Malaysian king says leading coalitions don’t have the numbers to form a government


Voters queue up to cast their ballots during the general election in Bera of Pahang state, Malaysia, Nov. 19, 2022.

Xinhua News Agency | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

Malaysia’s king, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, said neither of the leading coalitions Pakatan Harapan or Perikatan Nasional have achieved a simple majority to form a government, as the Malaysian general election impasse continues.

After reviewing the results and numbers of the two parties at the 2 p.m. Malaysia time deadline on Tuesday, the king issued a formal statement summoning the heads of Pakatan and Perikatan, Anwar Ibrahim and Muhyiddin Yassin respectively to another meeting with him at the royal palace, Istana Negara at 4:30 p.m. Malaysia time.

That meeting however has not yielded an outcome.

Shortly before 6 p.m., local media reported that Anwar told a press conference outside the palace the king would like to establish a stable majority government and it is now at the king’s discretion and timeline to make that decision.

Muhyiddin left earlier at about 5:10 p.m. without talking to press.

Earlier Tuesday, the king has asked the nation to be patient.

“I urge the nation to be patient and remain calm until the process of forming a new Malaysian government and selecting a new prime minister is completed,” the king said in the statement.

“I invite the people of Malaysia to pray that our country will always be blessed and protected from all threats and dangers.”

Malaysia is facing a hung parliament with Pakatan, led by Ibrahim, having the most parliamentary seats at 82. A coalition would need 112 seats out of 222 to form government. Perikatan has 73.

Malaysia’s longest ruling political coalition Barisan Nasional decided to not back either of the two leading coalitions Pakatan Harapan or Perikatan Nasional earlier Tuesday.

The coalition, which garnered a dismal 30 seats at Saturday’s general election, also decided to remain in opposition.

This was one of the coalition’s worst election results in 60 years’ of rule, after it failed to be re-elected in 2018 amid Barisan member and former Prime Minister Najib Razak’s involvement in the 1MDB scandal.

Incumbent Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced the coalition’s decision as both Pakatan and Perikatan were on their way to meet the king.

Separately, local media reported the Warisan Party declared it would support Pakatan and Barisan as the bloc with the most wins. This comes just as Barisan said it would not partner with Pakatan.

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