KUALA LUMPUR: The wait for a new prime minister entered its fourth day on Wednesday, after the leading two contenders failed to secure enough support for a majority and break a hung Parliament following last weekend’s election.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong will pick the new prime minister, after Anwar Ibrahim and former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin missed the Tuesday afternoon deadline to put together an alliance with other parties to form a government.
The fallout from Saturday’s election prolongs political instability in the nation, which has had three prime ministers in as many years, and risks delays to policy decisions needed to spur an economic recovery.
The King was expected to meet with Barisan Nasional MPs individually from 10.30am to help him determine who will be prime minister.
The constitutional monarch plays a largely ceremonial role but can appoint a prime minister he believes will command a majority in Parliament.
Pakatan Harapan won the most seats in GE15 with 82, while Perikatan Nasional won 73. They need 112 for a simple majority – to form a government.
BN won only 30 seats – its worst electoral performance since independence in 1957 – but support from its MPs will be crucial for both Anwar and Muhyiddin to get to 112.
Yesterday, BN said it would not align with either coalition.
Muhyiddin also said he had declined the King’s suggestion for PN and PH to work together to form a unity government.
Muhyiddin’s bloc includes PAS, whose electoral gains have raised concerns among certain minorities and spooked investors amid worries over the Islamic party’s potential impact on national policies.
Police this week cautioned social media users to refrain from posting “provocative” content on race and religion after the divisive election.