Anwar says he has numbers to form govt and King to grant him an audience

Anwar Ibrahim says he has a ‘strong majority, close to two-thirds’ to form a new government.

KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has announced that he has the numbers to form a new government.

He said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has consented to grant him an audience, though this had to be postponed after the King was admitted to the National Heart Institute (IJN).

At a press conference today, Anwar said that the majority supporting him are Malay-Muslim MPs.

“The support I have is conclusive. I’m not talking about four, five or six, I’m talking about much more than that,” he said, adding he had a “strong majority”, close to two-thirds.

He said more details will be provided after his audience with the King.

“Strong, formidable and convincing,” he said, when asked about the level of support he has.

Anwar said with the “strong and convincing support, the time for the Muhyiddin Yassin-led government has come to an end”.

He said the sole discretion to dissolve Parliament was with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and that he had spoken to the King over the phone.

The new government, he said, will represent “all people, from Malays and Bumiputeras to others” and hold firm to the principles of the Federal Constitution.

On whether the MPs included those deemed as “traitors” – a reference to those who defected to Perikatan Nasional – he said “I don’t see them in the list”.

Declaring that Muhyiddin’s government has fallen, Anwar urged him to cooperate and ensure a smooth transition.

“He can serve in any appropriate capacity,” he said.

“We want a strong, formidable government. We have to resolve immediate concerns, the economy must be propelled. We need to deal with issues of unemployment, abject poverty and inequality,” he said.

He said there would be “no rush” to call for an election.

While he chose not to name the parties from which the MPs had defected, Anwar said he had “legitimate documents” to prove he has the numbers.

Asked if former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his faction of former PPBM MPs are among the MPs supporting him, he said: “Not yet. He may decide later, but as of now, no.”

He also did not respond when asked if Warisan MPs are among those supporting him, saying he will leave it to the other parties and MPs to announce their decision.

“I don’t want to mention the exact number of the majority because we want to respect the Agong … this has to be brought to the Agong first,” he said.

He maintained that “this is not a backdoor government like Muhyiddin’s”, saying this administration has the mandate and support of the people, along with clear principles and policies.

Asked if this is the end of the PH coalition, he said the new administration “will consider its old experiences” but discuss a “new understanding or cooperation”.