An­war claims 'for­mi­da­ble' ma­jor­ity to form new govt

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE - KUALA LUMPUR -AP

Malaysia's op­po­si­tion leader An­war Ibrahim said on Wed­nes­day he has se­cured a 'for­mi­da­ble' ma­jor­ity from law­mak­ers to oust Prime Min­is­ter Muhyid­din Yassin and form a new gov­ern­ment, herald­ing a fresh bout of political drama in the South­east Asian coun­try.

The power strug­gle comes at a dif­fi­cult time for the multi-eth­nic na­tion, as its ex­port driven econ­omy has been badly hit by the coro­n­avirus pan­demic. The Malaysian ring­git and stocks fell af­ter An­war's com­ments. An­war now has to con­vince

Malaysia's king, Sul­tan Ab­dul­lah, that he has the num­bers to form a gov­ern­ment, but as yet no ma­jor political party has come out in his sup­port.

The king could in­stead choose to call for elec­tions on Muhyid­din's ad­vice to end months of political volatil­ity. Muhyid­din, whose seven-month-old coali­tion has sur­vived on a ra­zor-thin ma­jor­ity, dis­missed An­war's claims as a "mere al­le­ga­tion", telling him to prove his ma­jor­ity through a con­sti­tu­tional process.

"Un­til proven oth­er­wise, the Perikatan Na­sional gov­ern­ment re­mains stead­fast and I am the right­ful prime min­is­ter," Muhyid­din said in a state­ment re­fer­ring to his rul­ing coali­tion. Muhyid­din also un­veiled an ad­di­tional eco­nomic stim­u­lus pack­age worth 10b ring­git ($2.41b).

The six ma­jor political par­ties sup­port­ing Muhyid­din dis­missed An­war's claim as "cheap pub­lic­ity" and said in a joint state­ment that they were firmly be­hind Muhyid­din, who emerged as leader af­ter the res­ig­na­tion of the pre­vi­ous prime min­is­ter, Ma­hathir Mo­hamad. If An­war fi­nally suc­ceeds in win­ning power it would mark the cul­mi­na­tion of a 22-year long strug­gle, dur­ing which he spent al­most 10 years in jail.

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