesday, but the meeting had been postponed as the king was being treated at the National Heart Institute. Instead they had talked at night by phone.
“I will meet with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong when he regains his health and will provide more information to the public about what happens next,” Anwar said.
Anwar blamed an “unstable government whose inability to handle the crisis is driving the country towards an economic recession and rising racial tension.”
He added that seven months after taking office, Muhyiddin had not held a single press conference after his regular Cabinet meetings, and that it is “difficult for us to know what the 70 ministers are doing.”
“We have not seen the mobilization of the country’s resources and capacities to face the crisis,” said Anwar.
Anwar said he had been approached by “a number” of members of parliament from various parties who “expressed their deep dissatisfaction with the current leadership” and “their support for me to take over the government now” to ensure “strong, stable and accountable leadership to manage the crisis” for those struggling in the pandemic-hit economy.
He did not say how many lawmakers he has the backing of.
“I promise to form a government with integrity and commitment to address the crisis that befell the country, and put an end to corruption and fight for the wellbeing of the people,” he said.
Muhyiddin issued a statement in which he recalled that the opposition leader should follow the prescribed procedures, noting that “until proven otherwise, the Government of the National Alliance stands firm” and he remained the prime minister.
Anwar had been positioned to take over from former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, whose Pakatan Harapan coalition defeated Barisan Nasional in a shock victory in 2018’s general election.
At the time of the election, Anwar was serving a jail term for sodomy, but was granted a royal pardon after Mahathir took power.
However, Mahathir refused to set a timeline to hand over power and he resigned suddenly in February. Coalition defectors worked with the BN to form the new government. EFE-EPA