KUALA LUMPUR: Political leaders were in a flurry of movement today as negotiations began on making alliances for the formation of a coalition federal government.
Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin, whose coalition secured major gains at the elections, has been at the centre of attention earlier today as he held discussions with East Malaysian politicians.
Attention later turned to Barisan Nasional chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Umno party leaders, who held internal discussions in a meeting of the party’s political bureau.
In the evening, media crews descended on the home of Pakatan Harapan chairman Anwar Ibrahim, in anticipation of the possible arrival of Zahid for rumoured discussions about a pact between BN and PH.
The political leaders have until 2pm tomorrow to finalise arrangements on forming a coalition government and to present a candidate for appointment as prime minister who would command a majority in the Dewan Rakyat.
An alliance between PN, BN, and the Borneo Bloc of Sabah and Sarawak politicians had been rumoured. There had also been talk of some BN leaders being in favour of a coalition with Pakatan Harapan.
On Sunday night, Anwar had stated that he had sufficient support for a majority in the Dewan Rakyat.
After media crews waited outside his home this evening, Anwar was seen in a video clip appealing to the media to exercise patience. The clip, by Astro Awani, was posted by Anwar on his Twitter account.
“Sorry for the long wait, my friends. I hope everyone can be patient and pray for the best for the country,” he said.
Muhyiddin Yassin’s home had been the scene of comings and goings of politicians, including those from East Malaysia, after Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman Abang Johari Openg had met Muhyiddin and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang in the morning.
Abang Johari said GPS had agreed to team up with PN, Barisan Nasional and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) to form a coalition government.
However, his statement was repudiated by BN chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi later in the evening. Zahid said BN had not held any discussions with PN or GPS about any pact towards forming a coalition government.
In the afternoon, seven vehicles carrying PN leaders were seen entering Muhyiddin’s compound, Astro Awani reported. Among them was Sabah Progressive Party president Yong Teck Lee, who is also deputy chairman of GRS.
PAS leaders including party president Abdul Hadi Awang and his deputy Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man were also present.
Later, seven vehicles with Sabah registration plates were seen leaving the compound at about 7pm and were believed to be carrying members of the Sabah coalition.
PN won 73 parliamentary seats at the general election, 39 seats short of a simple majority in the Dewan Rakyat. BN won 30 seats, GPS 22 and GRS 6. An alliance of the four blocs would give them a total of 131 seats, enough to form a stable government.
Pakatan Harapan won 82 seats. An alliance of PH and BH (30 seats) would give the coalition a simple majority of 112 seats, or 140 if GRS and GPS were included.