King Sultan Abdullah speaks during Kuala Lumpur Summit in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia’s King Sultan Abdullah will not be granting an audience to anyone for a week as he is under observation at a hospital, a palace official said on Friday, as opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim seeks a meeting with him to form a new government.
Anwar said this week he has secured a “strong, formidable” majority from lawmakers in parliament to oust Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. But he has to convince the king that he has the numbers to form a government.
The political turmoil comes just seven months after another power struggle that led to Muhyiddin getting the premiership and could delay efforts to stabilise an economy that is reeling from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Muhyiddin, who has a razor-thin majority in parliament, has dismissed Anwar’s claims of a majority and challenged him to prove it through a constitutional process.
The king plays a largely ceremonial role in Malaysia but he could appoint a prime minister who in his view is likely to command a majority in parliament. He could also dissolve parliament and trigger elections on the premier’s advice.
“His Majesty has been advised by his doctors to remain at (hospital) for seven days for observation. So until then, he will not have any meetings,” palace comptroller Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin told Reuters.
Anwar was scheduled to meet with the king on Tuesday but the appointment had to be cancelled as the king was unwell and had to be taken to a hospital.
No major political party has come out in his support but the leader of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the largest party in the ruling coalition, said there had been defections to Anwar’s camp.
In a campaign speech in Sabah state, Prime Minister Muhyiddin again questioned Anwar’s claim that he has a majority, state news agency Bernama reported.
“He made a statement and when asked on the number supporting him and who have given their statutory declaration of support, he merely said to wait for the answer,” Muhyiddin said.
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim will make an “important announcement” on Tuesday after a meeting with the king in which he aims to prove he has the parliamentary support needed to oust Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
Malaysia’s King Al-Sultan Abdullah will consult with other rulers to discuss proposals by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, the palace said on Saturday, after sources told Reuters the premier had asked the king to declare a state of emergency.
Malaysia’s sports-loving Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah called for racial unity as he was installed on Tuesday as the country’s 16th king under a unique rotating monarchy system.
The lower house speaker had initially approved a motion tabled by Muhyiddin's 94-year-old predecessor, Mahathir Mohamad, seeking a vote of no confidence in Muhyiddin, but the vote was postponed indefinitely after the government shortened Monday's meeting, only allowing time for the royal address.
At least 40 people were dead and scores were missing after deadly landslides triggered by heavy rain from the typhoon
Some students sympathetic to Thai protesters said on Friday they were boycotting graduation ceremonies led by King Maha Vajiralongkorn in a show of anger at the monarchy amid growing calls to reform it.
The police have asked parents to pay attention to their children when they approach windows and balconies.