King has range of options after meeting Anwar, say analysts

Anwar Ibrahim announcing last month that he has the numbers to form a new government.

PETALING JAYA: Political analysts have cautioned Anwar Ibrahim’s supporters against expecting his meeting with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to result in as smooth a change of government as the change that occurred early this year even if he can prove he has majority support in the Dewan Rakyat.

Speaking to FMT, they noted that the country now had a sitting prime minister, unlike in February, when Dr Mahathir Mohamad resigned from the post.

Azizuddin Mohd Sani of Universiti Utara Malaysia, Azmi Hassan of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and political strategies consultant Syed Arabi Idid said the King now had a range of options.

He might call Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin for advice, Azizuddin said, adding that he might also consult the Malay rulers, the attorney-general and the chief justice or even reject Anwar’s claim.

Other options, according to Azizuddin and Syed Arabi, include letting a vote of confidence in the Dewan Rakyat decide the issue.

Azizuddin said the King might also ask the two sides to negotiate to retain the current government or replace it without an election to prevent campaigning in view of the danger posed by Covid-19.

Anwar said yesterday he was due to have an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Tuesday.

At a press conference last month, he said he had a “strong, formidable and convincing majority” in the Dewan Rakyat to form a new government.

He did not reveal the number of MPs backing him, saying he would do so after an audience with the King.

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi subsequently said many MPs from Umno were supporting Anwar.