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

Voters queue to cast their ballots during general elections in Bera, Pahang state, Malaysia on November 19, 2022.

Xinhua News Agency | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

Malaysia’s King, Yang di-Pertuan Agong, said none of the leading Pakatan Harapan or Perikatan Nasional coalitions had secured a simple majority to form a government as the impasse in Malaysia’s general election continues.

After reviewing the two parties’ results and figures in Malaysia at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, the king issued a formal statement inviting the heads of Pakatan and Perikatan, Anwar Ibrahim and Muhyiddin Yassin, to another meeting invited him to the royal palace. Istana Negara at 16:30 Malaysian time.

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However, this meeting did not lead to any result.

Just before 18:00, local media reported that Anwar said at a press conference outside the palace that the king wanted to establish a stable majority government and that it was now up to the king’s discretion and timetable to make that decision.

Muhyiddin earlier left around 5:10 p.m. without speaking to the press.

Earlier on Tuesday, the king had asked the nation for patience.

“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 complete,” 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 faces a hanging parliament, with Pakatan, led by Ibrahim, holding the most parliamentary seats at 82. A coalition would need 112 out of 222 seats to form a government. Perikatan has 73.

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

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

It was one of the coalition’s worst election results in 60 years of rule after it was not re-elected in 2018 due to the involvement of Barisan member and former Prime Minister Najib Razak 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 that the Warisan party said it would support Pakatan and Barisan as the bloc with the most victories. This comes just as Barisan said it would not partner with Pakatan.

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