As the political crisis caused by an unsatisfactory election dragged on for a third day, Malaysia's King Al-Sultan Abdullah said on Tuesday, Nov. 22, that he will choose the country's next prime minister soon after the top two candidates failed to secure a majority. He did not, however, provide a timeframe for his decision.
After the election on Saturday, there was an unprecedented hung parliament because neither Anwar Ibrahim, the head of the opposition, nor Muhyiddin Yassin, the former prime minister, received the simple majority required to form a government.
The election risks delaying the policy decisions required to spark an economic rebound in the Southeast Asian country, which has had three prime ministers in as many years.
The king had given political parties until Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. local time to form the coalitions necessary for a majority. Anwar and Muhyiddin were unable to secure a majority because the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition said that it would not support either candidate.
Now it is up to the constitutional monarch, who primarily serves a ceremonial function but has the power to nominate anybody he thinks will have a majority.
The king spoke to reporters in front of the national palace, "Let me make a choice shortly".
A choice regarding the formation of the government was also requested of Malaysians.
The palace afterwards issued a statement claiming that no MP had been able to secure a simple majority to become prime minister. At 16:30 local time, it requested an audience with the king for Anwar and Muhyiddin (0830 GMT).
The most hotly contested election in Malaysia lived up to its moniker, with rivals Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Perikatan Nasional (PN) winning the largest blocks of seats but failing to secure a simple majority of seats to form a government.
Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah, the King of Malaysia, also emphasized to them the importance of having a strong, trustworthy administration to uphold citizens' rights and forward the country's plan for prosperity.
Once more, the King of Malaysia is anticipated to have a significant influence on the formation of the government.
All political parties must submit the names of their respective candidates for prime minister by Monday at 2 p.m., along with a declaration of their respective coalitions in order to form a government, according to a palace order. Later, an additional 24 hours were added to the deadline.
This is akin to the process the palace used to establish the previous two governments. After the PH government fell due to MP defections in March 2020, Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah appointed Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as prime minister without parliamentary approval.
15 months later, after Umno lawmakers lost their support from Mr. Muhyiddin, compelling him to quit, Sultan Abdullah intervened once more to name Ismail Sabri Yaakob of Umno as prime minister.
Source: StraitsTimes.com, Tempo.co